Morse Day replay April 30th, 2016 - DK Office, Boyce, Virginia

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Wed Mar 30 02:48:58 EDT 2016

Here's an oil can used by AT&T:

Do you have questions about railroad Morse telegraphy, such as whether it is true that AT&T and WUTELCO used to put oil on the wires so that the messages would go faster through them?  Or, do you wonder whether Western Union wires used for night messages were only utilized at night?   If these and other wonderings you may have about telegraph operators and operations can be answered on April 30th at Boyce, Virginia!  All are invited to the former N&W depot at Boyce, Virginia, on Saturday, April 30, 2016, between noon and 4 PM, rain or shine.  

If you haven't visited the 1913 former N&W Railway depot along Clarke County route 723 in the past, please check Mapquest or your GPS for directions to 117 East Main Street, Boyce, VA 22620.  There will be a cook out as well as Morse telegraph demonstrations in observance of Samuel Morse's birthday.  "Morse Day" is observed annually the last Saturday in April.  Curtis Anderson, Abram Burnett, and other telegraphers will demonstrate the original information superhighway.  "DK" office will be connected (with my fingers crossed) to the Morse hub and communicating with other telegraph offices around the USA.  If you're a "lightning slinger," you can have a seat in the operator's chair and do the same.   There will also be a continuously-playing video about Railway Post Offices for those who want to learn more about how mail was sorted aboard trains for 117 years.  Other depot artifacts circa 1910s-1940s are on display in the agent's office.   Norfolk Southern train locations are visible via ATCS monitoring, so that there will be ample photo opportunities.

Throughout the afternoon, sodas, hot dogs, and beef burgers will be available with compliments of the RMS Library. You are also welcome to bring a side or dessert item in a disposable container which do not require refrigeration to share.

Visitors with campers are welcome to stay overnight on Friday or Saturday and can use an electrical connection,  Please contact me at f_scheer at in advance.  Please park in the grassy field at the south end of the depot. 

Ground-level restroom facilities will be available at 127 East Main Street, adjacent to and 300 feet from the depot.  The lower apartment will allow visitors to use this bathroom.. This building was the former telephone exchange office for Boyce until 1968.  Boyce was the last Virginia town to have a switchboard exchange and phones without dials.  Modern conveniences and handicapped-accessible restrooms are also available at a Sheetz which is two miles south of Boyce at the junction of US Highways 17, 50, and 340.

I hope you are able to visit.  Meanwhile, best wishes for a nice Spring!

Dr. Frank R. Scheer, Curator
Railway Mail Service Library, Inc. 
f_scheer at 
(571) 379-3409 - daytime cell 
In the 1913 former N&W Railway depot along Clarke County route 723
117 East Main Street
Boyce, VA 22620-9369  USA
Please note: only parcels sent via USPS can be accepted at this address.
Visit at or
"Owney Day" at the National Postal Museum:
If you have an interest in RPOs, please visit the RailwayPO group at

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