Railroaders Memorial Museum
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Coordinates: The Railroaders Memorial Museum is a railroad museum in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The museum concerns the contributions of railroaders and their families to American life and industry. The museum also operates the visitor center at Horseshoe Curve.
For more than a century, Altoona was one of the most important rail facilities in the United States. The city was home to the Altoona Works: the Pennsylvania Railroad's (PRR) repair and maintenance shops, locomotive construction facility, and test department. Altoona's location at the foot of the Allegheny front and its proximity to the Horseshoe Curve route over the mountains made the city a key location in the PRR's operations. By the 1920s, the Altoona railroad works employed 15,000 workers; by 1945 the PRR's facilities at Altoona had become the world's largest rail shop complex.
In 2004, several members of the Ghost Hunters team investigated the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum, where the spirit of a railroad worker has reportedly been seen walking the halls. The museum did not prove to be haunted.
- 1966 - An ad is placed in the Altoona Mirror searching for parties interested in establishing a Railroad Museum for Altoona.
- 1967 - The group forms the Altoona Railway Museum Club and adopts the name Altoona Railway Museum Association.
- 1968 - The National Railway Historical Society grants a charter to the association. Chapter members begin collecting railroad memorabilia and displaying historical objects at civic events, etc.
- 1972 - The name Railroaders Memorial Museum is officially incorporated.
- 1975 - Museum acquires the private rail car of Charles M. Schwab - The Loretto. The Altoona Redevelopment Authority sells the former Penn Central Railroad shop complex land to the Center Associates with an agreement providing that Center Associates make a 5-acre (20,000 m2) plot available for the Museum.
- 1979 - Ground-breaking ceremonies are held on May 12.
- 1980 - Museum celebrates grand opening on September 21.
- 1985 - Museum acquires the PRR K4s #1361 locomotive and moves it from the Horseshoe Curve to Altoona for restoration.
- 1987-1988 - K4s excursions haul thousands as the “Pride of Altoona” returns to the rails.
- 1993 - Museum acquires former PRR master mechanics building and an adjoining parcel of land.
- 1995 - Renovations to the master mechanics building begin.
- 1997 - Exhibit fabrication and installation work begin.
- 1998 - Grand opening of the new Railroaders Memorial Museum held on April 25.
- 2004 - Ghost Hunters investigates the Museum, however they found non conclusive evidence that it was haunted.
- 2007 - RMM board fires management and lets Salone Marketing Group run the museum.
- 2020 - RMM hires Joseph A. DeFrancesco as Executive Director of the organization.
- Kibler, William (2007-11-01). "RR museum strikes deal with firm". Altoona Mirror. Archived from the original on 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
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