Alan Coleman 96 pages softcover
Established in 1896, Spencer Shops was the Southern Railway's largest steam locomotive repair facility. After five decades of providing thousands of jobs to craftsmen and laborers, Spencer Shops and its company town became a victim of technology as diesel-electrics replaced steam locomotives. By August 1960, Spencer Shops had all but ceased operation, its workforce dwindling to a level 95 percent smaller than it had been in the early 1950s. Even as rust and pigeons ruled the largely abandoned complex, a dedicated group of state officials and railroad enthusiasts saw its promise as a state historic site. After years of hard work, Spencer Shops experienced its rebirth with the creation of the North Carolina Transportation Museum (NCTM) in 1977. Today, the impressive facility celebrates not only the rich history of Spencer but also the wide array of transportation history in the Tar Heel State.