Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society Inc

A nonprofit organization

$6,560 Raised by 90 Donors

27% complete

$24,000 Goal


The Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society is pleased to announce that it will be partnering with Alleghany Highlands local artist William Jennings on the C&O Heritage Center Mural Project

The mural will be painted on the retaining wall at the Heritage Center and feature a Chesapeake and Ohio H-8 Alleghany locomotive powering a manifest freight train.  The contour of the wall will create the image of the train trailing off in the distance.    When completed, the mural will be approximately 200 feet in length covering 2400 square feet.

The mural will preserve and increase the appreciation of the C&O Railway’s history for residents and visitors to the Alleghany Highlands, along with contributing to the beautification of downtown Clifton Forge and the Heritage Center.

Built between 1942 and 1948, for operation between Hinton and Clifton Forge, C&O’s sixty H-8 class locomotives were the most powerful and heaviest steam engines ever built for use anywhere in the world.

All those donating will receive an 8 X 10 print of the Alleghany Locomotive along with a certificate of appreciation, and will be listed in the publication that will be created for the dedication ceremony.  Those contributing at The Alleghany Level - $1,000.00 or more will receive a framed 13 X 19 print. 


William Jennings pursued his passion for art since discovering his mother’s drawing books and pastels at age 5. In high school, William was more interested in artwork than his other studies. Recognizing this talent, his teacher Bonnie Keyser, assisted in placing him in their Professional and Advanced Placement Art Program. Following military service in Korea, William used the GI bill to continue his studies at The Art Institute of Pittsburg’s Digital Design and Typography Program.


William has created and sold hundreds of oil paintings which include micro-paintings, ink illustrations, oil paintings, sculptures and impasto oil paintings. Two of his oil paintings are hung at Trani’s Grille in Covington, VA. In addition to oil paintings, William has created several mural paintings to include murals during military service as well as a large-scale mural on the entire building at Robby’s Automotive in Covington, VA. 


William sells his art at art festivals and online on Instagram by searching for random_appalachian_artist. William has been the featured artist in local art shows at The Dirt Bean Gallery in Marlinton, West Virginia; the Grandin Theatre in Roanoke, VA and at Land of a Thousand Hills in Daleville, VA.


“I had a great interest in trains and history as a child, and still do today.  To partner with the C&O Historical Society to bring this mural to life is a dream woven into reality.  I am very honored and proud to have this opportunity.”  William Jennings

Organization Data


Organization name

Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society Inc

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Education Travel




540 862 2210

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