Hollywood does railroad history at Aurora Historical Society fundraiser

 
Submitted by Aurora Historical Society
Posted4/15/2019 10:41 PM
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  • Aurora's Jack Ford, in white cap, poses alongside a Pioneer Zephyr during filming of "Silver Streak" in 1934. The Aurora Historical Society's spring fundraiser will be a tribute to 170th anniversary of the Burlington Railroad in Aurora.

    Aurora's Jack Ford, in white cap, poses alongside a Pioneer Zephyr during filming of "Silver Streak" in 1934. The Aurora Historical Society's spring fundraiser will be a tribute to 170th anniversary of the Burlington Railroad in Aurora. Courtesy of Aurora Historical Society

The spring fundraiser for the Aurora Historical Society will be a tribute to 170th anniversary of the Burlington Railroad in Aurora. The event is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 28. There will be drinks, a buffet supper, and a showing of a classic train film at Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway. Executive Director John Jaros will speak about Aurora's railroad history and the Burlington.

The film is the 1934 classic "Silver Streak" with stars of the day Charles Starrett, Sally Blane, and William Farnum. Although an actor portrayed the engineer in the movie, driving the train for the movie was Aurora's own Jack Ford.

"The Burlington wouldn't let anybody else touch those controls," according to Jaros. And with good reason. Ford was the engineer who set a record for nonstop speed and distance with his legendary 13-hour run from Denver to Chicago on May 26, 1934.

"The Zephyr was the rock star of the railroading world in the 1930s," said historical society president Mary Clark Ormond. "Suddenly, bursting from the Industrial Age world of the steam-driven Iron Horse, came this sleek steel beauty of the Jazz Age. People couldn't get enough of it. No wonder Hollywood made a movie with the Zephyr as the star."

Tickets are $65 or $60 for members. Tickets may be purchased online at www.aurorahistory.net, by calling (630) 906-0650, or by sending a check to the historical society at P.O. Box 905, Aurora, IL 60507.

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