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Museum to celebrate Midwestern railroads

By Kenneth Medley
On September 4, 2013

The George L. Carter Railroad Museum will be showcasing Midwestern railroads this Saturday as part of their monthly Heritage Days.  
The Mountain Empire Model Railroaders has built a large display that features landscapes and town centers for the viewing pleasure of the community.          The museum combines prototypical railroading history as well as skills in craftsmanship with model railroads, artifacts, photographs and reference books that are all about railroading.
The director of the museum, Dr. Fred Alsop, is hoping for 150 to 200 patrons to come out  and enjoy a free display that is historical and important to the campus.
Community members may be interested to know that Johnson City, TN was originally founded as Johnson's Depot and was a stop on the rail line that ran from Bristol, TN to Knoxville, TN and later evolved into the city that ETSU calls home.  
George L. Carter, from whom the museum derives its name, built the Clinchfield Railroad that originally hauled coal from Kentucky. The old Clinchfield line is now the CSX line on the southern side of campus and is still in operation today.  
Carter was an entrepreneur who convinced the State Selection Committee to build the school in 1909 and donated 120 acres of land and $100,000 for the school project.
Highlighting the Midwest's rail lines is an opportunity for the museum to display locomotives, rolling stock and cabooses that some of the people in this community might not be accustomed to seeing.  This also gives the MEMRR the chance to showcase their craftsmanship in building the displays and the trains themselves.
The George L. Carter Museum is located in the Campus Center building, with the entrance between the Campus Center Building main entrance and Brooks Gym.
The entrance is indicated by the Cross Buck or railroad sign with flashing lights located at a railroad crossing and next to the door.  
"When the red lights are on, we are in and open at 10 o'clock in the morning to three in the afternoon on Saturdays," said Alsop.
The museum, which is operated by volunteers from the Mountain Empire Model Railroaders, hopes to provide a family day event for the entire community.  
The Carter Museum holds a Heritage Day on the last Saturday of every month and showcases different eras in railroading or railroads across the United States.  
The Heritage Days are always free and the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Be sure to come out and support the community.  
To find out more about the museum, visit or talk to the members of the club at the event.  
The club has open memberships and encourages that those interested in or experienced in model railroading inquire about membership.

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