This steam locomotive sits in R.A. Greene Park in Jackson. The Grand Trunk Western 5030 was built in 1912 and proudly pulled train cars along Michigan’s railroad tracks for years. On June 5th, 1923 A train was commissioned to take the Knights Templars of Michigan to a Masonic convention in Flint. The 5030 picked up passengers in Grand Rapids, Ionia, and stops along the way. As it was traveling near Durand the gravel roadbed gave way and the train derailed killing the engineer and fireman and three other passengers. 32 other Knight Templars riding the train were injured.
The locomotive was repaired and continued riding the rails of Michigan. It traveled to Jackson on a regular basis and after it was retired from service in the 1950s it was donated to the city. It is surrounded by chain-link fence, probably to keep people from climbing on it, but it feels more like a caged animal to protect people from getting hurt.
Last thing I read about it was that Jackson sold the locomotive to a historic train organization in Pennsylvania. As far as I know it is still in the park until funds are raised to move it to its new home out east.
PS. Thank you so much to all the people that came out to see me last night in Lakeview. It was nice to meet all of you, and thank you to the Tamarack District Library for Inviting me.
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