Fence around Duncan Park train falls during storm
Published 12:01 am Tuesday, July 28, 2015
NATCHEZ — Repairs are coming soon to the fence surrounding the steam engine train at Duncan Park.
Natchez Recreation Operations Coordinator Wilbert Whittley said a storm caused the minor destruction, but it will be resolved shortly.
“A tree fell on it,” Whittley said. “We are waiting on the fence guy to come work on it. It should be this week or next week.”
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The train is suffering from some rust spots and is dangerous to climb on.
Concerned citizen Jim Sanders was worried about the possibility of children getting harmed by climbing over the fence.
“As kids will, they will try to climb on anything they can,” Sanders said.
The steam locomotive at Duncan Park is one of 13 surviving locomotives in Mississippi.
Executive Director of the Natchez Historic Foundation Mimi Miller said she does not know much about the train, but that it was built by Shay Locomotives.
“I’ve pulled up every file I have, but the person who did so much work researching it has passed away,” Miller said. “I do know it is a Shay engine. About 3,500 were built between 1878 and 1945.”
According to the Shay Locomotives website, as of 2013, there were 114 known surviving Shays, including the one found at Duncan Park. Thirteen total can be found in Mississippi.
Natchez resident Lucius Butts said Dr. Hugh Tedder brought the train to Natchez.
“It was a working engine at a sawmill somewhere,” Butts said. “It’s a special engine that was designed to pull heavy loads uphill. (Tedder) brought it here to save it because they were dismantling that stuff. I’m going to guess it was brought here in the ’60s.” The train has been on display in Duncan Park ever since for children of all ages to enjoy — from afar.