The fifth annual Summer Series returns to Ferryville. This year’s three-program series is sponsored by the Ferryville Tourism Council. Each program will be held at the Ferryville Village Hall and will begin at 6:30 p.m. Treats will be available.

This first program will be held Wednesday, June 12, and is entitled, “Railroading Along the Mississippi: Then and Now.” The featured speaker will be Ron Copher. Copher has had a lifelong interest in railroads and railroading. His grandfather worked for the Santa Fe Railroad for 50 years. Copher began his career with the Chicago Northwestern Railroad in 1967 and switched to the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad in 1969. He began on the CB & Q as a fireman and was promoted to engineer in 1971.

In March 1970, the Burlington Northern Railroad was created after a merger of the Chicago Burlington & Quincy, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, and the Spokane Portland and Seattle Railroads. CB&Q traffic skyrocketed after the merger because all of the eastern business previously carried by the GN and NP Railroads was now carried by the Q.

Copher was able to work lines all over northern and central Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Minnesota. He learned the track profiles of these areas, as well as the histories on each route. Having operated 1,491 miles of track, both freight and passenger service, He made his final run in November of 2010 ending 42 years of railroading. The other two programs in the series are: July 10, Eric Carson speaking on “The Geology of the Lower Wisconsin River”; and Aug. 14, Bob O’Connor speaking about “Dennis Mahan, Pre-Civil War Instructor at West Point.”

For more information, check out or call Joanne White at 608-734-9018.

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