When the Town of Valdese gave permission to the Piedmont & Western Railroad Club to build a railroad museum in the Old Rock School, the Club promised to build a diorama depicting the original Waldensian settlers arriving by train on May 29, 1893. They arrived on a Richmond & Danville Railroad train and were left off on the land which eventually would become the Town of Valdese. In the pictures below, the coaches were scratch built by Larry Weed using original photos as a guide. No commercial locomotive model was available so Larry modified a Jim Beam Casey Jones whiskey decanter to model the locomotive. The decanter originally was a 4-6-0 which has been modified as a 4-4-0. The Tender and cab were changed to match early photos. The diorama itself was built by Dr. Ben Garrou and Dr. Ken Humphreys. Dr. Garrou made the figures and wagons which are in the display. The diorama is encased in a vitrine of rigid thick acrylic plastic to protect it. It stands in the entrance hallway of the museum.

The Waldensian settlers debarking the train. The reflections are due to the difficulty of shooting a photo through the angled sides of the vitrine.

Front view of the train.

Rear view of the train. The people in the foreground with the wagons are Connley Springs residents who came to see the arrival.

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