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George Winslow Whittington

George Winslow Whittington, who rode the rails of Southern Railways’ Asheville Division as brakeman from 1926 to his retirement from that same role in 1963.

George Winslow Whittington

Regina Lynch-Hudson, granddaughter of George Winslow Whittington visits “The Life of a Brakeman” at the N.C. Transportation Museum

George Winslow Whittington

Leslie (Les) A. Whittington, son of George Winslow Whittington appreciates the brake interactive created by the N.C. Transportation staff in “The Life of a Brakeman” exhibit.

The Life of a Brakeman Exhibit

The North Carolina Transportation Museum is pleased to announce an update to the “How the West Was Won” exhibit, located in the Bob Julian Roundhouse.

Focusing on the story of Black Mountain, N.C. resident and longtime Southern Railway employee George Winslow Whittington, “The Life of a Brakeman” explains how the difficult job of brakeman changed from the era of steam to diesel locomotives. Discover the story of George Winslow Whittington, who rode the rails of Southern Railways’ Asheville Division as brakeman from 1926 to his retirement from that same role in 1963. Whittington exemplified the strong and courageous brakemen who faced many challenges so that trains could arrive to their destinations safely, a job made even more difficult by Whittington’s status as a Black man during segregation.

“The Life of a Brakeman” was created with the content curation aid of Regina Lynch-Hudson, the granddaughter of George Winslow Whittington, and contributions by his son Les Whittington, as well as other descendants.

 

 

The exhibit features two large graphic panels with images and text about Whittington and an interactive brake wheel allowing visitors to experience how brakes were, and still are, set on trains. A small selection of artifacts from the Museum’s collection is on display, connecting to brakemen and to Whittington himself. A short video, provided by Regina Lynch-Hudson about the life of George Winslow Whittington, will also accompany “The Life of a Brakeman.”

George Winslow Whittington

George Winslow Whittington, who rode the rails of Southern Railways’ Asheville Division as brakeman from 1926 to his retirement from that same role in 1963.

George Winslow Whittington

Regina Lynch-Hudson, granddaughter of George Winslow Whittington visits “The Life of a Brakeman” at the N.C. Transportation Museum

George Winslow Whittington

Leslie (Les) A. Whittington, son of George Winslow Whittington appreciates the brake interactive created by the N.C. Transportation staff in “The Life of a Brakeman” exhibit.

About the N.C. Transportation Museum

The N.C. Transportation Museum is home to the largest remaining operational roundhouse in North America, and numerous structures that represent what was once Southern Railway’s largest steam locomotive repair facility in the southeast. The museum is part of the Division of Historic Sites and the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources 

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a mission is to improve the quality of life by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development. NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. African American Heritage Commission, the State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Given the continued threat of COVID-19 and variants of the virus, face masks are required for indoor areas of the N.C. Transportation Museum.