Shootout at the Depot – The Tucker County Trial of the Century

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The photo above show the exterior of a typical passenger train car of that era, like the one where the shoot-out took place

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!