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The first Phase I deadline is approaching. All school and youth groups who have registered and successfully complete either of the first two chapters by February 17, 2011, will be eligible to win a $1000 gift certificate to purchase supplies! If you are having any difficulty with clues from chapter one or chapter two, please leave a comment or send me an email (sherrykoch@thanksusa.org) so I can help you get through these chapters. This week, we’ll take a look at a question from Chapter 2, West Virginia:

19. This railroad is the nation’s oldest line. It is oddly named since more than half of its tracks are within the West Virginia borders, yet the name consists of another state and a city not in West Virginia.

Although I am not a railroad enthusiast, my grandfather worked on the Chessie System when I was young and I was a big fan of the Chessie Cat. Trains are a rich part of U.S. History and there are many resources available to help us with this clue. Your local library is sure to have several books and you may even live close to a railroad museum (www.railmuseums.com). For our purposes, I’ll provide a few additional clues that will help you an internet search:

This was the first common carrier railroad in the United States

This railroad’s slogan was “Linking 13 Great States With The Nation”

Ellicot City Station is the oldest surviving railroad station in America and was the original passenger terminal for this railroad

This is one of the railroad properties on the Monopoly board game

"Blockade of Engines at Martinsburg, WV" -wikipedia

I hope you enjoy exploring railroad history this week. There is still plenty of time to register a new classroom or youth group before our first deadline so please recommend the hunt to your teachers, coaches, and youth leaders. Good Luck!

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