PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – This week’s One Tank Trip brings us to the Princeton Railroad Museum. They have a vast array of artifacts and antiques from the time of the Virginian Railroad.
According to the museum’s director Patricia Smith, the Virginian Railroad is largely responsible for Princeton’s initial growth in the early 20th century.
“In 1900 there were 900 people in Princeton, and then the Virginian Railroad came. In 1910 there were 3,000 people in Princeton.”
Princeton was actually burned to the ground by the confederate army during the civil war, and had a hard time regaining a stable population before the railroad came by. The museum serves as a walk through time of what these railroad workers did.
The museum is also celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, and thanks the community for their contributions.
“It took a lot of years to get up and running and get all the artifacts. The more people that were aware we were here, the more railroad people came and brought us things they had saved. So now after 15 years, you’ll see that we’re full of artifacts but we still get new things every day.”
The museum also has a real caboose from the Virginian Railroad. The caboose is actually where the conductor would live on long voyages. The caboose is right next to the three remaining train tracks that still run through Mercer County.
And one of the largest highlights of the museum is a scaled model of the Virginian Railroad and a large portion of Mercer County. It gives you something to look at and really understand just what things looked like back in the day.
“And the nice thing is people can come here and see for themselves, not just hear the stories.”
The Princeton railroad museum is open seven days a week in historic downtown Princeton. It’s a great way to spend some time with your family and learn about local history. And you can there no problem in just one tank of gas.