Erie Railroad News Articles


The Erie As Seen From a Lineside Newspaper
1891-1910



News articles on the Erie Railroad are largely from the pages of the weekly "Hancock Herald", as gleaned by Lordville, NY historian, Emily Homer. The following compilation is from the "History of Lordville" being researched and compiled by Ms. Homer and is reprinted with permission. Dates given are newspaper publication dates.


February 19, 1891:

Lordville's List of Railroad Men --
A Big Crop For a Small Place:

Lordville has turned out the following list of good railroad men: A.I. Lord, Emmet Lord, Tim Welsh, Patrick Joyce, Jack Joyce, Charles Joyce, Edward Joyce, Michael Fahey, Mathew Fahey, Edward Fahey, Tom Fahey, Charles Lord, John Lord, Lew Lord, James Mack, Joe Warren, Ed. Dunn, George Dunn, Nate Guile, Sam Guile, Joe Guile, James Guile, Paul Lord, Tom Cavanaugh, Harry Timpson, Zillard Lord, George Keene, Patrick Taffany, Michael Taffany, John Taffany and Owen Taffany.

- - - - - - - - - -

March 2, 1893: Long Eddy: No. 1 had to run on the eastbound track from here to Lordville owing to a snowslide at Bouchoux Mountain thirty feet deep on the westbound track Wednesday.

- - - - - - - - - -

April 20, 1893: "Around Callicoon": Callicoon station handles, that is loads and unloads, more cars than any other point on the Delaware division, according to its switching capacity.

- - - - - - - - - -

May 4, 1893: Long Eddy: The clearance car from the Pennsylvania railroad, the mission of which was to inspect the road, went by here on Train 27. It was a flat car surmounted by an arch, and on top of the arch wooden pegs. Any projection too close to the track would knock off the pegs. There was a place in the ledge between the Basket and the Eddy that they struck.

- - - - - - - - - -

May 11, 1893: Long Eddy: The heavy rain of Wednesday night brought down a slide of dirt and stone on the westbound track in the morning, blocking it until noon. Train 17 and the Milk were detained. The slide was at Bouchoux Mountain.

- - - - - - - - - -

June 15, 1893: "Town Topics": The Erie's new train No. 9 offers the general traveling public increased facilities for getting about promptly. No. 1 is a fast train now, running through Hancock without stopping. No. 9, the new train, leaves Hancock before 2 o'clock bringing the mail. This is an improvement. Mr. Seely, the division passenger agent, will have a very convenient train service as soon as the way freight again carries passengers.

- - - - - - - - - -

July 6, 1893: "Around Callicoon": Callicoon presents a scene of activity more than usually seen, due to the daily arrival of city people. Train 33, which runs to Callicoon only on Saturday evening, had five coaches to accommodate the large number of passengers.

- - - - - - - - - -

July 20, 1893:

A Generous Act

The Erie will give its employees free transportation to the World's Fair in Chicago. These passes will not be honored on Train 5, and will only be issued to employees three months or more in the company's service, and will be limited to 15 days. Good in day coaches. A reduced rate for sleeping car accommodations may be obtained if desired.

- - - - - - - - - -

August 17, 1893: 20 Tower Operators Laid Off on Delaware Division
Narrowsburg, Aug. 11: Word was received by the Erie carpenters here this morning to close and board up ten towers on the Delaware division. This will lay off 20 operators. The towers which have been closed up are as follows: Shohola, Westcolang, Narrowsburg, west of Narrowsburg, between Cochecton and Callicoon, Rock Run and Hancock, Hankins and Basket, west of Lordville, west of Stockport, west of Hales Eddy. This involves the discharge of two operators at each tower, each receiving $45 a month. The savings to the company will therefore be $900 a month. ( Port Jervis Union)

- - - - - - - - - -

November 23, 1893: "Town Topics": The Erie is introducing a new feature in the strengthening of tracks around curves. Car-loads of large braces are being distributed along the line which will be placed along every curve. These braces are so constructed as to hold the tracks in a vice-like embrace and the tracks will, when thus reinforced, withstand tremendous pressure. These braces will obviate the danger of spreading rails.

- - - - - - - - - -

December 28, 1893: Three tank cars, loaded with crude oil, were wrecked on the Erie near Lordville Monday night. The oil was scattered in all directions, but fortunately was not ignited.

- - - - - - - - - -

March 22, 1894: Equinunk: Well, a gala day struck our town and vicinity. It was the result of the big railroad wreck that occurred near Stockport. Flour and oats were ready for the eager harvester. Flour never was so cheap, from $1 and $2 per barrel, oats from nothing up to 20 cents per bushel. Many a farmer has supplied himself with choice seed oats. "It is an ill wind that blows nobody good". Not only was it a "God send", but horses that have not "smiled snole" since the administration changed, actually have been heard to laugh. In fact the merchants and millers are the only disconsolate class. But let us find comfort, for "whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth".

