JACKSON, Tenn. – When Casey Jones crashed his locomotive near Vaughn, Miss., on April 30, 1900, he vaulted into American folklore.
The subject of songs and books, Jones has become a larger than life figure in American history since his death 111 years ago Saturday. But, finding the real Casey Jones is as simple as driving to Jackson, Tenn.
There, visitors can see the humble home where Jones lived at the time of his death.
Although it has been moved from its original location, the house, today a museum, is open to the public and features a wide array of exhibits, including railroad memorabilia and Jones’ personal effects.
A life-sized replica of Illinois Central engine No. 382 – the locomotive Jones was engineering on his last trip – sits behind Jones’ house. The actual locomotive was repaired after the wreck and ran for 35 years before being scrapped.
The museum’s replica formerly ran on the Clinchfield Railroad as engine No. 99 before it restored and moved to the museum in its retirement.
IF YOU GO: From Atlanta, take Interstate 75 north to Chattanooga. Then, take Interstate 24 north to Nashville. Finally, take Interstate 40 west to Jackson.