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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
from Head Engineer Time Smith

"I know all of you are wondering about the fire at Tweetsie and what in the
museum survived. I cant really comment on the cause of the fire as i
really do not know at this time. As many of you may know alot of the
artifacts and pictures in the museum were lost in the fire. But some of the
artifacts and photos did survive. Many of you were asking about the #11
plate. All I can say it is in safe hands and is in very good condition as
are the other surviving artifacts. Almost of photos that were lost have
were preserved in a digital format in 2007. I hope to see you all on
opening day which will be May 2.


link to story:

more recent story-Lightning blamed:

Tweetsie on WBTV

Here we are on the Porch of the Depot during RailFan Weekend this past September


Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Update from Tweetsie Mailing list:

Hi all,
I know I have been awfully quiet about this event. Over the last week
I have felt and acted like a relative has died. Had a hundred people
ask me about it around here, and just didn't want to talk about it any
more. Plus, I can no longer post from work, so I have less time to
post these days. Remember that if a major question comes up and I stay
silent during the day.
Anyway, I visited Tweetsie on Good Friday, and was allowed to search
for any surviving materials. Tim Smith and Jimmy had done a pretty
good job raking through the cinders, so there was little else to find.
Just so you can picture it, only one small portion of one wall of the
museum is still there, and it is laying over onto the railing, where
people sat every year to watch the trains come in. The museum is gone
down to the floor level. the greatest miracle is that the railroad tie
from the cranberry mine survived, though it had started to burn when
the firefighters got control. The four spikes are still in it, at
three foot spacing. Several other metal items were found, but except
for part of a 1950 Official Guide, and some photos under the layout,
everything is gone. the ticket case, the paintings on the walls, the
pictures, drawings, maps, everything.
I did speak to Chris about future plans. As of right now, a lot has
not been decided. The building will be removed when the insurance
adjustor is finished, but then it will only take a few days. Bathrooms
are the first consideration, for that building was ruined. Please
remember the theme park has to function, and those were the most used
restrooms. practicality has to come before anything else here at the
end of March.
That building housed a museum, a Thomas the Tank gift shop, a first
aid station, a couple of offices, and a snow cone shop. Almost every
square foot was utilized. While it is sensible that a new building
look like a depot, since it is right there at the tracks, it is not
absolutely necessary that it look like one. There have been several
suggestions on rebuilding a depot, but consider that any building
there needs to fit the look and feel of a wild west depot. And quite
probably, putting it at freight door height does not go well with
handicap restrictions these day.
Bottom line is that whatever building is put there will need to fit
the uses that a building at that location had. An old design had been
adapted. There is no reason to believe that a new building will be
exactly like the old.
Chris Robbins did assure me that there will be a museum at Tweetsie,
though probably not in the 08 season. It is likely that anything there
this season will be a temporary structure, put up to provide first aid
and other functions. All I can say is be patient.
Of course, I volunteer for Tweetsie, but in no way speak for them.
They ahve been very gracious to me over the years, and I hope to
continue to serve them as museum guy, and occasional historian.
Johnny Graybeal
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