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 Terra Cotta train Wreck

Terra Cotta train Wreck

Birth
Death 31 Dec 1906
Burial Suitland, Prince George's County, Maryland, USA
Plot Section 2. Lot 51, site3
Memorial ID 40206474 · View Source
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At the end of 1906, a major train wreck occurred in Washington, D.C. near Catholic University in a section of the city called Terra Cotta. As a passenger train was slowly leaving the station on a dark & foggy night heading into downtown, an empty freight train on the same track several miles behind it was headed in the same direction at full speed. It was the largest locomotive at the time owned by the B & O system.

The freight train plowed into the passenger train and its multiple wooden passenger cars, killing over 50 people. So powerful was the crash, the cars splintered like balsa wood. Passenger cars were never made of wood again as a result it's been said. What was left of the many unidentified dead was placed into a single coffin for burial at Forest Lake cemetery in Suitland, Md.

Though the B & O railroad promised an elaborate memorial for the grave, none was ever placed on the grave. Because of problems with the former owners of the cemetery, prior to 1913, the cemetery was sold to one group and renamed Capital cemetery. By 1913, it was sold again and renamed Cedar Hill cemetery, as it is known today.

The name 'B & O railroad' today belongs to the CSX Corp. and they claim to have no records of the incident.

Within a short walk is the unmarked grave of Hinton R. Helper which likely had a temporary marker. Newspaper reports of the day said folks would come and visit each grave.

Within a month of the wreck in 1906, the same locomotive, with the same engineer mind you, hit a yard worker, severely injuring him.

In 2009, a Metro train (subway) plowed into another stalled train within a mile or so of the Terra Cotta wreck, killing 9 folks.

Gravesite Details An elaborate marker from the railroad had been planned (and money was collected) but alas, nothing ever happened.

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  • Created by: Fred Sanford
  • Added: 2 Aug 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 40206474
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Terra Cotta train Wreck (unknown–31 Dec 1906), Find A Grave Memorial no. 40206474, citing Cedar Hill Cemetery, Suitland, Prince George's County, Maryland, USA ; Maintained by Fred Sanford (contributor 46577478) .