About the CSME

Open House

The CSME Open House is from 10:00AM to 4:00PM on Saturday and Sunday of the First and Second Weekend after Thanksgiving. This event has been held annually for more than thirty years. Admission is $3.00 for ages 12 and over and $1 for ages 6 through 11. Children 5 and under are free. Besides the operating layout, there is a wooden train play table, a "find it on the layout" game and a selection of new and used items for sale. There is ample free parking and the layout is wheelchair accessible.

CSME Today

We meet once a week at 7:00PM on Wednesday with the first Wednesday of the month being a potluck dinner at 6:00PM and operating night at 7:00PM. The other meeting nights are designated for work on the layout. Visitors are welcome.

In recent years the number of CSME members has varied between twenty and thirty. As defined by the CSME Constitution and Bylaws, there are several levels of membership including ones for juniors, full time adult students and spouses. Dues range from $5 per year to $7 per month, depending on membership level.

The affairs of the club are managed by the board of directors. The board consists of the four officers: president, vice president, secretary/treasurer and general manager and the at-large members. There is one at-large member for every five members. The board’s term of office is one calendar year. The election is held at the Annual Meeting and Pizza Feed, which occurs on the second Wednesday in December. In addition to this election, the members may be called on by the board to vote on other matters as required by the bylaws.

The layout and all scenery, structures, signals, etc. on it belong to the club. With a few exceptions, the cars and locomotives are owned by the members.

The History of CSME

In the early 1950’s the club was originally organized as "The Corvallis Comets", a model airplane flying club sponsored by the Corvallis Elks Club as a youth project. When the interest in model airplane flying waned, two visionary members, Jack Culver and Julius Kilmer, approached the Elks about reorganizing to a model railroad club. Thus, the Corvallis Society of Model Engineers was born in 1959. When the Elks moved to a new building the club lost its home and, in 1969, the CSME terminated its operations in the Elks Club. In 1971 the Adair Air Force gas station was declared surplus and Jack Culver, Julius Kilmer, Bill Freeman and Bob Lowry looked into acquiring the building to house the CSME. They incorporated the club as a non-profit organization and were successful in lobbying the county to acquire the building we are in now. The building came with seven surrounding acres. The agreement with the county allows us to use the property as long the club exists.