Return to Gerald M. Best Senior Achievement Awards

Richard L. Hillman

Richard L. Hillman, at awards cememony. Photo by David Lester

The R&LHS presented its 2014 Gerald M. Best Senior Achievement Award to Richard L. Hillman on May 10, 2014, at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Georgia, a museum he was instrumental in founding in 2003. The award is for significant contributons to the writing, preservation, and interpretation to railroad history. The museum now hosts more than 50,000 visitors a year.

Hillman’s crowning achievement at the Southern Museum is the display devoted to the Glover Machine Works. This is an area of the museum where visitors may look at artifacts that were removed from the Glover shops and contemplate how early steam locomotives were manufactured. His documetation of railroad history includes a book, Glover Steam Locomotives: the South’s Last Steam Builder (1996), the preservation of Glover records and photographs, and several articles about railroading and railroaders. Hillman is a gifted researcher and writer, and his work provides excellent references for future historians.

As a professional railroader on the Georgia Northeastern, he was the spark plug behind the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, which offers trips into northern Georgia, providing train rides to those who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to ride a train.

Mark Entrop, R&LHS awards chairman, presented the R&LHS certificate to Hillman at a ceremony at the museum. The full citation appeared in Railroad History 211, Fall-Winter 2014. David Lester, vice chairman of the awards committee, discussed “The Life and Legacy of Dick Hillman.”