A model train exhibit will be held in McDonough on Saturday, from 10 a.m., to 5 p.m., at the Chafin Furniture building, 15 Griffin St.
History will be brought to life in McDonough, this weekend, as the city continues to mark the anniversary of a deadly train wreck.
A model train exhibit is scheduled for Saturday, from 10 a.m., to 5 p.m., at the Chafin Furniture building, 15 Griffin St. The free event will include a replica of “Old No. 7,” a locomotive which went off the Camp Creek trestle, June 23, 1900, killing 39 people in the worst train wreck in Georgia history.
Barbara Frazier, coordinator for the exhibit, is part of a committee which has overseen several events this week to mark the anniversary of the train mishap. She said the exhibit will feature items from the Middle Georgia Model Railroad Club, of Warner Robins.
“The Middle Georgia Model Railroad Club ... will have knowledgeable members available to provide details and information about this fascinating part of Americana,” said Frazier. “The Middle Georgia Model Railroad club has provided public exhibits of model railroading throughout the state, and takes pride in preserving the history of railroading, and eagerly give of their time to bring model tray layouts to the young and old alike, who share the fascination with this segment of our beloved railroad industry.”
The memorial event is sponsored by the City of McDonough, Mainstreet McDonough, McDonough Tourism and Hospitality. The event committee also includes Sandra Vincent, Caprice Walker, John Quinn, and McDonough councilmembers Kamali Varner and Gail Notti.
“It is because of the railroad that McDonough reached its level of economic independence and success,” said Vincent. “Our history as a railroad community should not be forgotten, but heralded,” she added.
Saturday’s activities will also contain a historical presentation, at 11 a.m., and 2 p.m. Local historian Mark Pollard will discuss what life was like in McDonough in 1900, and Jeffery C. Wells, historian and author of the book, “In Atlanta or in Hell,” will speak about the train wreck.
Wells is a professor of history at Georgia Military College’s campus in Fairburn, Ga. He said one element of his presentation will center on T.C. Carter, who was working as a porter on the train the night of the wreck. “He was the only African-American railroad employee to survive the train wreck,” said Wells.
The professor said area residents have expressed interest in knowing more about the historic crash over the years.
“You do get quite a few questions, here and there, about it,” said Wells. “I’ve even been contacted in the last few years by decendants of people who were on the train.”