Trip to assess "Old 100" continued
The issues facing us are, (1) is it possible to bring #100 back home? (2) will it be possible to rebuild it for a static (non-operating) display? (3) will it be time consuming and a lot of hard work? (4) will it be expensive? There may be other issues to come up, but the answer to the first three is YES. The fourth issue has sort of a "yes-no" answer. It will be expensive, but perhaps not as expensive as we first reported. WVRR is willing to assist in the finances once we get closer to consummating the arrangement. They will give us assistance and advice on obtaining grants and perhaps other funding.
# 100 is a symbol of what was right – and wrong – with the formative years of the town of Century. It is a symbol of not only this little town, but of all over south Alabama, too. The Alger-Sullivan Lumber Company touched the lives of many, many people beyond the restrictive borders of this little town. It can remind us where our ancestors were – who they were - and how far we’ve come. Perhaps as much or more then any other artifact in the archives of the Alger-Sullivan Historical Society, this ancient Baldwin locomotive #100 can help us appreciate the times of our past.
We need our railroading friends to use their influence and expertise in working out details for bringing it home. We’ve already had several local folks, non-members, to volunteer their time and labor to put the engine back together, but there will be painting, welding, metalworking, and machining to be done, too. Our organization will have to place its full support behind this effort – and the community will be asked to pitch in their backing, too – financially, emotionally and even physically. This is imperative for a task such as this.
You folks reading this article will need to contact us and pledge your support. Writing letters to local congressional and legislative representatives will help to convince them of the need for their support, especially in this election year. Perhaps the town governments of Century and Flomaton will consider working with us in this project – who knows?
(Note: this was written three years before the engine was actually moved to Century - thanks to all who made that possible!)