Topeka history buff taking personal collection public to educate community

Someone You Should Know

TOPEKA (KSNT) – A Topeka man is taking years of history and putting it into one room, to educate people about the history of Topeka and trains for free.

Did you know there used to be an amusement park in Topeka? Or that many trains dropped off and loaded materials through the Capitol City? If you knew these things, you might be a history buff like Bruce Beach.

If you didn’t, well, you might want to meet Bruce Beach. Beach loves two things: trains and history. He got the chance to combine the two a little while back.

“I wanted to build an amusement park on my model train layout,” Beach said. “I got online and found a website called, De Funked Amusement Parks, and it had it broken down by every state in the union. I punched on Kansas and lo and behold it had Vinewood.”

From that one search, he was hooked on the past. Collecting pictures and even videos from decades ago, all to keep Topeka history alive. Now, the self proclaimed hoarder is taking everything he’s collected and learned, putting it in his space at the River Rustics shop in NOTO.

“I want to show the history of the railroads,” Beach said. “I want to share the history of Topeka, I want to share the history of Kansas.”

His space is called Yesterday’s World inside River Rustics. For free, anyone can head to the basement of the shop and learn about how Top City, Kansas and the impact of railroads made a difference for us today.

“I’m here,” Beach said. “I’m ready to let the words fly.”

Beach will be selling a few things to people in his space, but really he just wants everyone to come down and learn about history.

Yesterday’s World will officially open in February, with visits available during regular store hours.

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