There’s an exceptional opportunity for us here in Boulder City at the Southern Nevada Railway Museum, located at 601 Yucca Street that is pretty darn cool…if they can get the funding for it.
We’d never heard of this, and suspect you haven’t either, but there are these very special railway cars that were given to the United States in 1949 as a gift of ‘Thanks’ from France after WWII. They are known as the “Merci” Train box cars.
We’ve got a Wiki link for you HERE, but the sum and substance is this: In 1947 the US collected some $40 million worth of donations for the French people devastated by the events in the war. This was a grass roots effort all across America at the time, and Nevada, as a very sparsely populated state sent 2 full rail cars full of goods.
As a “Thank You” (or, Merci!) back to us, the French shipped 49 rail cars over to the US. One for each state in our nation, at the time (48) with 1 to share between Hawaii and Washington D.C.
These cars are full of history in so many ways. They carried US soldiers in France to war in WWI. And then again in WWII. And then during the Holocaust, these same rail cars were sadly used to carry captive Jewish people off to concentration camps. If those walls could talk, you can see, they are literally rich with layers of their human stories.
And…if Randy Hees, the Director of the Railway Museum here in town can raise the funds he needs, the Nevada car, which has been in Carson City for years, can go on display here, in Boulder City.
But, he needs $7,000 to make that happen.
Funds are needed to transport the car here and to set up the viewing area. The Nevada car has not been on consistent display in our state for over 15 years – so you can see, this truly is exceptional for us!
He has applied for a grant, but wants folks to know that just as before people pulled together to make something happen, there’s an opportunity now to do the same.
Tax deductible donations can be sent to.the Friends of the Nevada Southern Railway (a 501c 3 organization) at 600 Yucca Street, Boulder City, 89005.