Train Disaster Memorial, Meldrim


This plaque was placed in memory of the 23 victims of the 28 June 1959 Seaboard Air Line railroad disaster on the Ogeechee River trestle near Meldrim. A fuel car derailed into the river and the ensuing explosion took the lives of many who had gathered on a nearby sandbar. Those who perished were: Jimmy Anderson, Elizabeth Dixon Barnes, Ted Barnes, Julian Beasley, Linda Jean Beasley, Reba Lamb Beasley, Michael Bland, Charles Carpenter, Billy Dent, Joan Dent, Edna Dixon, Frank Dixon, Barbara Hales, Claudia Johnson, L. B. Lamb, Terry Lane, Elbie Lane, Florence Lane, Leslie Lee, James Smith, Margie Hales Smith, Timothy Smith, Wayne Smith.


Filed under --EFFINGHAM COUNTY GA--, Meldrim GA

9 responses to “Train Disaster Memorial, Meldrim

  1. Betty Lewis

    I grew up in Meldrim, Ga. In 1956, my family moved to Savannah. I went to church with the Dixon family, and went to school with some if the others. Meldrim was a very unique small railroad town. Very fond memories of being part of it.

  2. We remember this incident vividly, living in the Denmark and Nevils community just west of Meldrim. In those days, a disaster of that magnitude was an event that sparked interest immediately. What is missing in the memorial is the recognition of a large number of individuals who were very severely burned and suffered agony for years after the incident. Some of these carried scars and endured handicaps for the rest of their lives as a result of this tragedy.

    It is an appropriate measure to erect a memorial to those that lost their lives, but a sad injustice not to give some sort of recognition to those that survived, but bear the painful remembrance of that day.

  3. Melanie Wilkerson

    I lost a family member that day (Claudia Johnson)

  4. sal1117

    Merger of SAL & ACL was July 1, 1967, Not June as stated above, Thanks

  5. LAC

    Merger of SAL and ACL was July 1, 1967, not June.

  6. The information above about the train wreck is not accurate – it was not a Seaboard Coast Line Railroad train that wrecked, it was a Seaboard Air Line Railroad train. The Seaboard Coast Line did not exist until June 1st, 1967 when the Seaboard Air Line merged with it’s rival, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad to become the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad.

    • My pleasure. And while I’m at it, I just noticed one other, small error in your text – the year of the wreck was 1959, not 1958. And as an extra, the fuel cars were loaded with butane gas. The second tank car fell on top of the first and punctured it, allowing the gas to spread unto; something finally ignited it.

  7. Two of these were my friends–Billy Dent and Reba Lamb. We went to Commercial High School (Class of 1956) together. It was a very sad day for many families and friends.

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