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The General Locomotive The Southern Museum

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DSC_0509Southern Museum to Break Ground on Expanded Research Center

The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History on Friday will break ground on an 8,700-square-foot expansion to its research center.

Once complete, the Southern Museum will be home to one of the largest centers for researchers, scholars and historians studying southeastern railroads of the United States.

The Museum’s extensive archives collection includes more than 45,000 rare railroad photographs through the David W. Salter Collection, a one-of-a-kind glass plate negative collection of Glover Machine Works locomotives and thousands of Southern Railway-related documents through the Southern Railway Historical Association Collections.

“We are fortunate that our collection of documents, letters and artifacts has expanded at the rate it has. But, in order to continue to grow, we need a larger facility,” said Dr. Richard Banz, executive director of the Southern Museum. “The expansion will be a world-class facility that will serve as a permanent place to preserve, interpret and, most importantly, make these important artifacts accessible to researchers.”

The $1.1 million expansion project is expected to be completed this spring.

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Video: Southern Museum Descendants’ Day 2014

Descendants of a participant in the Civil War’s Great Locomotive Chase recently donated a 110-year-old Medal of Honor to the Southern Museum.

The family also donated written accounts and personal belongings of Wilson W. Brown, who in 1862, was part of a group of Union soldiers who stole the General locomotive from Kennesaw as part of a daring bid to destroy the Western & Atlantic Railroad between Atlanta and Chattanooga.

Brown was bestowed the Medal of Honor in 1863 for his participation in the Chase, also known as The Andrews’ Raid. The Medal his descendants donated on Saturday was a duplicate Brown received in 1904.

Click here to read more.

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The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive HistoryParking Lot Behind Southern Museum to Close, Guests Urged to Park at Depot or in Front of Museum

Starting immediately, visitors to the Southern Museum should park in the lot on Cherokee Street in front of the Museum or in the lot at the historic Kennesaw train depot across Cherokee Street from the Museum. Handicap parking is located in the lot directly in front of the Museum.

The parking lot behind the Museum is closing to prepare for the start of construction on the Museum’s expanded research center. More details on construction will be announced soon.

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Sallie Loy, archivist for the Southern Museum, looks through documents from the Bogle Collection.Southern Museum Receives Railroad Collection of Late Col. James G. Bogle

Sallie Loy, archivist for the Southern Museum, looks through documents from the Bogle Collection.

Sallie Loy, archivist for the Southern Museum, looks through documents from the Bogle Collection.

The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History has received the extensive railroad collection of the late Col. James G. Bogle.

Until his death in 2010 at the age of 94, Bogle was the preeminent authority on the Great Locomotive Chase and collected hundreds of artifacts connected to the daring Civil War event.

Bricks from the old W&A RR freight depot at Marietta, Ga., are part of the Bogle Collection.

Bricks from the old Western & Atlantic Railroad freight depot at Marietta, Ga., are part of the Bogle Collection.

In addition to his research on the Great Locomotive Chase, Bogle thoroughly researched and collected artifacts related to railroads throughout the southeast, ranging from well-known routes such as the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway to lesser known lines such as the Etowah Railroad.

“Col. Bogle was such an expert on the Great Locomotive Chase and railroads, and his work remains invaluable to researchers today,” said Sallie Loy, archivist for the Southern Museum. “Filmmakers, authors and researchers always contacted Col. Bogle when they had a question because they knew he had the answer. We are preserving his years of dedicated work so it can live on for the next generation of researchers and historians.”

Bogle’s collection includes four filing cabinets filled with documents, including newspaper clippings, letters and notes. His collection also includes more than 30,000 photographs, a rail that was likely in use during the Great Locomotive Chase, signs from railroad depots throughout the southeast and documents from the late Wilbur G. Kurtz, the son-in-law of Chase participant William A. Fuller.

Bogle, a native of Colesburg, Tenn., moved to the Atlanta area with his family in the late 1950s, and the colonel retired from the U.S. Army in 1967 after serving for 31 years, including tours of duty in World War II and in the Korean War.  During his distinguished military career, he earned the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

The Bogle Collection includes historic rail that was likely in use on the Western & Atlantic Railroad in April 1862.

The Bogle Collection includes historic rail that was likely in use on the Western & Atlantic Railroad in April 1862.

In 1999, Bogle co-authored with Stan Cohen “The General and the Texas: A Pictorial History of the Andrews Raid.” In 1982, he oversaw the restoration of the Texas locomotive, another locomotive that saw action during the Great Locomotive Chase and which is on display in Grant Park in Atlanta.

