A Fostoria Railroad schedule Bulletin made its way back to Fostoria in an unusual way. The gray Ten Commandments shaped sign is painted with the schedules of the passenger trains and Interurbans that ran through Fostoria in the past century or so. Four of the passenger train services are listed as well as four Interurbans. The sign hung from the Interurban station in downtown Fostoria.
Once the sign belonged to Pearl Peter, a local antique dealer and widow of Arthur Peter who worked for the C&O as a telegrapher at the B&O crossing. Thirty years after it was last seen by her daughter in the Peter's garage, the Bulletin found its way to Garth's auction in Delaware, Ohio. In August 2006, Herman VandeKerkhoff, currently Vice President of Projects for the FRPS, happened to be surfing the internet for Fostoria railroad memoriabilia when he discovered on the notice of the Bulletin going up for auction. The website was different than Herman was used to so it took him a couple days to realize that this was a live auction.
Herman wasn't VP of Projects at that time so he approached the FRPS Board to determine interest in obtaining the sign which had a listed value of $200 to $400. An agreement was made that Herman would bid on the sign and front the purchase, should he win, until the FRPS could obtain the funds to repay him.
The Tuesday before the auction, Herman went down to view the item and placed a $750 absentee bid before the auction began. But Herman had a feeling that the winning bid would be much higher so he decided to attend the auction on September 2nd in person. His intuition paid off. The bidding exceeded Herman's initial bid as well as the maximum agreed to. Now Herman had a decision to make and quickly. Should he place a higher bid and bring the sign home where it belonged or hope that the winning bidder was a local person who might display the Bulletin at the FRPS office? Taking no chances, Herman continued to bid against and won the coveted prize. The "Fostoria Bulletin" was brought home.
Then came the challenge to repay Herman his winning bid. This time a Geary Foundation grant administered by Key Bank came to the rescue.
Now the sign has a new home at the LE&W Depot, 128 W. North St, Fostoria, home of the Fostoria Rail Preservation Society where it belongs.