Friends of Blackwater recently presented a world premiere performance of a dramatic Tucker County historic trial re-enactment, at Cottrill’s Opera House on Front Street in Thomas.
The new play, Shootout at the Depot – the Tucker County Trial of the Century” is written by Tom Rodd and Priscilla Rodd, and it tells the story of a famous 1897 murder trial in the Tucker County seat of Parsons, a trial that was the subject of national publicity. In the case, the wealthy timber operator Frank Thompson was killed by a disgruntled logger, in a shootout in a train car that was waiting to climb the Blackwater Canyon from Parsons to Thomas.
The cast in the re-enactment included Cheri Platt, Justice Larry Starcher, Hugh Rogers, Kate Leary, Emily Cornell, Tom Rodd, and Judy Rodd. The hour-long show was an abridged version of the original trial transcript — where there were dozens of witnesses, and some of the lawyers’ speeches lasted for two hours.
A packed house enjoyed the show, which included railroad songs and a question-and-answer period where relatives of the historical characters told stories. It is hoped the show will repeat later this year in Parsons. Friends of Blackwater thanks everyone for attending!