“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Dutchman’s Curve Train Wreck

Dutchman's Curve Train Wreck Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin Hoch, February 13, 2012
1. Dutchman's Curve Train Wreck Marker
Inscription.  The deadliest train wreck in US history occurred on July 9, 1918, when two crowded trains collided head-on at Dutchman’s Curve. The impact caused passenger cars to derail into surrounding cornfields, and fires broke out throughout the wreckage. Over 100 died, including many African-American workers journeying to work at the munitions plant near Old Hickory.
Erected 2008 by The Historical Commission of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County. (Marker Number 128.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansDisastersRailroads & StreetcarsWar, World I. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee, The Historical Commission of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 9, 1918.
Location. 36° 7.633′ N, 86° 51.022′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker is on White Bridge Pike 0.1 miles east of Post Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Nashville TN 37205, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this
Dutchman's Curve Train Wreck Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin Hoch, February 13, 2012
2. Dutchman's Curve Train Wreck Marker
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marker, measured as the crow flies. Battle of Nashville (approx. 0.3 miles away); Johnson's Station (approx. 0.6 miles away); Montgomery Bell Academy (approx. 0.7 miles away); Kenner Manor Historic District (approx. 0.8 miles away); McConnell Field (approx. 0.9 miles away); Hillwood Estates (approx. 1.1 miles away); a different marker also named McConnell Field (approx. 1.1 miles away); Sylvan Park School (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nashville.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia entry for Great Train Wreck of 1918. “In its official report, the Interstate Commerce Commission was harsh on the railroad. A combination of operating practices, human error and lax enforcement of operating rules led to this worst passenger train wreck in U.S. history. Had the signal tower operator properly left his signal at danger, the conductor monitored his train's progress rather than entrusting it to a subordinate, and had the crew inspected the train register at Shops Junction as required, the accident would not have happened.” (Submitted on July 1, 2017.) 

2. The Day the Whistles Cried: The Great Cornfield Meet at Dutchman's Curve. 2014 book by Betsy Thorpe on “The Day The Whistles Cried is a true disaster tale, filled with real people and their lives. Reading about
Dutchman’s Curve Train Wreck image. Click for full size.
The Tennessean staff photographer via Wikipedia Commons, 1918
3. Dutchman’s Curve Train Wreck
America’s worst train wreck is opening a window into Time. Two steam locomotives collide head-on in a cornfield at the edge of Nashville on July 9, 1918, taking the lives of more than a hundred people and injuring at least 300 others. This tragic tale, set against a backdrop of wartime urgency and human error, unfolds in the midst of the racial and societal divisions of the early twentieth century. Segregation and cultural mores helped decide who would perish and who would survive this cataclysmic event, resulting in a book that is more than fact: a riveting story of decided historical impact. The Day the Whistles Cried reveals the railroad system in action in its heyday. Romance and adventure, systems and rules, architecture and machinery. Its sub-culture was intrinsic to America's economy and people.” (Submitted on July 2, 2017.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 2, 2017. It was originally submitted on February 13, 2012, by Kevin Hoch of Waco, Texas. This page has been viewed 2,125 times since then and 32 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week July 9, 2017. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 13, 2012, by Kevin Hoch of Waco, Texas.   3. submitted on July 1, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 15, 2021