Here, on 12 July 1888, occurred one of Virginia's largest train disasters, the wreck of the Virginia Midland Railroad's Train 52, the Piedmont Airline. As it crossed the 44-foot-high, 487-foot-long trestle, called the Fat Nancy for a local African American woman who served as a trestle watcher and reported problems, the trestle collapsed. Nine passengers were killed, including two Confederate veterans, and more than two dozen were injured. Also killed was civil engineer Cornelius G. Cox, who had earlier designed the current culvert and earthen fill to replaced the unstable trestle. Former Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, another passenger, survived.