Teach your kids or grandkids how fun family history can be—without a textbook in sight.
The Shay No. 11 steam locomotive let out an ear-splitting whistle. My 7-year-old son, Jeremy, shrieked as our passenger car lurched forward. It was Labor Day weekend, and I was enjoying one last getaway with my two young sons before school started.
As the train chugged along the shady forest track high in the Appalachian Mountains, a man made his way to the rear of our car, which was at the end of the train. He grabbed an old steering wheel with his gloved hands and cranked. We heard a metallic creak and felt the train slow.