We at the COHS are dedicated to serving our members and customers in the best way we possibly can. We work very hard to insure our mission and customer satisfaction are consistently met. When you call or communicate with us, let us know how we're doing.
The Vision of the C&O Historical Society is to use its material and faclilties to entertain and educate the public as well as serve our members. We wish to tell the complete story of both the C&O as well as the American railroad experience and bring it to life in a way that no other organization is doing currently.
We plan to continue pursuing a higher level of effectiveness with a focus on creating a healthy, thriving operation, both in terms of service, finances, and membership:
- Produce an excellent periodical magazine and publish books.
- Serve the research needs of all inquirers.
- Produce excellent educational events.
- Operate the retail operation to both provide financial support and to make available unique and interesting products to our members.
- Acquire, collect, maintain and preserve and make available the photographs, documents, and other materials of our archives.
Membership:Open to all. Approximately 2,500 members in 50 states, 7 foreign countries. Membership information available at chessieshop.com.
Leadership:Volunteer Board of Directors elected from the membership.
- 6,000 square foot archives/headquarters building (owned), state-of-the-art temperature controlled archives facility within.
- 2,000 square foot Archives Annex storing archive material that is yet to be cataloged and indexed (leased).
- 8 acres of land (leased) which is the location of the C&O Railway Heritage Center, Clifton Forge VA (owned).
- Displays and Gift Shop housed in historically accurate replica 1892 C&O Passenger Station (owned).
- 200,000+ engineering drawings circa 1870's - 1960's.
- 60,000+ mechanical drawings circa 1920's - 1980's.
- 1,500 linear feet of general reference files.
- 7,000+ books and periodicals.
- 200,000+ photographic images circa 1870 to present including about 150,000 official photos taken by C&O, Chessie System, and CSXT.
- 50 linear feet of Corporate Minute Books and Records of 136 companies predecessor to C&O (published finding guide available).
- 16 freight, passenger cars and locomotives of C&O heritage.
This is believed to be one of the largest collections pertaining to the technological development of a single railroad institutionally held in the United States.
Publications:We do our own graphics design and publishing layout in house, guaranteeing our quality standards are met with each and every product produced. Our published products include
- C&O History Magazine periodical
- Annual Chessie Calander.
- Annual C&O History calendar.
- Various books on C&O subjects in print at any one time.
- Pamphlets on various delimited C&O subjects.
Other Products:Afghans, wearables, gift and memorabilia items of all types. Specially decorated models using C&O prototype. Reproduction china, glassware, and other artifacts.
Grants and Donations:
- Over $1,000,000 in grants and donations from private and government organizations
- $105,000 project jointly funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (an arm of the National Archives of the United States).
- Large scale in-kind donations of materials by Chessie System and CSX Transportation