Updated: Dec 7, 2021
Pictured from L to R: Bill Lowe, Brandon Harper, Lucy Dormont, Dr. Richard Abney, Dr. Jim Purdy, Jim Hobgood and Tyler Carroll.
As we round out the year 2021, we are pleased to announce a major development for both Meridian, Mississippi and our organization. When we started this nonprofit a year ago, we knew that it would not be easy.
With Meridian's rich history in the rails, we knew it was crucial for the museum to be right along the railway tracks. We'd like to begin our story in the year of 1991. In 1991 a very special man named Jack Stack owned what was formerly the Railway Express Agency Building which is located along Front Street next to Union Station. The Railway Express Agency, founded as the American Railway Express Agency and later renamed the American Railway Express Inc., was a national package delivery service that operated in the United States from 1918 to 1975. In 1991, Mr. Stack donated the REA building to the City of Meridian for railroad museum purposes only. His dream was to see this piece of property not only pay homage to its history, but also to the history of Meridian.
We came to know Mr. Stack's family and learned so much about Mr. Stack himself. People around town remember him as someone who was always giving back to the community. The family shared this photo of Mr. Stack and we immediately felt his loving spirit. It became our mission to honor Jack's legacy by creating the best railroad museum that we could.
That dream was fulfilled this past week when the City of Meridian and council voted unanimously to donate the REA building to Meridian Rails Historical Society. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are excited to embark on this next year with a permanent home for the museum. Our current plans include stabilizing the building and coming up with a new operating schedule that fits the needs of the community. Stay tuned for our daily operating schedule and new programs to be release in the beginning of 2022.
As always, we thank you for your continued support. Your donations, kind words and moral support mean more than we can ever express. Thank you for helping us to #KeepTheirStoriesAlive
Ways to donate:
Mail checks to 1200 62nd Street Meridian, MS 39305
Visit Great Southern Bank (any location) and ask to donate to Meridian Rails Historical Society.
Visit Wells Fargo at 2115 5th St Suite A, Meridian, MS 39301 to donate to our endowment fund.