A Unique Shopping Experience

 

Arbuckle's Railroad Place is known for its size and selection, with 15,000 square feet of shopping pleasure. This full-service store offers everything a customer might need from new machines, repair and service, fabric, patterns and notions. A distinctive feature is an open floor plan that allows the shopper a full view to locate items quickly. Ramps and wide aisles offer easy wheelchair access. The 4-acre grounds provide ample parking where buses are easily accommodated.

Nestled in "olde towne" Noblesville, Arbuckle's occupies nearly a full city block. The property, surrounded by quaint residences, is only a mile from the intersection of State Roads 32 and 37. The store is easy to find and the route is very navigable for bus traffic. Years ago, the ample parking lot was the main motivation in selection of the property providing not only a large space but close-to-the door convenience.

Entering from the southeast, a winding drive brings you past the wool barn and carriage house. Multiple heirloom street lamps guide the way to the main building. A large railroad loading dock hints to the huge inventory housed inside. The main entrance features a unique combination of Victorian styling, railroad paraphernalia and sewing whimsy. Iron hand rails are fashioned from precious treadle table remnants. Salvage sculptures of eagles and old machines adorn the tops of the street lamps. An authentic train station bench beckons from the dock level for husbandís to sit a spell while the gals proceed inside.

 

A Heritage of Service

The store was founded in 1948 by Robert Arbuckle as a sewing machine sales and repair business. Much of the work in the '50s was the conversion of treadle sewing machines to electric. This experience has developed Robert into one of the countryís leading experts on antique machines. The Railroad Place imports its own "Arbuckle" brand of new sewing machines and sergers and continues to rebuild and restore desirable antique machines. 

A substantial addition was built in 1970 as the fabric wing. Robert designed the new addition to reflect the image of a loading dock, greatly adding to the store's "1900s railroad station" theme. His daughter, Sara Carter, grew up around the business and actually helped lay some of the bricks in the structure. She officially joined the staff in 1972 and helps to oversee their commitment to maintaining "the greatest fabric show on earth."  
 
 

A Nice Place to Visit


Noblesville
is the county seat founded in 1823 on the White River. Many historical buildings have been preserved and a small town atmosphere prevails despite its recent growth to 30,000 people. Local attractions vary from the town-square shopping district to a world-class amphitheater. The Indiana Transportation Museum features dozens of retired rail cars, dining cars, cabooses and engines to be explored. Conner Prairie is one of the few and finest living-history museums in the country providing an interactive look at the years 1836 and 1886. Noblesville offers many adventures for history or train buffs who would like to visit for a day or even two.


The Railroad Place is more than just "the greatest fabric show on earth." The store and the surrounding grounds are a virtual museum of railroad paraphernalia. Lanterns, signboards, station benches and oak barrels transport us back to a time when America was first privileged with the wide selection of goods brought in from the coast by rail.

 

The largest item in the collection is a retired but very proud bright red caboose. Constructed in the '40s from the frame of an old freight car, the caboose was used by Midland Railroad (Central Indiana Railroad) until 1965. After its acquisition by Arbuckle's, the caboose was required to be moved within one day. A crane was employed to lift the caboose from the adjacent tracks along Vine St. to the special track bed prepared for it on the northeast corner of the property. The caboose is open for tours during the "Hobo Days" festival.

 

1965: Founder, Bob Arbuckle poses with his "crew" on the newly acquired caboose. 


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