Historical Society opens new exhibit on county railroads

The Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia (CHSV) will open a new exhibit at the County Museum on Saturday, September 1,  entitled, “ Chesterfield County Railroads: From Mule Power to Steam Power.”

The new exhibit, which will run through the end of December this year, will highlight the importance of 19th century Chesterfield County railroads from the first railroad in Virginia, a mule-powered gravity track called the Chesterfield Railroad (opened in 1831), to the steam train network that handled freight and passenger traffic, turning the region into a transportation hub.

In addition to a display of historic railroad artifacts such as original train tickets and heavy-duty metal spikes used to nail iron tracks to wooden sleepers, the exhibit includes an original train schedule for the Bright Hope railroad, also known as the Tidewater & Western, which ran from Farmville to Bermuda Hundred until 1917 when the rails were torn up and shipped to Europe to aid with the Allies effort in World War I.

The new exhibit will also display a rare collection of historic photographs, including early 1900s Chester railroad workshops where three of Chesterfield County’s railroads crossed, train stations in Midlothian, Bon Air as well as Hallsboro. The County Museum is located on the historic 1917 Courthouse Green at 6813 Mimms Loop in Chesterfield. It is open Tuesday - Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and on Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  A $2 donation is suggested.

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