History of Railroads in Suffolk is Topic of Presentations

January 26, 2015

Dr. Zack Deal, professor at Paul D. Camp Community College, will talk about the influence of railroads on Suffolk and Nansemond County at two presentations at Lake Prince Woods retirement community on Monday, Feb. 9 and Monday, Feb. 16 at 7:00 p.m.

To bring the material to life, participants will ride the train from Newport News to Richmond on Saturday, Feb. 14 and return to Suffolk by bus.

In the early 1830s, the Portsmouth to Roanoke Railroad began carrying both passengers and freight through Suffolk. By the end of the century, Suffolk was a stop on six railroad lines. Dozens of passenger trains left Suffolk every day and freight trains seemed to pass through the town constantly.

Dr. Deal's presentation will describe what Suffolk was like before the Civil War when railroading was in its infancy and how the economy of Suffolk and Nansemond County changed after the war as the number of trains increased rapidly.

The presentation will also investigate the creation of each railroad that passed through Suffolk and look into the competition between the various railroad lines and towns. The Feb. 16 presentation will look at the impact on Suffolk of the consolidation of railroad companies.

The cost of the two lectures is $25 and the cost for the trip to Richmond is $30 plus lunch. For more information, contact Denise Brown, Resident Services Director, at 923-5513.