For Immediate Release: June 20, 2011
CONTACT: Casey Fields
Municipal Association of South Carolina honors Central with Achievement Award
The Town of Central received a Municipal Achievement Award for its Central Railway Museum. Officials were presented with the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s 71st Annual Meeting on June 18. The town won in the 1,001 – 5,000 population category. Thirty-nine cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives.
Established in 1875 as a railroad community, the town received the name “Central” because of its location halfway between Charlotte and Atlanta.
Today, the town has teamed with the Central Railroad Model and Historical Association, a local nonprofit organization, to construct the Central Railway Museum, located in downtown Central, which preserves the community’s strong ties to the railroad and stands as a point of pride and economic development for its residents.
This unique partnership formed several years ago in an effort to save the old Allen House, built in the 1800s, which was slated for demolition because of its condition and age. Initially considered too costly, the project was able to succeed after the association members offered to provide labor for the renovation and new museum if the town purchased the property and provided the building materials.
The result is a unique museum that houses model trains to scale and exhibits the rich history of Central’s railroad connections. The museum is now the focal point of Central’s annual Railroad Festival.
Part of Central’s seven-year downtown revitalization campaign, the museum opened its doors at the 2009 Railroad Festival and had working train models in place for its 2010 festival. In addition, the project helped provide additional parking for the downtown area, which had been limited because of the existing railroad running through town.
The Town intends for the museum to anchor its long-term marketing strategy, which incorporates the railroad as a theme to be displayed throughout the town, on its signs, banners, brochures and other materials.
“The Town of Central’s railway museum is a great example of what partnerships can accomplish to improve the quality of life and preserve the history of hometowns,” said Miriam Hair, executive director for the Municipal Association.
These winning entries represent innovative projects undertaken by Municipal Association member cities and towns. More information
and a video about the project are available on the Association’s website (www.masc.sc
The Municipal Association of South Carolina initiated the Achievement Awards in 1987 to recognize and encourage innovations and excellence in local government.
The Municipal Association of South Carolina is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit Association of incorporated cities and towns dedicated to raising the standards of municipal government through a broad range of services.