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By Larry G. Aaron

With speedy Mail educate No. ninety seven an hour not on time, locomotive engineer Steve Broady, based on legend, swore to place her in Spencer on time" or "put her in Hell." via eyewitness studies and courtroom stories, historian Larry Aaron expertly items jointly the occasions of September 27, 1903, at Danville, Virginia, while the outdated ninety seven plummeted off a forty-five-foot trestle into the ravine under. With extra twists and turns than the railroad tracks on which the outdated ninety seven ran, this e-book chronicles the tale of 1 of the main recognized teach wrecks in American heritage, in addition to the debate surrounding "The smash of the previous 97," that almost all well-known ballad, which secured the outdated ninety seven a spot in the annals of yankee folklore."

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Particular thank you visit a few others who helped with particular requests: Jason Moore and Bridget Bradley of the District of Columbia Public Library, in addition to Kim Zablud, unique Collections supervisor there; Piper Bowman, circuit court docket deputy clerk for Danville, Virginia, and in addition Trish lengthy from the clerk’s workplace; Lynne Bejorneson, govt director, and Jonothan Scollo, chairman of the board, on the Danville Museum of excellent Arts and historical past; Adam Goebel and Sonya Wolen of the Danville technology middle; Dr. Kenneth Ball, chairman of the Mechanical Engineering division of Virginia Tech, in addition to engineering scholars Preston Stoakes and John Meier; the employees, specifically Regina Rush, on the Small particular Collections Library on the collage of Virginia; Henry Mitchell of Mitchell’s courses in Chatham, Virginia; William Gosnell of Pittsylvania County, Virginia; Carol Searcy of PIP Printers; David “Hutch” Hutcheson of Virginia MultiMedia; Alfred Scott for his senior thesis examine at the authorship of the outdated ninety seven ballad; Melissa Dabbs and Corey Furches of town of Danville’s GIS department; Harry Haynes, supervisor of the Museum of the center Appalachians in Saltville, Virginia; and Kinny Rorrer, retired background professor at Danville group university and old-time song authority. a few interviews have been carried out with descendants of these who have been interested in the break of outdated ninety seven, have been eyewitnesses or differently had a connection ultimately. My because of every one of them for his or her time and contribution: Nancy Giles, William Scruggs, Danville urban councilman David Luther, Howard Johnson, Bruce Clapp, Tipton Kodejs, Edwin Lawless III, Steve Maupin, Sarah Lester Adkinson, Ginger Gentry, Ann Shearer, Lankford Blanks, Fred Ingram, Henry Kritzer and Dianne McMahon. a lot appreciation is going to my former editor on the background Press, Laura All, who first assisted me with this book. thank you additionally to give publishing director Adam Ferrell, senior editor Jaime Muehl and coping with editor Julie Foster for his or her kindness and counsel to boot. My buddies Eddy and Rosanne Lloyd, in addition to Dudley and Bonnie Dawson (an English instructor who helped edit the manuscript), supplied wanted social breaks from the consistent attempt desirous about scripting this booklet. And my spouse, Nancy, is owed appreciation for her knowing and persistence as I committed myself to this undertaking. In discovering picture illustrations regarding the ruin of outdated ninety seven for the canopy of this booklet, I stumbled upon one I had by no means noticeable prior to at Crossroads eating place in Gretna, Virginia, the place educate photos beautify the consuming rooms. proprietor Fred Ingram, whose grandfather, Frank Ingram, overlooked his project on previous ninety seven at the day of the destroy, instructed me the tale approximately how he got here by way of the image. A hunter used to be jogging throughout the woods within the county and stumbled upon an outdated deserted apartment, a lot dilapidated. at the wall, secure by way of a body, was once a watercolor of the break of the outdated ninety seven, which the hunter rapidly retrieved and taken to the eating place.

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