Freedom Train Visits Bluefield

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
September 28, 1948

Freedom Train Is Here! Nation's Most Valued Documents May Be Seen

"Train" Stationed At N&W Freight Station; Open To General Public At 1 P.M. Today


The "Spirit of 1776" will roll into Bluefield today with the seven cars of the Freedom Train, bearing 127 of the nation's most priceless historical documents.

The Train will be stationed at the team tracks adjacent to the Norfolk and Western Freight station and will be open to the general public from 1 o'clock this afternoon to 10 o'clock tonight.

From 9 a. m. to 9:30 a. m., Mayor A. Harry Vest, Dr. E. C. Wade, chairman of the Freedom Train committee, and many local and visiting dignitaries will be taken through the Train prior to the offi[c]ial opening.

Students View Train

From 9:30 a. m. to 1 p. m., several thousand school children from Mercer and surrounding counties will be transported to Bluefield by buses where the students will be taken through the Train by their respective teachers and bus drivers.

Entrance for the line going through the Train will be just below the freight station ramp opposite Alder street. The crowd will be lined two abreast inside poles as far back as it is necessary for it to extend. About 25 feet from the entrance ramp, the line will be broken into single file, in which way it will go through the Train.

Visitors will sign two scrolls at the intersection of Larch street and Bluefield avenue just west of the exit, where the National Guard will act as Honor Guard.

When visitors leave the Train, they will walk west across Bluefield avenue to Juniper street, but school children who want to catch buses will walk on west to the bus stop at Hale's Culvert.

Special Officers Present

To control the congested areas will be a detail of 19 city policemen, 18 state policemen, 8 railway agents, and the National Guard. A traffic detail will consist of 19 men, with one officer at each intersection from Cypress steret [sic] all the way to Beech street. No parking will be allowed on Bluefield avenue from Spruce street on west.

In the event of any accident that may accur [sic] in the crowded areas, a first aid station has been set up between Alder and Elm streets. Immediate ambulance service will alos [sic] be available.

The Freedom Train's visit will climax and officially close Rededication Week, which was proclaimed by Mayor A. Harry Vest in connection with the Train's appearance here.

During the past week patriotic programs and ceremonies have been conducted throughout the schools, civic, fraternal, and religeous [sic] organizations.

In churches throughout the area Sunday, "Freedom of Religeon [sic] Day" was marked. Sermons and special programs were prepared in connection with Rededication Week.

Today at noon the Bluefield Rotary club will be host in joint meeting of the Lions and Kiwanis clubs. Dr. E. C. Wade will have charge of the program which will feature the directors of the Freedom Train and other visiting dignitaries.

The Freedom Train's visit to Bluefield today will make the 329th city in which the Train has appeared since it started its 13th month 33,000 mile tour last September 17, 1947, in Philadelphia.

Bluefield is the only city in southern West Virginia where the Train is scheduled to appear.

Government and Politics

West Virginia Archives and History