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 13, 2017 10am -3pm Now in its seventh year, National Train Day is a coast-to-coast celebration of America’s love of trains. And with rail taking a lead role in improving the future of travel in America, there’s a lot to love! Get on board with the Friends of the Lee Hall Depot at our train show featuring models of all scales, vendors and special children's activities. Denbigh Community Center, 15198 Warwick Blvd., Newport News. Free.
Fall Festival of Folklife
Weekend of October 7-8, 2017
10 am - 5 pm Join the Friends of the Lee Hall Depot at the 41st annual Fall Festival in Newport News Park. It’s a weekend of autumnal fun featuring model trains, railroad memorabilia and our 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 1, 2017 7 pm
I Owe My Soul to the Company Store
Presented by Chris Garcia
Founder of the Coal Wars Living History Project
Details of the hard scrabble existence of coal miners and their families who lived in “company towns” during the early 1900s. Workers were not paid in cash, but scrip, good only at company stores. They usually lived in company housing, the rent for which was deducted from their pay. This system of debt labor persisted until strikes of the United Mine Workers of America and affiliated unions forced an end to such practices.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 7 pm
I've Been Working on the Railroad
Presented by Kenneth L. Jones
President, Lee Hall Train Station Foundation
It's all aboard for a behind the scenes look at life on the railroad as certified steam locomotive fireman/engineer Ken Jones relates his fascinating experiences working with trains for the RF&P and Western RR and at Busch Gardens.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 7 pm
The Wreck of the Old 97
Presented by Historian Larry G. Aaron
Author of The Wreck of the Old 97
The infamous disaster of a Southern Railway mail train trying to make up lost time by exceeding the speed limit. On a sharp downhill curve just before Danville, Virginia, the train could not be slowed. The engineer blasted the whistle in warning as the runaway locomotive left the trestle and plunged into a ravine, killing nine persons. Immortalized in song, poetry and lore, the tragedy of September 27, 1903 remains a haunting episode in America’s railroad history.
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 7 pm
Virginia's Legendary Santa Trains
Presented by Authors Doug Riddell and Donna Strother Deekins
Beginning in the 1950s, department stores around the commonwealth teamed up with rail lines to create a magical Christmas adventure: the Santa Train. Delight-filled children from Richmond and Alexandria to Roanoke flocked to see and ride the trains sponsored by Miller & Rhoads, Cox Department Store, J.C. Penny and many others. They traversed the rails across Virginia with Old Saint Nick himself. Join railroad author Doug Riddell and former Miller & Rhoads Snow Queen Donna Strother Deekens as they recount heartwarming memories of Christmases past and chronicle the history of Virginia’s Kris Kringle trains.