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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Shelburne in Chittenden County, Vermont — The American Northeast (New England)
 

The Rail Car Grand Isle

 
 
The Rail Car <i>Grand Isle</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 8, 2017
1. The Rail Car Grand Isle Marker
Inscription.

The Rail Car Grand Isle (1899) was one of the last private cars built by the Wagner Palace Car Co. before Pullman took control of the company at the end of 1899. The car was used by Dr. William Seward Webb and the Rutland Railroad until 1914, when it was given to Dr. Webb's friend, Edward C. Smith, President of the Central Vermont Railroad and a former governor of Vermont. Mr. Smith used the car for family excursions to their vacation home in Ontario. The car's mahogany-paneled parlor, elegant dining room, staterooms, and plush furnishings are typical of the private luxury cars that became important symbols of rank to railroad men, business tycoons, and public figures of the final quarter of the 19th century.

Dr. Webb, educated as a physician, was persuaded by his father-in-law, William Henry Vanderbilt, to give up the medical profession and join the family's network of railroad enterprises. As president of the Rutland Railroad and the Wagner Palace Car Company, Webb and his wife, Lila Vanderbilt Webb, lived for part of the year in Shelburne, Vermont, commuting to New York City and other destinations with relative ease. Mrs. Webb's private car, Marquita, was similar to the Museum's Grand Isle.

When purchased for the Museum in 1960, the Grand Isle had been converted for business use, its paneling painted, fixtures replaced,

Rail Car <i>Grand Isle</i> and Markers image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
2. Rail Car Grand Isle and Markers
and plush furnishings removed. J. Watson Webb, Jr., Dr. Webb's grandson, supervised the car's renovation to evoke the grand days of luxury rail travel and commemorate his family's role in the railroad industry.
 
Erected by the Shelburne Museum.
 
Location. 44° 22.458′ N, 73° 14.008′ W. Marker is in Shelburne, Vermont, in Chittenden County. Touch for map. Marker and passenger car are on the Shelburne Museum grounds. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6000 Shelburne Road (US Hwy 7), Shelburne VT 05482, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Rail Car Grand Isle (here, next to this marker); Locomotive 220 (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Locomotive 220 (within shouting distance of this marker); Railroad Station (within shouting distance of this marker); Beach Lodge (within shouting distance of this marker); Beach Gallery (within shouting distance of this marker); Ticonderoga (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ticonderoga (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shelburne.
 
Also see . . .
1. Locomotive 220 and Grand Isle Private Rail Car. (Submitted on October 30, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Rail Car <i>Grand Isle</i> Observation Platform image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
3. Rail Car Grand Isle Observation Platform

2. Rail Car Grand Isle. (Submitted on October 30, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesRailroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 30, 2017. This page originally submitted on October 30, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 30, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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