The Wreck of Old 97
This mural, the work of Alabamian Wes Hardin, depicts the express mail train Number 97, pulled by Engine 1102, crossing the trestle above Stillhouse Branch in North Danville. On September 27, 1903, leaving Washington one hour late, bound for Atlanta, "the fastest train on the Southern Railroad," plunged 45 feet from that trestle killing eleven of its crew and injuring six; only one individual aboard escaped injury. Five men of the crew are seen in the inset. Depicted, too, are some of the hundreds of canaries that escaped their cages in the baggage car.
The song, "The Wreck of Old 97," sold more than six million records and made the wreck famous.
Erected by Historic Murals of Danville.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals • Arts, Letters, Music • Disasters • Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical date for this entry is September 27, 1903.
Location. 36° 35.301′ N, 79° 23.451′ W. Marker is in Danville, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (Virginia Route 293) and Memorial Drive (
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Home of Dan River Fabrics (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bloody Monday (about 600 feet away); Danville's Streetcars (about 600 feet away); Danville System (about 700 feet away); Tobacco Heritage Mural (about 700 feet away); Danville Tobacco Warehouse and Residential District (about 700 feet away); First State Bank (about 700 feet away); Harry Wooding (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Danville.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 25, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 211 times since then and 126 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 25, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.