40 and 8 Boxcars

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon Sep 19 17:45:19 EDT 2005

Although I'm a native Virginian and now live in the greater Richmond area, I
lived some 23 years in Baton Rouge, LA until my retirement in 1996. While
there I many times saw the Louisiana "Merci Car" which is displayed under shelter
on the grounds of the "Old State Capitol" (now a museum) at 100 Government
Street which is downtown just across the east bank levee from the Mississippi
River. (Also located across from the "Old State Capitol" is the Louisiana Arts &
Science center in Baton Rouge's former 1920s railroad station and W.W.II
Fletcher-class destroyer, USS Kidd, DD-661).)

The URL http://www.sec.state.la.us/museums/osc/merci/osc-merci.htm leads to a
page describing the restoration of Louisiana's "Merci Car" in 1999. This page
and some of the links in it show a number of good pictures of that car. One
of those links also is to http://www.wsrhs.org/mercicar.htm which contains
pictures of most, maybe all, of the still existing "Merci Cars."

The http://www.wsrhs.org/mercicar.htm URL given in one recent N&W Hist. Soc.
"Merci Car" communication leads to a page containing information about the
location of most of the states' "Merci cars" but it incorrectly gives the
location of Louisiana's car as the state capitol grounds. Louisiana's present state
capitol, opened in 1932 and of Huey Long fame -- he was assassinated in its
halls, is some several miles away from Louisiana's "Merci Car" which, as noted,
is on the grounds of the "Old State Capitol."

Tom Parham
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