“Col. Bogle was a true friend to not only the Southern Museum, but to historians and railroad enthusiasts,” said Dr. Richard Banz, executive director of the Southern Museum. “His collection is one-of-a-kind, and we have a sense of duty to not only preserve the documents and artifacts in this collection, but share his lifetime of work with historians and researchers.”

The collection is expected to be ready for researchers by November. A number of artifacts will be used in exhibits throughout the Southern Museum to help tell the story of the Great Locomotive Chase and the role railroads had in developing the south after the Civil War.

For more information, visit southernmuseum.org.

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runKennesaw Museum Foundation Lacing Up for Annual 5K on September 6

The Kennesaw Museum Foundation is lacing up its running shoes and sprinting towards the 6th Annual Great Locomotive Chase 5K.

This year’s event, to be held Sept. 6 in downtown Kennesaw, coincides with the Taste of Kennesaw and is a one of the six Kennesaw Grand Prix Series races. All proceeds from the 5K support the educational and outreach programs of the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History.

Runners may register at the Southern Museum, at any Big Peach Running Co. store or online at active.com or greatlocomotiverace.com.

Registration is $25 for the 5K and $15 for the 1-Mile Fun Run until August 26. Late registration (postmarked after Aug 26) is $30 or $35 for runners that register on the day of the race. The corresponding Tot Trot is free. Runners who register the day of race are not guaranteed a race shirt.

Early pick-up of race packets, which include a race shirt, numbered bib and free give-away items, will be held at Big Peach Running Co. in Kennesaw on Wednesday, Sept. 3 and Thursday, Sept. 4 from 4 to 8 p.m. Race day registration will be held from 6:30 to 7:15 a.m. at Kennesaw First Baptist Church. The 1-Mile Fun Run will begin at 7:30 a.m., the 5K will start at 8 a.m. in front of the church and the Tot Trot will start in front of the Big Shanty Barber Shop at 8:55 a.m.

The starting line for the 5K will be located in front of the Kennesaw First Baptist Church. On the relatively flat, shady race route, runners will head north on Main Street to Swift-Cantrell Park, loop through the park, continue toward downtown Kennesaw and finish near the intersection of Main and Cherokee streets. This certified course is professionally timed.

Following the race, awards will be presented to the top three in all age groups, as well as a cash prize to top male and female racers.

For more information about running or volunteering, please contact the Kennesaw Museum Foundation at foundation@southernmuseum.org or 770.427.2117 ext. 3174.

 

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Southern Museum Wraps Up Successful Second Annual Railroad Rendezvous

More than 600 people turned out Saturday for the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History’s second annual Railroad Rendezvous event.

Railroad Rendezvous 2014

Railroad Rendezvous 2014

During the event, museum visitors were able to climb aboard the General locomotive, experience a hobo jungle, play outdoor games and race slot cars.

Railroad Rendezvous 2014

Railroad Rendezvous 2014

“Thank you to everyone who came out and supported our second annual Railroad Rendezvous event,” said Sara Wilson, events coordinator for the Southern Museum. “We are overwhelmed with excitement on the attendance for the event and hope it continues to grow year after year.”

Railroad Rendezvous 2014

Railroad Rendezvous 2014

To view photos from Saturday’s event, visit facebook.com/southernmuseum. Guests are invited to post their photos from the event to the Southern Museum’s Facebook page using #RailroadRendezvous.

Next up on the Southern Museum events calendar – the Kennesaw Museum Foundation is lacing up its running shoes and sprinting towards the 6th Annual Great Locomotive Chase 5K on Sept. 6. Race details can be found at greatlocomotiverace.com.

Railroad Rendezvous 2014

Railroad Rendezvous 2014

For more information about the Southern Museum, call (770) 427-2117, visit southernmuseum.org or follow the museum at facebook.com/southernmuseum.

Railroad Rendezvous 2014

Railroad Rendezvous 2014

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general_5407-480Is the General still a functioning locomotive?

general_5407-480

One of the things our visitors seem to always want to know is whether the General is still a functioning locomotive.

The answer to that is…it’s complicated!

Technically, the engine was operable when it was donated to the original Big Shanty Museum in 1972, but a lot of time has passed since then. The General has now stood in the same spot for 42 years, so we can only imagine how stiff its moving parts are. Also, steam engines require a lot of steam pressure to operate (120 lbs per square inch in the General’s case); if we tried putting the engine’s boiler under that much pressure after all these years, the result would likely be disastrous.

