Marietta resident Gary F. Eubanks, a member of the museum foundation’s Board of Trustees, presented the gift to Dr. Richard Banz, the museum’s executive director.
The research center includes the Southern Museum’s collection of materials related to railroads in the South, including documents about Glover Machine Works, the Great Locomotive Chase and the Southern Railway, through the Southern Railway Historical Association (SRHA) archives.
“This grant will help support one of the museum’s primary missions: aiding researchers,” Banz said. “We are grateful to Gary Eubanks and the Robert and Hazel Eubanks Foundation for their continued support of the Southern Museum.”
Eubanks, who originally developed his deep interest in railroad history in high school, has been involved with the museum for five years.
“I had to write a paper in a senior history class, and I chose to write about railroads in the Civil War,” Eubanks said. “My research led me to understand how, for the first time in history, railroads played a significant role in the outcome of the war.
“With the construction of the new building, this Research Center has the potential to be the best of its kind,” Eubanks added. “With my long interest in railroads, the Southern Museum was a natural choice for a grant.”
The Robert and Hazel Eubanks Foundation supports organizations with educational, historical or religious missions. Gary Eubanks created the foundation to honor and continue the work of his late parents, Hazel and Robert Eubanks of Atlanta, who had a long history of supporting such organizations during their lifetimes.
By mid-year, the Southern Museum is expecting to announce plans to grow the research center’s collection and footprint.