NEW THIS YEAR: Engaging History Productions, a coalition of historians and actors, will provide living history characters from Ashland’s past to Ashland Train Day 2015. Various characters will mingle with visitors from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Ashland Museum, Ashland Station, and The Center, and along Railroad Avenue.
**Mr. Edwin Robinson, the president of the Richmond Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad Company until 1860, and his lovely wife will be strolling the streets. Mr. Robinson will tell people about his brainchild, the Ashland Racecourse that he founded in 1857 with funds embezzled from the RF&P Railroad Company.
**Mrs Judith McGuire experiences war from a civilian’s point of view. She fled fighting in Alexandria with her family and writes every day in 1862 about her life as a refugee in Ashland, nursing the wounded, and fearing skirmishes.
**Some war-weary soldiers of the former Confederacy will be wandering home along the tracks telling stories of the wounded being cared for in the Ashland Baptist Church, those buried at Woodland Cemetery, and those who have made it through the war.
**Mr. Foster, the first known African-American teacher at the school at Shiloh Freedman’s Church in 1867 during Reconstruction will be teaching his pupil using the schoolbooks donated by a northern Baptist Missionary Foundation.
**Captain Floyd Tucker Jr will be there in his WWI uniform, perhaps singing a song or two.
**Captain Charles Blakey will entertain visitors with stories of Ashland’s Accommodation Train from 1885 to 1925. He has been a conductor on the Ashland-to-Richmond commuter train for so many years that people call it “Blakey’s Train.” (Clean rewrite … He has been the conductor on the Ashland-to-Richmond commuter train for so many years that people call it “Blakey’s Train.”)
**Miss Mary Goodwin and her fellow suffragettes will be there to convince visitors to support the woman’s right to vote.
**Granny Winston will be at Ashland Station talking about her 20-something daughter who is waiting for the train to travel north to find a better job, leaving her daughter, Granny’s granddaughter, behind. She is part of The Great Migration North of black Americans from 1915 to 1940.
Engaging History Productions (EHP) is a coalition of historians, teachers, authors, playwrights and actors. We help non-profits raise money. Our mission is to bring historic concepts, characters, stories and ideas to life by developing custom programs, exhibits and events. We work with foundations, historical societies, small museums, schools and churches. Together, we are innovators who know how to bring history to life with a respect for accuracy, attention to detail and often a sense of humor. With a combined experience of nearly one hundred years, we are getting to be pretty good at what we do.
Let us help your organization create a memorable, engaging and profitable event that brings American history to life.
Principals in alphabetical order: Dawn Murray Burnett, J. Maurice Duke, PhD., Mary W. Satterwhite and Dale Paige Talley.