Merci Train - New York
Click on the images below to view full size
|Two new photos showing the two sides of the restored and repainted New York boxcar and its new shelter. The pictures were taken and donated to us by John & Sue Stevens.
A caretaker of the boxcar reported that the souvenir scarf pictured below was one of the gifts that came with the New York car from France.
The Brooklyn Museum Archives is reported to have a collection of 49 dolls or mannequins depicting ladies fashions between the mid 1700's until the mid 1900s. The collection came in The Merci Train.
Our Roxanne Godsey recently (2013) discovered that the collection of fashion mannequins/dolls mentioned above have been transferred from the Brooklyn /art Museum to the Metropolitan Museum of New York, and that they have an online display of all the individual dolls;
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Contact the museum to ask about the possibility of viewing the collection or any part of it in person.
The museum is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028-0198
Telephone (212) 535-7710
A personal story about a young girls link to the Merci train
From Brigitte Helzer:
As a new 7 year old immigrant, having arrived with my parents from France in Dec. 1948, I was in New York at the time of the Merci Train arrival in February of 1949. When the city of New York decided to have a parade to welcome and receive the NY boxcar, I was "volunteered" by the local Alsatian organization to be in the parade with my French costume. I don't remember much about the parade. I think I was mostly in the celebration at City Hall Plaza where the picture was taken. The boy that was with me was the son of friends of the family and did not speak French. His mother may have been French. I'm so intrigued by the story and what has happened to all the articles in the box cars. It was a pleasure to find your web site. I do have some memories of the American GI's liberating our village from the Germans and of learning my first English words, "Chocolate" and "Chewing gum", which those GI's were generously sharing with us children. The GI's would often take my picture when I was in my same regional costume I wore at the parade, and which I was proud wear. I also remember being on the ship that brought us to America in 1948, and how awe struck I was at all the food they served in the dining room; I had never seen so much food. I don't specifically remember the Friendship Train food being delivered in the Alsace region of France where we lived in 1947, but my parents remembered getting food from the soldiers, and were grateful to the Americans. I live in Vermont now and am very pleased to find your web site about this history that I lived through, and also pleased to see that the Vermont boxcar still exists; I plan to go see it at some point.
Thank You, Merci,
Brigitte Kibler Helzer