The General is a large, powerful, and imposing locomotive, so it’s easy to forget that it’s still an artifact that’s now 159 years old.  It might be fun to imagine firing it up one more time, but history would almost certainly be destroyed if anyone ever tried it.

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DSC_9217-480Southern Museum to Host Second Annual Railroad Rendezvous on July 26

The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History will celebrate railroads and their unique history during the second annual Railroad Rendezvous this July.

The family-friendly event, scheduled from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on July 26, will feature a range of indoor and outdoor events, including operating model train layouts, a variety of games and a hobo jungle. Attendees will also have the rare chance to climb aboard the General locomotive (for a separate fee) made famous during the Civil War’s Great Locomotive Chase.

“Kids and train buffs of all ages will have plenty of opportunities to show their love of trains during our second annual Railroad Rendezvous,” said Kelly Briscoe of the Southern Museum. “Everyone enjoyed watching model trains and pretending to be a hobo during last year’s Railroad Rendezvous, and this year’s event promises to be even more enjoyable, especially with the rare opportunity to climb aboard the famous General locomotive.”

Events scheduled for Railroad Rendezvous include:

  • Hobo Jungle: Re-enactors will offer tales about life on the rails, teach Hobo language and help guests make their own bindle sack.
  • Operation Lifesaver: The non-profit organization will offer safety information and tours of its Operation Lifesaver Mobile Educational Exhibit.
  • Outdoor Games: Guests can participate in sack races, a ring toss and a bean bag toss.
  • Slot Cars: Attendees will have the opportunity to satiate their need for speed with a slot car track.
  • Train Layouts: G-scale and O-gauge model layouts will be on display specifically for Railroad Rendezvous.

In addition to the day’s special events, visitors can explore the Museum’s permanent exhibits to learn about the Great Locomotive Chase, one of the Civil War’s most thrilling episodes. The Museum also includes a full-scale replica of The Glover Machine Works, a locomotive factory in nearby Marietta that helped rebuild the South after the war.

Museum event admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for children ages 4-12 and free for children three and under as well as Museum members. There is an additional fee of $5 for all guests 4 years and older to board the General Locomotive (including members). Coupons and discounts will not be accepted on the day of the event. The Museum is located at 2829 Cherokee Street in downtown Kennesaw (exit 273 on Interstate 75).

For more information and updates on Railroad Rendezvous, contact events@southernmuseum.org or call 770-427-2117 ext. 3058.

Click here to RSVP on Facebook (no reservation required to attend).

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Protected: Updated Photo Gallery: 2014 Descendants’ Day at the Southern Museum

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csi1Southern Museum to Host Virginia’s Civil War HistoryMobile

Tweet This: The Southern Museum will host HistoryMobile on June 26. #Free admission! #history #cw150 #civilwar150 #georgia

The Southern Museum will host Virginia’s Civil War 150 HistoryMobile for a one-day visit on June 26 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibit, an initiative of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, will be located at Depot Park across the street from the museum and admission is free.

csi1The HistoryMobile exhibit will be followed at 7 pm by a lecture given by Michael Shaffer from The Civil War Center of Kennesaw State University. The Southern Museum will offer free admission during special late hours, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The public is invited to enjoy Shaffer’s lecture discussing the ‘Atlanta Campaign and the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain’ and then view the museum’s new temporary exhibit ‘1864’ which commemorates the 150th anniversary.

A tractor-trailer 'museum on wheels’ that is filled with interactive exhibits and activities, the HistoryMobile uses immersive spaces and interactive exhibits to draw together stories of the Civil War and emancipation from the viewpoints of those who experienced it across Virginia — young and old, enslaved and free, soldier and civilian. The HistoryMobile crosses the state visiting museums, schools, and special events. Its tour began in July 2011, and since then it has made over 120 stops and attracted visitors from every state and a number of other countries.

The HistoryMobile was named a 2013 Leadership in History Award of Merit winner by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). The award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history. The Award of Merit is one of the nation’s most prestigious recognitions of achievement in state and local history.

More information on the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile and the initiatives of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission can be found at www.VirginiaCivilWar.org.

For more information, call (770) 427-2117 ext. 3181, visit southernmuseum.org or follow the Museum at facebook.com/southernmuseum.

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Our Current Exhibits

The GeneralThe Great Locomotive Chase Railroads ExhibitRailroads: Lifelines of the Civil War Glover FactoryGlover Machine Works Family Fun in the Education CenterThe Jolley Education Center Special ExhibitSPECIAL: "1864" (May 3-July 20)