that Justin Timberlake up there?
No, it's our own Robert Arbuckle during the making of a video
to the song "Can't Stop the Feeling." The video was shot on
July 3rd, 2016
by Tenth Street Photography of Noblesville and features Tonya Marshall
of Heavenly Sweets Cakes also of Noblesville. Many thousands have
enjoyed watching this! Click here
to play the video.
by Nickel Plate Arts 2016
93, Bob Arbuckle takes graceful steps to give back to his community
takes many threads to weave together the fabric of a community.
Bob Arbuckle lends his creative thread as a Nickel Plate Arts member,
dancer and advocate for the arts.
Six days a week,
93-year-old Arbuckle can be found repairing sewing machines. He
and his daughter, Sara Carter, run Arbuckle's Railroad Place less
than a mile from downtown Noblesville on Vine Street. They work
on most any machine: Sears and Roebuck, Singer, Viking and a German
brand called Pfaff that's close to their hearts.
came back from WWII, I married Beverly Pfaff, so my daughter has
that sewing machine blood in her. She's a Pfaff," he says with
a smile and wink.
property includes two retired train cars, a bike shop and parking
for about 200 cars. Built around 1970, his 15,000-square-foot main
building is designed to resemble a circa-1900 train station and
houses rows of treadle machines, the home base for an upholstery
service, everything you need to make a quilt, and collections of
bikes, ties, hats and more.
The common thread
across Arbuckles's self-described "Root Beer Garden" complex
is twofold: the sewing machine and the railroad. Atop eight of its
13 outdoor light poles, aluminum cast golden eagles are perched
on cast iron sewing machines. While the sewing machine is most important
to him, Arbuckles' affinity for the railroad is a major reason he
became a member of Nickel Plate Arts in 2015.
a model railroader and I'm not pushing the railroad transportation
part, but it's been a great part of the story Noblesville has to
tell," he says. "It's a wonderful story that can bring
tourists and artists to our area."
believes there is potential in using our existing downtown tracks
to literally transport and stage performances. Attracting arts
to Noblesville is a personal passion for Arbuckle,
as a patron and participant. As a young man, he studied photography
and owned a short-lived commercial and portrait photography studio
in Warsaw, Inc., before deciding in 1948 that sewing machine repair
made more financial sense.
collected and commissioned works from local artists through the
years. Barrels painted by the late Noblesville artist Floyd Hopper
have prominent places in the store. Most visibly -- you've likely
seen him if you've ever been to the Noblesville Street Dance --
Arbuckle is a fantastic dancer. He took up ballroom dancing in
his 50s and has been light on his toes ever since.
It's a wonderful
exercise regardless of how old you are -- from childhood to the
grave. And you can dance 365 days a year," he says. There's
no off-season when it comes to dancing.
He has dreams
of turning his Railroad Place into a gallery and music venue.
When he heard about Nickel Plate Arts taking up the banner of
a railroad to promote the arts, he decided it was something he
wanted to support.
of his "train station" is to emphasize the importance
of the gas light era of Noblesville in the 1880s and early 1900s.
The Trenton Ditch, Arbuckle says, is a great gas pocket that runs
from Kokomo to our part of Central Indiana. This natural resource
lured glass blowers, skilled
and people with money to the Nickel Plate Road region in and around
Noblesville. Noblesville was a hub for foundry art as well and
has a history in the metal casting industry.
and Carter share their sewing skills during classes, where the
majority of their students are, perhaps surprisingly, men and
boys. They have projects for convertible tops, dog collars and
tents in mind. Arbuckle also hosts the Desert Rose Country Line
Dancers every Wednesday night 7-9 p.m. He welcomes experienced
line dancers to these weekly get-togethers.
have to wonder if Arbuckle's outlook on life helps keep him more
agile than many men half his age. He has an opinion on what we
should ideally be feeding our minds.
so many things and dream so many things. Our minds are like gardens.
You don't want to plant negative thoughts in those wonderful gardens.
If you plant weed seeds, you're going to get weed plants. If you
plant positive thoughts -- flower seeds -- you'll get a flower
garden," he says.
by permission from
Arts, Spring 2016
and Shirley's Dancing Scrapbook
Arbuckle and Shirley Ann Sullivan grab a dance just before the start
of the Mayor's Bike Ride on June 5, 2010. The event celebrated new
bicycle lanes added along Allisonville Road in Noblesville. (Photo
by Elaine Moore)
and Shirley take first place in the 50's Dance and Costume Contest
at James Dean Days in Fairmount, Indiana on September of 2009. Bob
is a 1941 graduate of Fairmount High School. (Photo by Robert Scheer)
Arbuckle's Railroad Place (2007) at the Noblesville Farmer's Market,
Bob and Shirley groove to some tunes and chat with the community.
Choo A Go Go" Scrapbook 1965
heart-throbs can't resist this photo-op!
huge crowd turns out on a warm October evening.
of arms and knees in the air, dancing "The Pony."
find their own spot to cut loose.
"Railroad Girls" Promotion in the 60s
quite a spectacle at 10th Street and Vine.
Days" Scrapbook 2004
aboard for the Hobo Days Festival!
Miller offers visitors fresh "Arbuckle's" coffee and a sample
of hobo stew.
Thompson, Harry Wilson and Paige Thompson turn out in rail-riding attire.
Meyers and Gerry Belden are rich in spirit.
the festival, the caboose is open to the public.
look inside the authentic caboose.
kids try to stir things up.
Continettes pose with The Railroad Place founder, Bob Arbuckle.
high-stepping Continettes dazzled on a perfect September afternoon!
the store is full of entries for the Hobo Days Quilt Challenge.
seamstress appreciates the detail on a Hobo Bag entry.
vendors such as Quilt-in-a-Day sent items to be displayed.
Lots of pattern books and fabrics for sale to help quilters create their
Purciful demonstrates a Longarm quilting machine.
Addington, the Fabric Dept. Manager, sports a scarf made
from the quilt challenge fabric.
of train paraphrenalia on display for the railroad enthusiasts.
photographer, Michelle Thompson, poses
with a collection of Indian-head nickels. The coin's
faces were altered by hobos and sold as novelties.
dock is a great place to enjoy some hobo stew!
Blue Note Trio - Jack, Rusty & Satchmo Welker provide live and
enthusiastic audience rests in the green space of the large
Railroad Place property.
a good time was had by all.
Day Celebration 2012
Arbuckle celebrates his 70th year in the U.S. Navy. (Photo by Steve Healey)
1151 Vine Street
Noblesville IN 46060
Open Mon. - Sat. 11-4
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