The Southern Museum

In Association with the Smithsonian Institution

The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History will host the fifth installment of its popular “Trains, Trains, Trains” event this Saturday, Jan. 24.

The event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the Museum. This year’s railroad-themed event will include new and expanded model train layouts, more activities for families and an expanded General Emporium.

To purchase tickets in advance, visit http://bit.ly/1yzUS3E. In anticipation of this year’s event, below are some from previous “Trains, Trains, Trains” events.


 

The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History will host the fifth annual installment of its highly popular “Trains, Trains, Trains” event on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. The event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the Museum.

TrainsThis year, the railroad-themed event will include new and expanded model train layouts, more activities for families and an expanded General Emporium. The enlarged gift shop will offer a wide range of train and railroad-themed items, including a number of gifts geared toward families and kids.

“‘Trains, Trains, Trains’ is the Museum’s most popular annual event, and we are gearing up for what is sure to be our largest turnout yet,” said Dr. Richard Banz, the Museum’s executive director. “We are proud to host an event where families can make memories that will last a lifetime.”

As guests explore the Museum and discover the eight train layouts planned for this year’s event, they will have the opportunity to interact and operate select layouts.

North Georgia Modurail, a local model railroading group, will set up the largest layout ever showcased at “Trains, Trains, Trains.” The one-of-a-kind HO scale layout will fill the 3,600-square-foot space Cobb Energy Gallery and will allow visitors to view the model trains operating on the layout from a number of unique angles.

As part of this year’s expanded hands-on activities, kids of all ages will be able to take part in a new and enjoyable take-home craft. In addition, railroad artifacts from the Museum’s extensive archive collection will be on display for visitors to hold, touch and discover how they were used on the railroad.

“This event is so much fun and we love watching the joy and excitement younger train buffs have when they walk in the door and see the model trains for the first time,” said Sara Wilson, the Southern Museum’s event coordinator. “That excitement only increases the first time they walk up to one of the model layouts and pull the throttle to make a train go.”

In addition to the special train exhibits erected for the event, the Museum’s regular displays, including the historic General locomotive and the Glover Machine Works will be open during “Trains, Trains, Trains.”

The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is the title sponsor of this year’s event. The Museum and the railroad are partnering for a March 28 fundraiser. Proceeds raised during a scenic train ride that day from Blue Ridge, Ga., to McCaysville, Ga., will benefit the Museum’s education programs.

Museum admission is $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $5.50 for children ages 4-12 and free for children three and under as well as Museum 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). To purchase tickets in advance, visit http://bit.ly/1yzUS3E.

For more information, call (770) 427-2117 ext. 3058, visit southernmuseum.org or follow the Museum at facebook.com/southernmuseum.

CALENDAR LISTING: The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Ga., will host “Trains, Trains, Trains” from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. The railroad-themed event will feature expanded model train layouts and activities for families. Admission is $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $5.50 for children ages 4-12 and free for children three and under and Museum members; coupons and discounts will not be accepted for the event. The Museum is at 2829 Cherokee Street in downtown Kennesaw (exit 273 on Interstate 75). For more information, call (770) 427-2117 ext. 3058 or visit southernmuseum.org.

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More than 500 people turned out Saturday for the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History’s popular Polar Express Adventure.

Museum-goers who braved weather outside that was frightful were transported into a warm atmosphere that was just delightful.

Polar Express 2014 24 - Version 2Santa Claus and his elves brought the magic of the North Pole to Kennesaw, setting up their temporary workshop in the Museum. The evening began as a train conductor and a hobo greeted guests, and visitors spent the evening making holiday crafts, watching elves make toys and meeting with Santa to share their Christmas wish lists.

“Tonight was all about fun, and even a cold and rainy evening couldn’t deter visitors from stepping into the holiday spirit,” said Sara Wilson, the Southern Museum’s event coordinator.

“Kids of all ages enjoyed the hands-on opportunity to make unique Christmas crafts, write letters to Santa and interact with the jolly man himself,” Wilson said. “Polar Express Adventure always proves popular among Metro Atlanta families, and we look forward to being a part of our visitors’ holiday traditions for many years to come.”

In addition to mingling with elves and Santa, guests enjoyed a holiday-themed model train layout on display during the event. To see more pictures from the event, please visit the Museum’s Facebook page.

The Museum’s next event is “Trains, Trains, Trains.” The fifth annual installation of the highly popular event is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2015.

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The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History will host its fifth annual “Trains, Trains, Trains” event on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015.

This year, the special railroad-themed event will be more family-friendly than ever before! “Trains, Trains, Trains” will include new layouts and activities, as well as an expanded version of the Museum gift shop that will offer guests an even larger array of train and railroad items made especially for kids.

“‘Trains, Trains, Trains’ is the Museum’s most popular annual event, and this year our staff has been gearing up for what is sure to be our largest turnout yet,” said Dr. Richard Banz, the Museum’s executive director. “We are proud to host an event where families can make memories that will last a lifetime.”

As guests navigate the Museum and discover new layouts, they will be able to interact and operate them by turning transformer throttles, pulling levers or pressing buttons. Featured in the Museum’s large Cobb Energy Gallery, North Georgia Modurail will set up the largest layout ever showcased at “Trains, Trains, Trains,” filling the 3,600 square foot space. This impressive track allows visitors to view each model train on the layout from any angle. North Georgia Modurail’s HO layout excites spectators each year, and with new recent additions and changes, guests are sure to see something they have never seen before.

With the expansion of hands-on activities for all ages, kids will be able to take part in a new and enjoyable take-home craft featured in the Museum’s classrooms. Adding to the excitement, railroad artifacts will be on display for visitors to hold, touch, and discover how they are used. Tickets will be available for pre-sale online beginning on January 2nd.

