Summer Series to begin in Ferryville, WI; June 12 program is “Railroading along the Mississippi”


Ron Copher ...

Area residents can mark their calendars for the fifth annual summer program series to be held in Ferryville, WI. This year’s three program Summer Series is sponsored by the Ferryville Tourism Council. Each program will be held at the Ferryville Village Hall and will begin at 6:30 p.m. Treats will be available.

The first program in this summer series will be held Wednesday, June 12 and will be entitled “Railroading along the Mississippi: Then and Now.” The featured speaker will be Ron Copher, who has had a lifelong interest in railroads and railroading. His grandfather worked for the Santa Fe Railroad for 50 years.

Copher began his career with the Chicago Northwestern Railroad in 1967 and switched to the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad in 1969. He began on the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad as a fireman and was promoted to engineer in 1971.

In March 1970, the Burlington Northern Railroad was created after a merger of the Chicago Burlington & Quincy, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, and the Spokane Portland and Seattle Railroads. Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad traffic skyrocketed after the merger because all of the eastern business previously carried by the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railroads was now carried by the Quincy.

Copher was able to work lines all over northern and central Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  He learned the track profiles of these areas as well as the histories on each route. Having operated 1,491 miles of track, both freight and passenger service, Copher made his final run in November of 2010, ending 42 years of railroading. At the June 12 event, Copher will share his railroad stories from his career and answer questions about the railroad that currently goes through Ferryville, WI over 50 times a day.

The other two programs in this 2019 summer series will include:

• July 10: Eric Carson speaking on the Geology of the Lower Wisconsin River.
• August 14: Bob O’Connor speaking about Dennis Mahan, Pre-Civil War Instructor at West Point

For more information on the series, visit Ferryville, WI online through its social media presence or call Joanne White at 608-734-9018.
 

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