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“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.)
 
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.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this 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); The Craighead House (approx. 1.3 miles away); West End High School (approx. 1.5 miles away); Richland-West End
Dutchman's Curve Train Wreck Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin Hoch, February 13, 2012
2. Dutchman's Curve Train Wreck Marker
(approx. 1.5 miles away); War on the Home Front (approx. 1.6 miles away); Belle Meade Plantation (approx. 1.6 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 Amazon.com “The Day The Whistles Cried is a true disaster tale, filled with real people and their lives. Reading about 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
Dutchman’s Curve Train Wreck image. Click for full size.
The Tennessean staff photographer via Wikipedia Commons, 1918
3. Dutchman’s Curve Train Wreck
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.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansDisastersRailroads & StreetcarsWar, World I
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 2, 2017. This page originally submitted on February 13, 2012, by Kevin Hoch of Tulsa, Oklahoma. This page has been viewed 1,741 times since then and 165 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week July 9, 2017. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 13, 2012, by Kevin Hoch of Tulsa, Oklahoma.   3. submitted on July 1, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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