"You Can't Beat City Hall"
My hometown of Appalachia, VA had an impressive brick municipal building directly beside the main line tracks of the L&N and Southern. It was the perfect train watching location when I was a youngster growing up there. The Town of Appalachia was incorporated in 1906 under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The municipal building was lettered "Town Hall" in front, but at some point it was redone as "City Hall." I never saw it in its "Town" incarnation, but I do have photos. However, Appalachia never was, nor never will be a "city" under the laws of Virginia, so it isn't clear what the town leaders had in mind when the building was re-lettered. Appalachia's far too small in terms of population, plus it would have to assume operation of its own school system under Virginia's statutes. One of the few actual "cities" in the region is Norton---some ten miles to the east. And, it's the smallest city in the state. But Appalachia? Nope!
At dusk on a January day in 1964, L&N train 65 is completing a set-off of interchange cars to the Southern in front of "City Hall." Lead Alco FA-2 still exists. It's in the collection of the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois, although it's in pretty rough condition. It had a second life as a Long Island Railroad cab car, providing head end power for train loads commuters going to and from the Big Apple in the '70s. For sure, it's a long way from Appalachia to the Hamptons.