‘Save the Train’ fundraiser kicks off at Pioneer Museum

Published 7:37 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

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The opening ceremony for the “Save the Train” fundraise was Sunday afternoon “at the train” on the grounds of the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.

Members of the museum’s board of directors joined community members in placing their hands in cement as a visible and permanent sign of unity in their dedication to the restoration of the museum’s 1881 log train.

Board member Keith Roling said it is time to symbolically “board the train” and embark on an exciting adventure to restore the landmark historic roadside attraction at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.

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The 1881 logging train was donated to the museum by Earl McGowin and W.T. Chapman Lumber Company and moved to the location in 1992.

“Wiley Sanders’ donation of time, money and labor made it possible to relocate the train to Troy,” Roling said. “Now, a lot of metal restoration plus paint and other work is needed to bring the 143-year-old Bradley and Hunter locomotive into the next century.”

Roling said Lon Williams, the father of Hank Williams, Sr. was the train engineer around 1923.

“There is a lot of history associated with this 1881 logging train and we are very fortunate to have the train here at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama,” Roling said. “The museum’s board of directors is continuing to provide the opportunity to those who have a passion for Pike County and its history to, actually, put their hands-on history.”

All those who donate one thousand dollars or more to the “Save the Train” fundraiser will have the opportunity to have their handprints permanently visible for future generations.

All who contribute to this important fundraiser will be invited to a large and unique celebration after the finally tally.

Contributions to “Save the Train” may be made to Museum Board of Directors, Pioneer Museum of Alabama, 248 US Highway 231, Troy, AL 36081 or at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.