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Platform takes shape at depot museum

Construction continues on the train viewing platform and fire truck display structure at the Crossroads Museum.

Staff photo by Zack Steen

By Jebb Johnston

jjohnston@dailycorinthian.com

A day will come when train enthusiasts can sit comfortably on an elevated platform and watch freight trains roar through the historic rail junction alongside the depot.

The building taking shape near the depot during the last few months will make that possible, along with housing the city's historic fire truck.

"We're building this structure for the city," said Crossroads Museum Director Brandy Steen. "The bottom half is going to house a 1924 American LaFrance fire engine. The top half will be a viewing platform where people can go up there and sit and watch the trains come through and see the crossroads without having to go out to the crossroads."

The roof is on the building and the upper deck flooring is complete as work continues by Cook Construction. The dirt areas currently around the structure on the sides will be landscaped.

The fire engine notoriously arrived in Corinth by rail on the day before the city's worst fire in history, which consumed several downtown blocks. It was frozen to the rail car and was not able to be used to fight the fire.

Retired in 1967, the truck today sits inside the bay of the South Harper Road fire station.

The city wanted to keep the truck in the city, thus leading to the project at the depot.

There is no firm date for completion, and some additional fundraising may be needed to achieve Americans with Disabilities Act compliance for the upper tier. As the project currently stands, funds will not cover the accommodations that are needed for ADA compliance, and that is something that must happen before the viewing platform will be opened to the public.

The museum is still accepting donations toward the project, and memorial bricks may still be purchased to go around the structure. The museum board recommends memorializing loved ones or recognizing fire and emergency personnel.

With personalized engravings, the bricks are available in sizes of 4 by 8 inches for $50, 8 by 8 inches for $150, and other sizes.

Contact the museum at 287-3120 for information about donating or purchasing a memorial brick. The museum is closed until Jan. 14. Bricks can be purchased online at corinthhistory.com.