Southern Michigan Railroad Society, Inc.

aka SMRS   |   Clinton, MI   |  www.southernmichiganrailroad.com

Mission

Our mission is preserving Michigan's railroad history, starting with the Clinton Branch Railroad, laid in 1837 and the first branch line of the first railroad west of the Alleghany mountains. We also preserve historic railroad equipment, records and artifacts focusing on the tristate area (Michigan, northern Ohio and northern Indiana) and the New York Central Railroad, which owned the Clinton Branch.

Notes from the nonprofit

In 2013, we made a major initiative to increase our revenue via program services, specifically train rides. We doubled revenue in 2013 and increased it further in 2014.

Ruling year info

2014

President

Mark Beekel

Main address

320 S. Division Street PO Box A

Clinton, MI 49236 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

38-2445950

NTEE code info

History Museums (A54)

Recreational, Pleasure, or Social Club (N50)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Historic train rides

As a living, running museum, we operate train rides on the Clinton Branch railroad using historic railroad equipment. These services operate May to December. They include popular services such as the "Fall Color Tours" and "Santa at the South Pole". This is a key source of program service revenue.

Population(s) Served

We were formed to preserve the 13.5 mile long Jackson Branch Railroad, the first branch line of the first railroad west of the Alleghany mountains.

Population(s) Served

The most dramatic part of the collection is full-sized historic railroad equipment.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Accreditations

National Register of Historic Places - Listed Property 2001

Awards

Michigan Week Community Achievement Award 2003

Michigan Department History Arts & Library Michigan Week Awards

Affiliations & memberships

Chamber of Commerce 2010

Association of Railway Museums (ARM) 1990

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

- Increase level of maintenance of our historic rail line and historic equipment, and facilities.
- Increase the size of our collection.
- Expand into a new site.
- Reduce the organization's debt.
- Revisit our strategic plan.

- Continue to innovate to engage the public and bring support.
- Redouble our investment in our core railroad and collection.
- Position ourselves as an important regional railway museum.

- We are the only bona-fide heritage railroad in Michigan.
- Our railroad is one of the most appealing, well built lines in preservation.
- We are ideally located to serve a constituency of 7 million people.
- Unlike most heritage railroads, we own the railroad in fee simple, without dependency on other organizations.
- We have the necessary equipment to operate historic trains for the public.
- Our supporting organization has a 90-acre site we aim to develop into a state-of-the-art facility for railway preservation, including mechanical shops and indoor storage for railcars.

Our organization is departing a long stagnation where visitorship hovered around 2500 people and revenues did not meet expenses. Our support is now growing very strongly and we are approaching a level of long-term solvency. This enables us to move forward.

Financials

Southern Michigan Railroad Society, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Southern Michigan Railroad Society, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 12/20/2014
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mark A Beekel

President, SMRS

Term: Nov 2010 - Oct 2011

Mark Beekel President

Vacant Vacant

Melvin Dickerson Treasurer

Gerald Murray Vice President

Clifford Buehrer

Stan Towers

Pat Robertson

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No