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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Union in McHenry County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Railroad Cats

 
 
Railroad Cats Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 6, 2010
1. Railroad Cats Marker
Inscription.
Cats have been a part of the railroad scene almost since the first rails were laid. Many railroad facilities, such as yard offices, rural stations, and interlocking towers, have had resident cats who have adopted (or let themselves be adopted by) railroaders. In return for food and a place to sleep, the cats helped keep pests under control.

One railroad even had a cat as its primary advertising symbol. The Chesapeake & Ohio's ads featured a kitten named Chessie, and described travel on its trains as so smooth that passenger could "sleep like a kitten." During World War II, C&O's ads also showed a male cat called Peake, dressed in a soldier's hat.

IRM has been home to many railroad cats over the years. Currently, Slurpy and Tiger often "help" the office staff, while Socks hangs out at the Electric Car Shop in Barn 4. Between naps, all three regularly patrol "their" museum. Please say hello to them if they stroll past!
 
Erected by Illinois Railway Museum.
 
Location. 42° 13.671′ N, 88° 31.646′ W. Marker is near Union, Illinois, in McHenry County. Click for map. Marker is on the south wall of the Signal Department building, on the grounds of the Illinois Railway Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7000 Olson Road, Union IL 60180, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Railroad Cats Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 6, 2010
2. Railroad Cats Marker
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Union Pacific 18 (within shouting distance of this marker); Soo/Milwaukee Road X-5001 (within shouting distance of this marker); Chicago and North Western 9933 (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Railroad Signals (within shouting distance of this marker); Chicago Railways Company Date Stone (within shouting distance of this marker); Soo Terminal Warehouse Limestone Entablature ca. 1912 (within shouting distance of this marker); Railroad Rails (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific 37A (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Union.
 
Also see . . .  Chessie the Railroad Kitten. (Submitted on December 21, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. AnimalsIndustry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
Chessie Cat Advertisement image. Click for full size.
By C&O Railroad, circa 1930s
3. Chessie Cat Advertisement
"Let Me Call You Sleepheart"
WWII-era Chessie Cat Advertisement image. Click for full size.
By C&O Railroad, circa 1940s
4. WWII-era Chessie Cat Advertisement
"Sleep Warden of the American Traveler"
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,047 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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