The box cars, formerly used for military transport, were called “Forty and Eight” cars because they could hold 40 men or eight horses. Idaho’s Merci Car is in storage at the old Idaho penitentiary, and not currently on display.
One prominent item is on display. A replica of Winged Victory (Nike of Samothrace) is in Statuary Hall in the Idaho Statehouse. The original sculpture, housed in the Louvre, is one of the most famous in the world. It was found in 1863—the year of the creation of Idaho as a territory—on the Greek island of Samothrace.
The original statue is marble. The replica is plaster cast over an armature. It arrived in the state on February 19, 1949 and has been displayed in a place of honor ever since. It was displayed in the second-floor rotunda of the Idaho Capitol Building for decades. It was moved to the fourth floor after renovation of the building in 2009. Other items from the Merci Car were distributed to each Idaho county.
Do you know what items from the Merci Train are in your county, and where they might be displayed?