For the Troy Daily News
TROY — On April 21, 1865, a train carrying the coffin of assassinated President Abraham Lincoln leaves Washington, D.C., on its way to Springfield, Ill., where he would be buried on May 4. The train carrying Lincoln’s body traveled through 180 cities and seven states on its way to Lincoln’s home state. In 1911, a prairie fire near Minneapolis, Minn., destroyed the train car that had so famously carried the 16th president’s body to its final resting place.
On Sept. 10-13 — 150 years after President Lincoln’s final journey, Troy Main Street and The Troy Foundation will showcase The Lincoln Funeral Train exhibit in downtown Troy.
The Funeral Train consists of a full-size reproduction of a 1860s era steam railroad locomotive, Number 63, named Leviathan, and tender. It was built about five years ago from plans provided by the National Park Service. It is a faithful reproduction to locomotives of the Civil War-era as would have been used on the actual funeral train. Over 24 known locomotives pulled the original train. The funeral car, United States, is a full-size reproduction of the original funeral car, built in 1864 for use by the president of the United States. President Lincoln’s only use of the car was to carry his remains from Washington, D.C., to Springfield for burial. The reproduction United States was completed in April 2015 and used at Springfield, Ill., on May 2-3, to start the 150th anniversary procession and reenactment of the original Lincoln burial activities including the coffin in the car. The original car was destroyed in a fire in 1911.
This exhibit will take place over a four-day period, Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 10-13, and will be located on Short Street, alongside “Return Visit,” a 30-foot sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and Modern Day Man, that has captured the attention of thousands of people as they visit our courthouse square and historic downtown.
The fee to view the inside of the train will be $5 per person, young children and students in gradeskindergarten through 12th grade will be admitted free. There will not be a charge to view the exhibit from the outside. School groups are encouraged to tour this display from 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 10-11. Exhibit hours for the general public will run from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
As with any large exhibit, volunteers are needed to help with the planning and implementation. If you or your community group would like to volunteer, contact Diana Thompson at (937) 339-1044.
For more information regarding the history of the Lincoln Funeral Train, contact renowned local author Scott Trostel at (937) 368-2489 or [email protected] For assistance with all other questions, contact Troy Main Street Executive Director Katherine Hayes at (937) 339-5455 or [email protected]