Remembering Great Train Robbery Of 1891

Throwback THursday

About a dozen local bandits were part of the Great Train Robbery of 1891, when trains played a huge role in the economy and transportation.

The heist, which inspired an American silent short Western film in 1903, took place in present day Bahia Grande. 

“They sent to guards to monitor the shipment of the silver and whenever it happened they assembled on a hill, spread the tracks and caused the train to come to a halt. They robbed the train and took off with $60,000 in Mexican silver,” said Eugene Fernandez, Historic Brownsville Museum Director.

They also took everything they could from the passengers and crew, forced them into a cart and locked it.

“They set fire to the box cart prior to their departure,” Fernandez said. 

Thankfully, no one was hurt, a railway employee who was waiting at the station was curious about the delay of the train. Saw the smoke, headed to the site and freed the victims.

However, only one bandit was caught.

“They tried him and sent him off to a prison in Detroit and there’s a various tales about how he died in prison,” he said. 

The other eleven allegedly escaped into Mexico, never to be found again along with majority of the silver.

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