Calendar of Events
J O I N T H E C E L E B R A T I O N
NATIONAL TRAIN DAY
Saturday, May 12, 2018 10am -3pm
National Train Day is a coast-to-coast celebration of America’s love of trains. Climb aboard with the Friends of the Lee Hall Depot at our train show featuring operating model layouts of all scales, vendors, a rideable train, costumed rail characters, door prizes and lots of special children’s activities.
Denbigh Community Center, 15198 Warwick Blvd., Newport News. Free.
Fall Festival of Folklife
Weekend of October 6-7, 2018
10 am - 5 pm
Join the Friends of the Lee Hall Depot at the 45th annual Fall Festival in Newport News Park. It’s a weekend of autumnal fun featuring railroad memorabilia and our Great Pumpkin Patch, plus hundreds of crafters, heritage demonstrations, continuous entertainment on four stages, children’s activities, food and more! Exit 250B from I-64. Parking fee.
Foundation Board Meetings
The Lee Hall Train Station Foundation Board meets at 6 pm on the first Tuesday of each month except July. Meetings are open to the public. Second floor of the 1884 Warwick Courthouse 14421 Old Courthouse Way, Newport News
Foundation General Meetings
The foundation hosts four general meetings a year featuring speakers on a wide spectrum of railroad subjects. These engaging and informative events are open to the public.
Second floor of the 1884 Warwick Courthouse 14415 Old Courthouse Way, Newport News Dates subject to change
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 7 pm
This Old Caboose
Presented by William Fox
In December 2015, a 1926 Georgia RR caboose was moved from the Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents in New Kent County to the Norge Depot, marking the first time a train had come to the station in 46 years. For several years prior and since the car was donated, the Norge Depot Association has been involved in raising funds for its relocation and now its restoration. William Fox, a Friend of both Lee Hall and Norge, will share the saga of this ongoing project. There are parallels to be learned as the Lee Hall Train Station Foundation continues its effort to refurbish and move its WW II military hospital car to the depot.
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 7 pm
Great Train Wrecks
Presented by Michael Holtzclaw
Hold onto your hats as trains variously collide, derail, crash and burn. Presenter Michael Holtzclaw will relate infamous RR disasters immortalized in song and on film. A few of those featured: the 1903 Wreck of the Old 97, when a speeding mail locomotive plunged off a trestle near Danville, Virginia killing 11 persons and the Great 1918 Circus Train Wreck of Hessville, Indiana, in which 86 performers perished from fire.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 7 pm
The Virginia Central Railroad
Presented by Historian Bryon Faidley
former COHS historian, Civil War re-enactor and author of Covington
The Virginia Central was an early state road that operated between 1850-1860 from Richmond to Covington. With origins in the Louisa RR chartered in 1836, the line expanded westward and at its height ran 206 miles through mountainous terrain. As a prime target for Federal raids during the Civil War, much of its track was destroyed, but was completely back in service by July 1865. Thanks to financing from industrialist Collis P. Huntington, the Chesapeake and Ohio was formed in 1868 from the merger of the Virginia Central and the Covington and Ohio. Byron Faidley, former COHS historian, Civil War re-enactor and author of Covington, will trace the story of this pivotal railroad that carved its way through the Virginia countryside to link the Piedmont with the Blue Ridge and subsequently spawned the intercontinental C&O.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 7 pm
A Brief History of Virginia Railroads
Presented by John DeMayo, and Calvin Boles
Presented by John DeMayo and Calvin Boles, guiding members of the Old Dominion Chapter of the National Historical Railway Society. Based out of the Hull Street Depot in Richmond, this nonprofit organization has pursued a similar path as the Lee Hall Train Station Foundation to restore a building and a variety of rolling stock, create an impressive railroad heritage center and operate it with volunteers. In addition to their overview of the state’s rail legacy, they will bring a collection of vintage railroad telegraphy equipment used to demonstrate telegraph operations of yore.