October 2011 Article

This Month's Article - October 2011
Connecting with Historical Societies

As we move to new hosting for the NEARHS website, we will be linking our site to other historical societies and expect that to greatly improve our association with those groups especially that interchanged with the Nelson & Albemarle Railway, the societies of the C&O Railway and Southern Railway.  As well, certain museum sites that connect railroading in Virginia to railfans and researchers alike will be sought out for connection. Those museum sites, especially ones in the areas where the N&A operated are likely to provide good contacts for information that will help us establish more of the history of the Nelson & Albemarle and the people that were part of operating trains and supporting industries along the line.  The Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society at http://www.cohs.org/ is large and relatively well-known as one of the most successful railway historical societies.  They have a huge archive of material at the C&O Railway Heritage Center in Clifton Forge, Virginia.  The COHS is a non-profit corporation..."dedicated to interpreting the American Railway experience using C&O Railway's history through drawings, documents, and artifacts which the Society collects, preserves, and makes available to as broad an audience as possible."  Also significant is the Southern Railway Historical Association  which can be found at http://www.srha.net with it's archive of materials stored at the Southern Musuem of Locomotive and Civil War History in Kennesaw, Georgia (best known for being the home of 'The General' of the Civil War's Great Locomotive Chase fame).  The museum's website is located at http://www.southernmuseum.org/ and is one of several prominent railroad themed museum's in the southeast. These societies have annual membership programs that fund activities and acquisitions of memorabilia and artifacts and have large followings to maintain their operations.  |||||   Once connected with these other societies and museums, it's hoped that our reach will expand and more people will have reason to write and tell their story of the Nelson & Albemarle and/or Alberene Stone.  The NEARHS is small compared to these great organizations and while we do collect photographs, books, and other memorabilia, we don't have a facility to store large artifacts or equipment such as the one remaining steam locomotive now stored privately in Goshen, Vriginia (though if it were available we'd likely ask that it be stored with C&O equipment in Clifton Forge at the heritage center there with hopes to restore it cosmetically some day).  I also don't expect we'll see the last remaining diesel (GE 35-ton) still in active use in Sylacauga, Alabama ever be donated to a museum as it's more valuable in service so we have nothing to worry about in creating a 'museum' of our own!  We will learn much from other historical societies as their members share previously unidentified information, photographs, and stories about the Nelson & Albemarle which will become the basis for more articles and details.  Spreading our availability to many more railfans will be the result of our internal improvements to the website and the opportunities this brings in connecting out with other groups.

Send email to NelsonAlbemarle@comcast.net if you have any comments or questions or wish to contribute to future articles.  Copyright 2011 - Nelson & Albemarle Railway Historical Society.