Auburn unveils marker for historic Crescent Train

Auburn unveils marker for historic Crescent Train

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - A significant piece of Auburn history was recognized Sunday afternoon at the city's historic Train Depot.

The city's Heritage Association unveiled a marker for the Crescent passenger train, making it the first marker along the route from Atlanta to Montgomery.

Before I-85 was an option for drivers, passenger trains served as the quickest way for people in Auburn to travel freely. 

Charlie Hendrix, a board member of the Heritage Association, said that now that the old Train Depot has been renovated, it seemed like the right time to honor the train that passed through town. 

"Just a lot of local history came together," Hendrix said.

The first historic marker for the Crescent Route was erected on the intersection of Mitcham Avenue and North Gay Street, only a few feet from the repurposed Train Depot. 
Hendrix and his fellow organizers wanted to acknowledge the impact this train had during the years it connected passengers not just in Alabama, but travelers from Washington D.C. to New Orleans. 

"There were 36 towns between Washington and New Orleans. 36 stations. Maybe 10 still exist. Maybe 5 are as nice as ours," he said. "One of them is Union Station in Washington D.C." 

For Hendrix, The Crescent is more than just a piece of history.  It's a local movie star.

"Number 290, was in the movie 'Fried Green Tomatoes.' It's the train that killed Buddy Threadgoode."

Hendrix now wants to share the Crescent's story with the rest of the Chattahoochee Valley community.

One way, he said, the Auburn community has kept the Crescent's legacy alive is by having elementary school students ride the engine from Auburn to Opelika. 

Hendrix said he wants that first impression of the city's history to stay with the next generation.

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