Fundraising for Locomotive 444 Challenge Grant under way

The Historical Society of Dunkirk is looking forward to 2016. In 2016 Alco-Brooks steam locomotive 444 on display at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds will be 100 years old.

Preparations are under way for this celebration and include a complete cosmetic restoration of the steam locomotive and tender. This will involve the replacement of rusted metal, cleaning, priming and putting finishing paint on the locomotive and tender, and polishing the brass. Also planned is the replacement of the whistle, injectors and piping missing from the engine.

An estimate of nearly $10,000 to complete this work has been received.

During the Chautauqua County Fair a challenge Matching Grant of $1,000 was announced. An anonymous individual has pledged $1,000 to the effort if others donate matching funds before Dec. 31, 2013.

During the fair, $300 was raised toward this match. Two other grant requests are also pending regarding fundraising efforts.

To date, half the restorations costs are in hand from sales and previous donations.

Despite a significant setback of vandalism at the caboose and storage building at the site, which occurred the weekend of Sept. 28, the efforts of Society volunteers continue to maintain an attractive and informative display of local railroad history at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds.

Please help them make the 444 look like it just steamed out of the American Locomotive Company – Brooks Works of Dunkirk.

Donations are tax-deductible and can be addressed to the Historical Society of Dunkirk 444 Fund, 513 Washington Ave., Dunkirk NY 14048.