locked Re: Drawing and Maps in the SRHA Archives

George Eichelberger


Your information about Erlanger and the depot is interesting but yet another example that historical groups and model railroad clubs CANNOT trust or rely on municipalities to provide, and not change its mind about, facilities. OR, as in the case of SRHA, the management of the facility decided, because they were a “department” of the City of Kennesaw, they could exercise whatever authority they chose. (more on that in a moment.)  

From almost the time SRHA moved into the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, GA, we had to deal with newly minted academics that thought they were experts in all things related to railroads, preservation, scanning, etc., etc. If staff members “were busy”, we had to delay the start of our work sessions to accommodate their schedules. 

I had a conversation with two staff members (they complained about me not being respectful as museum management told them to do as often as possible) about scanning photographic negatives. As they were instructing me about things such as film resolution, the “dpi” to use, scanning formats,. etc. I realized, and finally asked if they had EVER taken a photo using a film camera or were in a darkroom. I was not so much shocked that they never had as I was they were willing to argue with me about things they knew nothing about.

SRHA eventually sued the museum to remove our collection. Suing a municipality in GA is very difficult, esp. when you realize they have unlimited, taxpayer funded, legal resources. Although the fight took significant time and money, there was absolutely no way the Museum could win in court. The museum had signed an agreement with SRHA in 2002-03 as as a "501-c-3 charity registered in Georgia”. When we were looking for the legal address to serve the lawsuit, we were amazed (!) that there was not/never had been anything by that name registered with the IRS or the State of Georgia! (The agreement was worthless!)

Investing in a building beyond the control of any governmental agency has been shown to be the best thing to do over and over.


PS Some day, I’ll rant about how the Kennesaw Museum “hijacked” the entire David Salter photographic collection…..

On Apr 5, 2021, at 7:50 PM, CMayhew <chris.mayhew611@...> wrote:


I just did a quick review of Carl Condit's excellent book "The Railroad and The City," which has a whole chapter on the attempts to build a union station with the serious attempts starting in 1901, and of course the plan that was actually adopted not happening until Cincinnati Union Terminal was created in the 1920s. I don't see this plan mentioned in his excellent book, which covers multiple locations, designs and artistic renderings of what the proposed station would look like. 

If those plans do exist, and I'm not saying they don't, then I have not seen them for that location (yet). I'll ask around on this though, as we have others who know CUTs development better than I do. I have a lot of valuation maps and drawings with proposals for where this station would have been built (many done around the time period of this letter). This is fascinating. There were so many plans that just were not acted upon. It's possible something like that resides in our club's holdings (and it just hasn't been indexed).

Maybe the club will be in a position in a year or to offer something if SRHA wanted to do another Cincinnati convention again, but right now whether the club will go back to Tower A in CUT or do something else remains in question. Really, it is THE QUESTION.

I was in college when the Erlanger depot was restored. I took some pictures of it being repainted into the current colors. What happens to that depot's interior is now an interesting question as the mayor has a plan to remodel the depot and remove the local historical society from the depot. So, that bears watching too. It's a city-owned depot now in a city-owned park with a view of the railroad. I'm sure the depot itself will stand for a long time, but how the city will use it is now in question. It has been a community museum with lots of Southern Railway railroadiana up until now. Perhaps some of that will stay in there. It should.



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