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How the
Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum Began
page 2 of 2

Monday - Saturday

The Townsend Chamber members determined that saving #2147 and its stationary public display at Townsend would be a worthwhile community service project for their organization. They subsequently authorized Mr. Storie to negotiate the purchase of #2147 and later to organize its shipment to Townsend where it would be displayed temporarily on grounds which were part of the original lumber mill site.

Mr. Storie and Mr. Bob Hammond organized a loosely formed group of local volunteer individuals who, along with donated corporate materials and equipment, effected the cost-free 200 mile-plus shipment of #2147 and a caboose from Robinsville to Townsend on Thanksgiving weekend, 1982. This unusual holiday movement of oversize loads was by special permission of the governments of North Carolina and Tennessee.




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Engine #2147 rolled onto its temporary home track in Townsend at 8:45pm on Sunday, November 28, 1982, in the midst of continuous rain with intermittant high winds which drenched the moving crew while they labored for a period of four hours to construct an unloading ramp with materials salvaged from the Robinsville site.

The Chamber members and train moving crew were all greatly moved by the crowd of residents who met and waited through the rain with the crew for #2147 to roll home.

Mr. Storie was contacted in the final days of moving preparations by Mrs. Sam Caughorn, a friend of Mr. Charles Everett, and advised that he wished to donate the Walland, Tennessee, Railroad Station building to be located with #2147. This station was originally located at the terminal end of the Little River Railroad in Walland.

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The Chamber and other interested persons had tentatively begun to explore the idea of a not-for-profit corporation to retire the capital costs concerned with the return of #2147 and the unexpected gift of the Walland Station caused a spontaneous idea to create a modest cultural heritage museum in association with #2147.

Interested persons met at an advertised meeting and organized the not-for-profit Little River Railroad and Lumber Company, Inc., on the evening of November 30, 1982, in the offices of Blount National Bank at Townsend. A Board of Directors was elected and the Board in turn elected corporate officers from its membership. A Primary Charter had been developed and was submitted to the State of Tennessee for approval and has subsequently been approved.

The corporate officers determined that the Company should be managed on a department basis with each department charged with the responsibility to cause that department of function effectively in its area of concern with corporate activities. The thrust of this decision was to allow decentralized decisions in the day-to-day operations of the corporation.

The first concerns of the Corporation were to define the museum's present and future form and to locate a suitable site for its location.

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