Connellsville Canteen, railroad display to open Saturday
The trains are running on time in Connellsville — real trains and model trains. The city's railroad heritage will be celebrated on Saturday, at the opening of the Connellsville Canteen, which features Harry Clark's Indian Creek Valley Model Railroad Display.
Fittingly, the date coincides with National Train Day. Amtrak started National Train Day in 2008 to promote railroad travel and to celebrate the anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad. On May 10, 1869, the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad met in Promontory, Utah. Sealed with a golden spike, it was the United States' first coast-to-coast rail system.
Railroad stations nationwide observe National Train Day with special events. Connellsville — which has a railroad history dating back to the mid-1800s — has reason to celebrate with hype this year, with the official opening of the Connellsville Canteen and model railroad display.
The Canteen is along West Crawford Avenue downtown, next to ArtWorks Connellsville and across the street from Lions Square and Connellsville Redevelopment Authority. The project was made possible with the teamwork of local contractor Terry “Tuffy” Shallenberger of Connellsville, the Harry Clark family of Normalville and Fayette County Cultural Trust.
Everyone is invited to visit the Canteen from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day. There will be free refreshments and a peek at the late Harry Clark's model railroad display, a 25-by-50-foot extravaganza that features miniature local landmarks, including the city's B&O Railroad Station that was torn down in 1981.
That very same station, which was located along Water Street, was where more than 600 local female volunteers fed more than half a million troops during World War II. Clark's model railroad, purchased by Shallenberger several years ago, was trucked to Connellsville in autumn 2012. The Canteen building was constructed around it. In recent months, Greg Clark has lovingly refurbished his father's lifelong hobby, and its trains are chugging along, preening for public view.
There will be vintage World War II music during Saturday's celebration and a video about the Canteen years. There's also plenty of 1940s memorabilia to see — sentimental items provided by the families of local veterans.
ArtWorks Connellsville, a nonprofit showcase for more than 75 local artists and authors, will be open during the event, as well. Among the items for sale will be the Canteen video, a project sponsored by the Connellsville Area Historical Society.
In the words of Daniel Cocks, ArtWorks volunteer director and Fayette Cultural Trust board of directors member: “Seeing Harry Clark's model trains in motion is wonderful. As people watch its movement, there is a railroad soundtrack that goes with it, and often there's also the sound of real trains passing through Connellsville nearby. It's an amazing experience.”
Laura Szepesi is a contributing 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.
- 3 men to stand trial over runaway Latrobe foster children
- Connellsville area poverty simulation opens people’s eyes
- Albert Gallatin bus driver pleads guilty to sexual assault
- Connellsville considers axing paid firefighters
- Longtime Connellsville area business closes its doors
- Fayette jail foes want county to be stricken as intervenor in case
- Connellsville Health Board airs ordinance issues
- Fayette Friends of Animals volunteer uses talent to help get her shelter animals adopted
- Breakneck Church to hold flea market, bake sale
- Sirochman: Fayette genealogy workshop planned for Wednesday
- Old water treatment plant in Dunbar Township destroyed by fire