Guests can stop by the always popular General Emporium Gift Shop to pick up the latest and greatest train gadgets and toys, selected especially for kids.

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Kurtz Lacy Hotel

Today marks the 150th anniversary of a “tragic chapter of our history,” the burning of the city during the Civil War.

Known as Big Shanty at the time, Kennesaw was home to Camp McDonald, one of four Confederate training camps throughout the state.

The city entered the annals of history on April 12, 1862, when Union spies stole a Confederate locomotive stopped in town with the hopes of destroying the Western & Atlantic Railroad connecting Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tenn. The episode is today remembered as the Great Locomotive Chase or the Andrews Raid and is memorialized at the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History.

Union soldiers captured the city in June 1864 and used the Lacy Hotel, one of the few buildings in the town at the time, as a military garrison. In October of that year, after Atlanta fell into the hands of Union troops, Confederate forces re-occupied Big Shanty, but Union soldiers eventually recaptured the town and later burned it to the ground.

“On Nov. 14, 1864, soldiers from the Union’s Fourteenth Army Corps descended upon the area and destroyed the Western & Atlantic Railroad, sparing little of Big Shanty in the process,” Southern Museum Curator Jonathan Scott said.

“The Lacy Hotel was burned to ashes along with many of the buildings that existed here at the time,” Scott said. “After Nov. 14, the Civil War moved away Big Shanty for good, leaving in its wake devastation, loss and poverty.”

George M. and Edna Lacy rented the Lacy Hotel, a small, two-story boarding house located along the Western & Atlantic rail line, starting in 1859. The hotel, located beneath what is today the municipal parking lot next to the historic 1908 train depot in downtown Kennesaw, was known among travelers and soldiers for its food and service.

While the hotel wasn’t rebuilt following the Civil War, a new town emerged from the ashes. The city of Kennesaw was formally incorporated in 1887 and named after Kennesaw Mountain, the site of a major Civil War battle in June 1864.

“Today, as we commemorate this tragic chapter of our history, we are reminded of the strength of our community and its ability to overcome war and adversity,” Southern Museum Executive Director Richard Banz said. “We are also encouraged to think of the many positive contributions and the bright future that Kennesaw will contribute to Georgia and America today, tomorrow and beyond.”

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The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History is bringing back its popular Polar Express Adventure event this December.

The special holiday event is scheduled from 5-9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. The Polar Express Adventure follows the City of Kennesaw’s annual Christmas celebration, parade and tree lighting ceremony.

Upon entering the Museum, attendees will meet a train conductor and a hobo before having the opportunity to create holiday crafts and watch elves make toys in their holiday shop in the Museum’s Glover Machine Works exhibit. They will also be able to meet Santa during the evening. Hot chocolate and light refreshments will be served.

A holiday-themed model train layout will also be on display during the event.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased the night of the event.The museum is offering special pricing for the event. Tickets for adults and seniors are $5, children (4-12) are $3 and infants (3 and under) are free. While attendees can go through most of the event at their leisure, please note that when you purchase your Polar Express Adventure tickets, you will need to select an appointment time to see Santa during the event.

Times you can choose from are as follows:

  • 5:00pm, 5:20pm, 5:40pm, 6:00pm, 6:20pm, 6:40pm, 7:00pm, 7:20pm, 7:40pm, 8:00pm, 8:20pm, and 8:40pm.

For more information, please email events@southernmuseum.org or call 770-427-2117 ext. 3058.

Additional details about Polar Express Adventure and other future Museum events are available at facebook.com/southernmuseum or southernmuseum.org.

*Please be aware that Polar Express adventure at the Southern Museum is not an actual train ride. Rather, it is a vignette taking attendees through the story of the Polar Express.

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The General locomotive retired from service on the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway – a successor of the Western & Atlantic Railroad – in 1891. But, even in “retirement,” the famed locomotive was a draw at the many expositions where she appeared, including Chicago’s 1893 Columbian Exposition and Atlanta’s 1895 Cotton States Exposition.

By 1901, the famed locomotive was placed on “permanent” display at Union Depot in Chattanooga, Tenn.

After more than two decades on static display, the locomotive traveled to Baltimore in 1927 to participate in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s “Fair of the Iron Horse.” That trip started a new chapter in the General’s history as the famed steamer toured the country, attracting throngs of fans wherever she went.

Six years after the “Fair of the Iron Horse,” the General appeared at the 1933 “Century of Progress” Exhibition in Chicago. In 1939, the locomotive appeared at the “New York World’s Fair,” and in 1948, the General traveled to the “Chicago Railroad Fair.”

As the locomotive approached her 100th birthday in 1955, she was as popular as ever. For the centennial observation of the Great Locomotive Chase in 1962, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad overhauled the engine, adding modern air brakes and converting the steamer to burn oil.

Two years after the General toured the country under her own power as part of the now-famous centennial tour, she trekked once again to New York, this time for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. As the picture above shows, the locomotive’s smokestack was removed so the General could safely pass beneath low bridges during transport into New York Harbor.

The General eventually steamed her way to the Better Living Center at the Fair and was displayed for the summer of 1964.

The above picture, which has not been widely displayed or published, is part of 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.

Click here to read more about the collection, which the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History recently acquired. Did you see the General at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York? Share your experience below.

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The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History on Friday broke 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.

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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.

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“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.”

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

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.

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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Annual Events

The Southern Museum, in association with the Smithsonian Institution, is a premier metro Atlanta museum, featuring exhibits on Civil War and locomotive history. The Southern Museum is home to the General locomotive, stolen during the Civil War's Great Locomotive Chase; a reproduction of the locomotive assembly line from the Glover Machine Works; weapons, uniforms and every day items of Civil War soldiers; and the Jolley Education Center that features train history, hands-on activities for children and Georgia's French Gratitude Train.

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