Merci Train - Massachusetts

The late Andy Dolak told me in 1998 that the Massachusetts Merci car had been reported to him as having definitely been scrapped. That is the only information I have. If anyone can help us out with details of its history, please contact us.

Kay Stanton of Daytona Beach, Fl shared some information she obtained from Jessy Wheeler, Reference Librarian at the Boston, Mass Public Library.

What can you tell me about the Massachusetts Merci Box Car? Where was it located when it first came to America? Where is it now? Has it actually been scrapped? And, if so, when? It does not appear that the MA Historical Society or NEHGS has any information available. The Florida box car is located in the small town of Holly Hill so it's possible the MA box car is somewhere other than Boston.

Thank you for any information you can give me.
Kay Stanton
Daytona Beach, FL

Dear Kay,

The Merci box car sent to Massachusetts arrived in Boston on February 9, 1949. It was displayed primarily in Boston Common, though it made at least one tour of the state and stopped in Brockton on May 8, 1949. It was also used for an American Legion parade taking place on August 19, 1950 on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. Some time after the parade, it was sent to a freight yard in South Boston. It remained there until 1965, when it was determined that it would be too expensive to restore and so it was sent to New Hampshire to be scrapped.

I'm attaching a few articles from the Boston Globe to this email. The first details the schedule of the delivery of the box cars, and the second details some of what was included in the box car sent to Massachusetts. Among the items was a French flowering ash tree that was meant to be planted by then Massachusetts Governor Paul Dever on April 29, 1949 as part of an Arbor Day ceremony.

I'm also attaching a photograph of the box car that appeared in the Boston Globe on February 10, 1949. The photo appears in the lower left hand corner of the page.

I hope this information is useful to you, and thank you for contacting the Boston Public Library.

Jessy Wheeler
Reference Librarian
Social Sciences Department
Boston Public Library
Boston, MA 02117