"Chessie the Railroad Kitten" Visited Cedar Grove's Children this Christmas

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Mark Totten, President of the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Historical Society, donated copies of their children's book Chessie Takes A Train Trip to the Riverside Public Library to give out to Cedar Grove Elementary students and families during their Christmas Family Night on Thursday, December 22, 2022.

When asked why he wanted to do this, Totten said, "I'm a native of the Upper Kanawha Valley and have fond memories of a weekly children's reading program at the Glasgow Branch. I would like to give something back now that I have the ability."

KCPL Regional Branch Manager Anthony DeMinico corresponded with Totten and helped to set up the partnership. DeMinico says, "We had agreed that we wanted to see these books in children's hands to promote a love of reading and history. We also hope that this is just the beginning of opportunities that we can bring to KCPL and our patrons."

DeMinico continues, "We put 50 of those books in the hands of children and families in attendance at Cedar Grove, and hope that those who received them found some warmth and happiness while reading the book during this cold holiday season."

Cedar Grove Christmas

Copies of the book will be added to the KCPL collection, should anyone who missed out on a free copy still want to experience the story.

The formation of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway was led by Collis P. Huntington; by 1873 the railway stretched from Richmond, Virginia to the Ohio River, where the town of Huntington, West Virginia was named after him.

Chessie Takes A Train Trip is written by Thomas W. Dixon, Jr. and illustrated by artist Natalie O'Dell. The book "features an original adventure starring the famous railroad kitten and [is] brought to life with the first Chessie art officially commissioned since 1984. [...] This groundbreaking labor of love by the Clifton Forge-based non-profit organization seeks to appeal to the next generation of supporters that may have never ridden a train, but will someday continue the C&OHS’s mission to preserve and interpret the history of the C&O Railway."

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