What clues do newly released prison records hold for a project to memorialize incarcerated laborers who perished during dangerous railroad work? Find out during an upcoming virtual Lunch & Learn program hosted by the State Archives, “The RAIL Project: New Discoveries in the State Archives.” Presenters will provide an overview of railroad construction in the mountains of North Carolina and the Railroad and Incarcerated Labor (RAIL) memorial project.
Dr. Darin Waters, Deputy Secretary for the Office of Archives and History, will introduce this Black History Month program. Lead researchers for the RAIL project: Dr. Dan Pierce, history professor at UNC Asheville, and Steve Little, Mayor of Marion, will discuss the scope of the project and how new discoveries are shaping plans for the project’s future. Learn about the building of the Mountain Division of the Western N.C. Railroad (from Old Fort to Ridgecrest). Newly released state prison records, housed in the State Archives, have provided additional information about those working, and at times dying, under dangerous conditions.
The event is scheduled Friday, February 16, from noon to 1 p.m., and will take place on Zoom. Register in advance at the registration button above.
Example showing service and death on the Western N.C. Railroad, North Carolina State Prison Descriptive Register, volume 9, 1869-1884, State Archives of North Carolina