304 N. Glover Drive, Longview, Texas 75601
It could be of interest to the readers of the Iron Men's Album Magazine to know that a new building to house artifacts collected by the Gregg County Historical Society is scheduled to be erected at the Gregg County Fair Grounds at Long View, Texas in the near future. For several years our Historical Society has been busy collecting artifacts of various kinds peculiar to this section and which were used in past years. The G. A. Kelly Plow Works, which began operations in 1864 and continued until 1972, has given us two ancient stationary steam engines one of which is a huge Corliss with a flywheel which weighs 16,000 lbs. The other engine is a GALES-BURG, and has a 9' high flywheel. An Oil Refining Company has indicated that they will give us two large OIL FIELD boilers. It has fallen my lot to have these engines and boilers moved to proper locations and properly set up, with new paint jobs and all necessary repairs made. We plan to have these engines in condition to operate by steam generated by the two steam boilers which, as already mentioned, will be given to us. An expert mechanic, one skilled in making steam whistles, has promised to make and give to us a whistle which can be heard for many miles about the country-side.
We plan for this effort to contribute to the forthcoming Bi-Centennial celebration scheduled for 1976. Also, the Texas State Railroad is being rebuilt in this section by the State Parks and Wildlife Commission, and will be one of the leading tourist attractions during this national celebration. This railroad was built chiefly by convict labor nearly 80 years ago, and is being rehabilitated by that same type of labor. Four steam locomotives will be used to power the tourist trains, running from Rusk, to Palestine, Texas, a distance of 32 miles. This railroad runs through some very beautiful country. Three parks will be available to tourists, with camping and hiking facilities. We are looking forward to having people from all sections of the nation to visit us during 1976.