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Carter Railroad Museum to celebrate 10th anniversary


November is National Model Railroad Month and marks 10 years since the dedication of the George L. Carter Railroad Museum at East Tennessee State University. To celebrate, the museum is hosting a special anniversary event Saturday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m. The event is open to the public and refreshments will be provided.

The Carter Railroad Museum preserves the region’s historical ties to railroads and is dedicated to the memory of George L. Carter, who built the Clinchfield Railroad through 277 miles of mountainous terrain to carry coal from Eastern Kentucky to the Carolina Piedmont. In 1909, when the state’s selection committee visited the area while searching for a site for a proposed teachers college, Carter offered his 120-acre farm and $100,000 toward the establishment of the normal school, which became ETSU.

The museum’s model railroads are operated by volunteers from the Mountain Empire Model Railroader club (MEMRR) who provide information about local historic railroads and the basics of model railroading. The George L. Carter Chapter National Railway Historical Society and the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad Historical Society are also affiliated with the museum.

Located in the Campus Center Building at ETSU, the Carter Railroad Museum is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is no admission fee, but donations are welcome.

The museum can be identified by a flashing railroad-crossing signal at the back entrance to the Campus Center Building. Visitors should enter ETSU’s campus from State of Franklin Road onto Jack Vest Drive and continue east to 176 Ross Drive, adjacent to the flashing RR crossing sign.

For more information about the Carter Railroad Museum 10th anniversary celebration, contact Dr. Fred Alsop at 423-439-6838 or [email protected]  For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.