2011 Club Events‎ > ‎

The Great Train Raid

Old Dominion Draft Horse & Mule Association announced as official provider of muscle for The Great Train Raid.

The Great Train Raid ~ May 29, 2011


The Old Dominion Draft Horse and Mule Association was honored to be invited to participate in the reenactment of the Civil War’s Great Train Raid of 1861 on Sunday, May 29, 2011. 

The Great Train Raid featured a replica 1861 Dutch Locomotive, built by retired welder Conly Crabill and his assistants, Denny Cooper and William Wine.  The  5,000-pound model, which the trio fashioned to nine-tenths scale, stood 11 feet, 7 inches high and is 25-feet long, was created in just six months.  The procession had six draft horses pulling the replica locomotive, followed by two “substitute” draft horses, and a team of mules pulling an 1860’s medical supply wagon from Cedar Creek Battlefield in Middletown down  Route 11 and 55 to Strasburg with the locomotive and wagon being unhitched at the Strasburg Museum.  The reenactment featured a roughly 3-4-hour trek and a total of 5 miles from start to finish.

Thank you to Billy Slingerland, Cheryl Sgarrella, and Larry and Liz Wise for providing their teams for transporting the train.  Thanks to Art and Melanie Magner for providing their team to follow the train as “substitute” horses.  Thanks to Jeff and Jacob Wise for providing their team of mules to hitch to the medical wagon supplied by Blue Ridge Museum.  Thanks to Victor Taylor, Mary and Junior Haney, Ricky and Lorri McLeod, Trey Mitchell, Heidi Matthews, Dave & Lisa Giza , Liane Brundage for assisting in the procession to ensure the safety of everyone involved and help where needed!  We all make a terrific team!

 May 26, 2011:  We're extremely excited to be participating in this event.  We've been working with the horses in preparation for hitching to the replica 1861 Dutch Locomotive engine.  We did a "test" run on May 1 and it went terrific.  We are providing six draft horses to pull the locomotive.  After trying several different configurations, we settled with Larry Wise's team of grey percherons hitched four-abreast with Billy Slingerland's team of black percherons as the wheelers and Cheryl Sgarrella's team of black percherons as the lead team.  We were also asked to supply two spare horses to be lead behind the locomotive in case we needed to substitute horses.  Thanks to Melanie and Art Magner for their team of black percherons to fill this position.  Jeff and Jacob Wise are providing their team of mules to pull an 1860's medical supply wagon on loan to this event from the Luray Caverns Car & Carriage Caravan Museum.  Ricky & Lorri McLeod, Mary & Junior Haney, Victor Taylor, Trey Mitchell and additional volunteers are providing assistance at the event to ensure the safety of everyone and all animals involved.  If I failed to mention anyone, don't worry, I will update after the event!  You all are greatly appreciated.  Thank you to all the volunteers that have stepped up to make this possible! ~ Cheryl Sgarrella
April 9, 2011:  We are extremely excited to have been invited to participate in this historic event on Sunday, May 29, 2011.  We will be providing draft horse power to move Replica Locomotive - Engine 208 from Cedar Creek Battlefield Visitors Center approximately 4.5 miles along Valley Pike (Rt. 11) to Strasburg Museum.  We will also be supplying two mules to pull a 1850's medical supply wagon!