News Tyrone Daily Herald Archives

Memorial service scheduled for Walter L. Main Circus train wreck

On May 28 at 10 a.m. there will be a memorial service for the five people who lost their lives in the Walter L. Main Circus train wreck of 1893.
The service will be held at the wreck site in Vail, four miles north of Tyrone (on the old Van Scoyoc road) near the Tyrone Sportsmen’s Club.
This will be the seventh memorial service since the one held in 1958 at the Grandview Cemetery with circus employees presenting a special program.
A monument was dedicated at the wreck site in May of 1975 with local dignitaries and residents present, at which time a small tribute was performed.
This year’s memorial service will be the 115th anniversary of the wreck, which occurred on May 30, 1893.
The Tyrone Area Historical Society and the Adam Forepaugh-Barry Lubin “Grandma” Tent No. 2 Circus Fans of American will be working jointly for this service.
The program will consist of a welcome to all present with introductions of special guests, including Diane Meling.
Some of the other guests asked to be present for this event are representatives of the Tyrone Masonic Lodge No. 494, Tyrone Elks Lodge No. 212, Tyrone Sportsmen Club, Snyder Township office and local dignitaries.
Susie O’Brien will give a brief history of this memorial event of 1893.
Rev. Norman E. Huff will perform the memorial service with a special tribute.
At the conclusion of the service, a wreath will be placed at the memorial.
Anyone with questions can contact Susie O’Brien at 684-1873 or by email at
This event is planned to be a yearly memorial service.
A new book on this event by O’Brien and Paula Zitzler, is also scheduled to be available this summer.
Interested individuals can track the progress at the author’s research blog at