John Henry Still On The Move

How much freight has moved across the railroad lines John Henry helped build?
That’s probably impossible to calculate. The railroad came through southern West Virginia in 1873, and trains have been passing over those rails ever since. Much of it was thanks to hard work of men like John Henry.
Well, John Henry made a move of his own a few weeks ago. His statue, that is.

John Henry Statue Moving to New Location. Photo seen in the Charleston Gazette

After the John Henry statue weathered years of display at its original location on Rt. 3 near Talcott, the Hilldale/Talcott Ruritan Club has  made a move to protect his image for years to come.
With the help of the newly formed John Henry Historical Park Steering Committee, the statue, after a trip to a metal wright to repair bullet holes in the arm and head, will return to its new resting place. The John Henry Historical Park is at the mouth of the Great Bend Tunnel.


The John Henry Historical Park

It took many years for the Ruritan Club to acquire the 26 acres that the new park will encompass. It will include a stage for the John Henry Days celebration that takes place in July, along with a walking trail and educational interpretations of his place in railroad history. It will also include outdoor recreation opportunities for the local communities.
Phase one in this project is a new road, parking area, and placing the John Henry Statue on a new brick pedestal in the park. This will be complete when the statue arrives back from its repairs.


The Purpose

The purpose of the park is to educate future generations on the sacrifices made by working class Americans like John Henry that propelled this country in a time growth.  The celebration of John Henry helps shine a light on essential elements of the heritage of not only this area, but of the country too.
It will also provide a much needed recreational venue for the citizens of the surrounding rural communities.
Do you know the classic story of John Henry, the steel-drivin’ man?

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