Monday, January 16, 2012




Clann Mhór & Clann Mhór Rising ℠
      The Virginia Blue Ridge Railroad Project  


Welcome to Clann Mhór and Clann Mhór Rising. We are a volunteer group that began with author Mary E. Lyons as the primary writer and documentarian in November 2009. Following Mary's suggestion for a term that represented all the men, women, and children whose exploited labor contributed to the Blue Ridge Tunnel, the group adopted the name Clann Mhór in February 2010. The phrase means "great family" in the Irish language. Clann Mhór Rising examines more closely the lives of these laborers.

Scores of Irish famine immigrants were killed while building the tunnel. More died building three companion tunnels. And still more died, along with African-American laborers, while preparing miles of connecting track for the Virginia Central Railroad. Hundreds of family members also died during the 1850-1860 construction decade.

Not everyone working on the tunnels and tracks died, of course. Some descendants of the enslaved workers settled in Nelson County and Albemarle County after the Civil War. Hundreds of Irish remained in or near Augusta County, where descendants still live today. We believe that all the workers, families, and descendants deserve the best. For us, that means ethical reporting, accurate research--and dare we say it--proofread, copyedited text for literate readers. Most of all, it means telling the truth.

Our mission is to share what we've learned with presentations, lectures, tours, and publications. You won't see credit card icons asking for money. Instead, we hope you will consider donating funds to the Blue Ridge Tunnel Foundation, a non-profit entity established by Nelson County, Virginia.

We'll post fresh material as often as possible. For an ongoing list of our latest additions, click on any of the tabs above. Share your thoughts, memories, ideas. Most of all, help us honor the people whose sweat and sacrifice built the Virginia Blue Ridge Railroad.

℠ Our logo and "Clann Mhór" & "Clann Mhór Rising" are a registered service mark with the Commonwealth of Virginia, State Corporation Commission Division of Securities and Retail Franchising, Richmond, Virginia. The registration of a trademark or service mark creates a presumption of ownership and exclusive right to use. Effective April 2013.


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