Hazard celebrates 100 years of the railroad

By: Maisie Insko Email
By: Maisie Insko Email

Before 1912 Hazard was a very different place than it is now.

"It was very isolated, people could not travel in and out of Hazard very readily at all." says Martha Quigley from the Bobby Davis Museum.

Boat and oxen carts were the only ways to travel in the early 1900's but the train changed all of that.

"Almost overnight the train brought opportunity I would say."

For the nearly 200 people living in Hazard at the time they welcomed the train with open arms.

And on June 17,1912 they came out to show their support as the first train rolled into town.

Quigley says most thought the train was designed for people but in fact the train served as a way to get services and supplies, especially coal.

"It completely facilitated the coal industry. There was no coal industry before the railroad." she says.

This in turn brought businessmen into the small town.

"The hotel had to double in size in order to accommodate the people that were coming to hazard on business."

Hazards economy exploded and with the population increase came roads and cars. Within a few decades Hazards downtown turned into something much like what we see now.

A centennial celebration will take place this at the William D. Gorman Bridge on Sunday to commemorate the anniversary.

After the event, the debut of a new art show called train graffiti will take place at the Bobby Davis Museum.

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