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Lanterns And Train Memorabilia Donated To Baxter Depot Museum

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Lanterns And Train Memorabilia Donated To Baxter Depot Museum

Baxter Depot Museum has received additional 20th-century artifacts from the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.

Putnam County Archivist Glenn Jones said Joe McGovern presented the museum with memorabilia owned by his grandfather Philip Aloysius McGovern. Jones said the artifacts include two lanterns that Phillip McGovern used as a conductor on the L&N Railroad.

“A lot of young people and older people too, like to come to our museum and they like to look at actual train artifacts that were actually used by people,” Jones said. “I think it’s important for people to see, especially young people to see how these things actually look.”

Jones said that when the museum was founded, the group wanted to focus on the true history of Putnam County. With the addition of these artifacts, the museum will now feature areas more focused on the historical L&N railroads. Philip McGovern used these items while taking the railroad from Nashville to Knoxville during the 1920s.

Joe McGovern said that one of the lanterns may even have belonged to his great-grandfather. The lanterns have been with the McGovern family for generations, but McGovern said that this felt like a good time and a good place for the lanterns to end up.

“Going through some of the stuff I had in my basement, I found these and I thought, you know what, I bet somebody could use these better than I can, so I wanted to donate them to the museum,” McGovern said.

McGovern said that his grandfather began working for the railroad as a switchman in 1873 and worked there as a conductor and engineer until 1912.

“I hope they can see what they would look like compared to what a lantern looks like today,” McGovern said. “They’ve got a lot of nice glasswork on them and just, you know, just a historical thing that was used back in the 1800s.”

“This will be a great thing to add to our collection and then we can have an area that’s really got more train memorabilia,” Jones said. “I think it will be great to have whatever he wants to donate added to that to make the museum more train-oriented.”


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