Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Afton railroad tunnel story ... Sunday in Staunton

If you're a history buff (and I certainly qualify for that), the story of the railroad tunnel that goes under Afton Mountain between Augusta and Albemarle Counties will be presented this Sunday, November 6th, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in downtown Staunton.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Staunton 
(Sunday, November 6, 2011, 3 pm)

More than 150 years ago about 2,000 Irish immigrants changed the face of Augusta County. For eight years they joined with over 100 African-American slaves and, by hand, dug 4,262 feet through the rock of Afton Mountain to build a railroad tunnel. When they were finished in the 1850s, Richmond was connected by railroad to Staunton and Nelson County and Augusta County were connected underneath the mountain by the same rock tunnel. Some of those Irish who constructed this engineering marvel stayed in the Valley and built a church -- St. Francis Catholic Church -- as well as homes and businesses. 

On Nov. 6 the story of those Irish, the African Americans, and the tunnel they built will be presented by the group Clann Mhór at the Augusta County Historical Society's Fall Meeting. The event is free and open to the public. For more information: 540-248-4151, www.augustacountyhs.org, emailDetails.

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