Rowe Historical Society
Hoosac Tunnel Collection
Kemp-McCarthy Museum
Rowe and the Hoosac Tunnel
The Hoosac Tunnel is a 25,081 foot long engineering marvel dug under Hoosac Mountain in Florida and North Adams, Massachusetts. Work began in 1851, and the first train traversed the tunnel in 1875. The Hoosac Tunnel was fully completed and accepted by the State of Massachusetts on July 1, 1876.

Rowe's Neck was one of the lining towers used to survey the Hoosac Tunnel in 1866. Later, when track was built, eight miles of that key route were in Rowe, running from Rowe's Hoosac Tunnel station to the state line at Sherman.

Stories abound of townspeople who took the train through the tunnel to travel to North Adams.

Trains traveling through the Hoosac Tunnel today still must pass through Rowe.

The Rowe Historical Society's Kemp-McCarthy Museum has an impressive collection of Hoosac Tunnel items. These include original photographs, newspaper articles, diagrams, commemorative items and memorabilia, to name just a few.

In the past decade, the museum has been very fortunate to have renowned Hoosac Tunnel experts Jerry Kelley, Carl Byron, Tim Lawrence, Brian Donelson, Cliff Schexnayder and others assist in the development of our displays and other resources in this area. Their help continues to be invaluable as we seek to expand our collection and programs.

Our "Rail-Fan" events highlight Hoosac Tunnel history and research. Hundreds of people with an interest in the Hoosac Tunnel come to the Kemp-McCarthy Museum for a day-long festival featuring speakers, exhibits, other historical societies, and the opportunity to interact with professional railroad organizations like the Amherst Railway Society and the Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts.

The Rowe Historical Society is pleased to be known as an important center of Hoosac Tunnel history.
Selected Items from the Hoosac Tunnel Collection

ORIGINAL BROCHURES AND TIMETABLES


HISTORIC MAPS AND DIAGRAMS

Above: Hoosac Tunnel boring machine
Norfolk Southern diagram for painting a locomotive. Norfolk Southern locomotives regularly travel through the Hoosac Tunnel today.


ROTATING EXHIBITS



ORIGINAL ARTICLES and ADVERTISEMENTS



ORIGINAL POSTCARDS



ANTIQUE PHOTOGRAPHS

Above: Hoosac Tunnel air compressors


OUR HOOSAC TUNNEL EXPERTS

Tim Lawrence, Jerry Kelley, Carl Byron, Chuck Cahoon
Cliff Schexnayder and his wife, Judy, (left) and Jerry Kelley (right)
 talk with Greenfield Recorder reporter Diane Broncaccio at a Rail-Fan event

Hoosac Tunnel Collection benefactor Gayle Kelley


SAMPLE RAIL-FAN PROGRAM REVIEWS

Below: America's First Fan trip?
From Trains magazine, September 1962. "A Day to Remember: August 24, 1934: America's First Fan Trip" by H.W. Pontin, pages 29-31. All are from the archives of the Kemp-McCarthy Museum.

PLEASE VISIT THE KEMP-McCARTHY MUSEUM. OUR HOURS OF OPERATION ARE POSTED ON THE HOME PAGE OF THIS WEBSITE. DIRECTIONS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE ON THE "DIRECTIONS" TAB ON THE LEFT, ABOVE.

HOOSAC TUNNEL EXHIBITS ARE ROTATING AND INDIVIDUAL ITEMS SHOWN HERE MAY NOT BE DISPLAYED THIS SEASON.