When you visit the museum, you will enter through the original Illinois Central passenger terminal now leased to Amtrak. Step through the doors designed to resemble the Panama Limited train that serviced for decades the cities and towns from New Orleans to Chicago.
Begin your tour with the display detailing the five decisions that led up to the establishment of McComb. Learn how Colonel Henry S. McComb, then President of the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad, decided for moral reasons, to move the locomotive and car maintenance shops to a location outside of New Orleans. Land was purchased in Pike County and building lots in the city were offered at low prices to employees with families. Not being a drinking man, Colonel McComb wanted to remove his men from the dreadful influences of the New Orleans saloons. It was later stipulated in the McComb City charter that there would be no alcoholic beverages sold within the city limits. News about the brand-new city even reached as far north as New York City when an article was published in the newspapers to advertise for jobs. In the new town, almost every family was involved with the railroad in some way.
Continue on to the raised exhibit area on the south end of the museum where mannequins are dressed in period railroad attire. Stop for a while at the G-Scale model train, complete with an engine whistle and authentic railroad sounds.
Pause at the display of the other railroads that traveled through Southwest Mississippi, the Liberty-White which ran for twenty-five miles from McComb to Liberty, and the Fernwood, Columbia & Gulf Railroad which was used to transport logs to the lumber mill.
Soak up the oral history from railroad men who lived and worked on the railroad and admire the photographs from the famous railroad photographer, C. W. Witbeck.
Discover the McComb connection to the famous Cannonball Express. This train accident at Vaughn, Mississippi , was made famous by the song written by Wallace Sanders, an engine wiper. The only person killed in the accident was the engineer, John Luther Jones, who we speak of today as “Casey”.
Note the display of President Teddy Roosevelt’s trip to McComb in 1911. Hundreds of local citizens and railroaders assembled on the depot platform to hear the President’s speech.
Venture outside to inspect # 2542, a 200-ton steam locomotive, one of the two largest steam engines in the ICRR fleet and #51000, the only aluminum refrigerator car ever built. Explore #9384, the very rare 1890 office car, the one of a kind U.S. Postal Car, the 1966 cupola style caboose, which was home to conductors, brakemen and flagmen during their runs, and finally the 1956 wrecker derrick. Then, picnic or just relax a while on the adjacent children’s playground.
The City of McComb and the many volunteers and supporters of the McComb City Railroad Depot Museum invite you to enjoy this free museum of days gone by.
And before you leave, make sure you give that old whistle one big tug to let everybody know that it’s time to go home!