Construction chugs along on schedule at Connellsville's railroad museum
By Laura Szepesi
Published: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, 5:16 p.m.
Don't let the frigid weather fool you.
Construction is under way at a heated pace inside the building that will showcase the late Harry Clark's model railroad display in downtown Connellsville.
Pounding hammers and clattering power saws recently greeted visitors to the structure along West Crawford Avenue. A crew from Shallenberger Construction is working at full tilt to finish the building, which will house the Connellsville Canteen, a cafe, as well as the model train display.
The 25- by 50-foot replica features mini Connellsville landmarks, including the B&O Railroad station on Water Street that was torn down amid controversy in the early 1980s. It was purchased from the Clark family by local entrepreneur Terry “Tuffy” Shallenberger, who donated the display to the Fayette County Cultural Trust last summer.
Construction is on schedule, according to Michael Edwards, the Fayette County Cultural Trust president, who also serves as the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority's executive director.
“We are planning a grand opening celebration for May,” Edwards said.
One hurdle remains.
Approximately $300,000 is needed to finish the project. Shallenberger purchased the model train display and has contributed greatly to its design and construction. The cultural trust purchased the lot, which was formerly the site of Burns Drug Store, with grant money obtained from the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau.
The structure will look similar to the old B&O Railroad station, thanks to design work completed by K-2 Engineering of Uniontown. The cultural trust, working hand-in-hand with Shallenberger, has applied for additional grants and is seeking help from area railroad buffs.
“We are seeking sponsors and welcome donations from local businesses and civic groups,” Edwards said.
Playing up the military aspect of the Connellsville Canteen — local women who fed 500,000 World War II soldiers and sailors who stopped at the B&O station during the war — the trust urges local residents to purchase commemorative dog tags.
Complete with beaded chains, the metal tags range in price from $25 to $500 a pair. More than $2,500 has been raised from the dog tags since they were introduced last fall. They are available at ArtWorks Connellsville Gallery and Learning Center along West Crawford Avenue next to the model railroad museum building.
The model railroad display was the lifelong hobby of Harry Clark of Normalville, who died in November 2011 at 91. Shallenberger initially displayed Clark's masterpiece of railroad history at the Wild Side, which was part of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort of Farmington.
Laura Szepesi is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Uniontown man sentenced in robbery spree
- Dunbar Twp.’s Upper Sandy Hollow Road, Falls Avenue face repairs
- Uniontown man sentenced to 12 years for burglaries
- Bullskin, Connellsville youngsters ‘paying it forward’
- Rural King Supply confirms store opening in Dunbar Township
- Connellsville rec board making plans for summer
- 2013 was a challenging year for Highlands Hospital
- Clinton Church of God to hold fish fries
- Connellsville FRIENDS hosting book sale Saturday
- Perry Township over projected winter budget
- Uniontown man acquitted of rape charge