Stockport Station, March 19: We will not soon forget our first impression of the wreck on Wednesday morning. The rock, much larger than we supposed, was still covered with lichens and ferns; buried, no one knows how many feet in the railroad bank, lifting the westbound track about three feet, the eastbound track not so high. There was no indication that the rock had rolled at all. In its pitch from a small ledge it struck the wires of the Western Union, breaking all but two. While the cars which were piled promiscuously about, broke all but two of the Erie wires and several poles. We soon came to the engine, about 350 feet east of the rock, the pony truck still on the rails, while the 34 cars following were derailed, most of them being down the river bank. Barrels of Pillsbury's best flour could be seen here and floating down the river, while the surface of the water in many places was covered with oats. On Saturday, injured flour sold for $1 and $2 per barrel. Oats (dry) at 20 cents per bushel. Many say they are as nice as they ever saw. Today (Monday) there were several barrels of flour dug from the ashes of the burned cars, and many bushels of oats were taken from the river.

- - - - - - - - - -

November 7, 1895: Erie Depot Burned
The Erie depot and freight house at Callicoon, including their contents, were destroyed by fire Tuesday night. The fire was discovered by Track Supervisor Ed Barrett's office about 11 p.m., but it had gained such headway that it was soon beyond control. It started from the stove. But for the large number that happened to be on the stone waiting to hear election returns, the other buildings in the vicinity would have shared a like fate. The Erie business is now being conducted in a freight car.

- - - - - - - - - -

June 22, 1897: Winwood: The railroad officials have changed the name of the station from Como to Winwood, to correspond with the post office address. The morning train will make its first trip for the season June 28th.

- - - - - - - - - -

April 28, 1898: Erie Employees May Enlist
A circular letter from the general office of the Erie states that if any employee of the Erie wishes to enlist in the army and navy, they may do so and will be granted a leave of absence and so will not lose their rights with the company. At the close of their enlistment for the war, if they are physically able and can present a certificate of honorable discharge, they will be returned to their former positions.

- - - - - - - - - -

July 7, 1898: "Town Topics": The first New York Volunteer Regiment, which is made up of Separate Companies from this part of the state, will pass through Hancock this evening, on its way to San Francisco, from which place it will be shipped to the Philippines. It is announced that the regiment will leave New York at 2:15 p.m. on the Erie, and it should go through here in the neighborhood of 7 o'clock.

- - - - - - - - - -

October 27, 1898:
Roosevelt in Hancock
The Republican Candidate for Governor
Welcomed Enthusiastically

The special train on the Erie bearing Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Republican candidate for Governor, arrived in Hancock Monday afternoon shortly after 1 o'clock, and the Colonel and party were given an enthusiastic reception, two cannon in the rear of the depot also booming out a welcome. As the train came to a stop, about 1,000 people crowded around the rear of the end of the car. William A. Hall, ex-president of the village of Hancock, mounted the steps of the car and introduced Mr. Roosevelt as he appeared in the door. The Colonel of the "Rough Riders" was greeted with three cheers . . . .

- - - - - - - - - -

March 23, 1899: Cadosia, March 21: A special train loaded with cannons passed through here Friday on their way to Manila.

- - - - - - - - - -

January 18, 1900: Lordville, Jan. 16: The Erie Co. have placed a large street lamp near the corner of the depot, greatly improving appearances thereby.

- - - - - - - - - -

May 31, 1900: Last week the Erie officials placed 10,000 wall-eyed pike fry in the Delaware at Lordville, and 10,000 each at Stockport, Hancock and Hale Eddy.

- - - - - - - - - -

May 17, 1900: Lordville, May 15: P.H. Flaherty, Erie operator at this place for two years, has been transferred to a tower near Gulf Summit. This was done at Mr. Flaherty's request. We are sorry to have him leave Lordville as he was liked by all.

- - - - - - - - - -

December 19, 1901: Lordville: For the benefit of any who may not know it, we will say it rained very hard Saturday night, causing the Delaware River to raise some 21 feet above low water mark, which is some 18 inches above any record for high water in this section since the Flood, and it would take a few millions to settle for the damage done.

Among damages listed were tracks and switches in both directions washed so as to be unable to run trains over them for 36 hours; all traffic on the Delaware Division of the Erie was suspended for thirty hours. The Delaware division had the largest landslide, the worst ones being at Bouchouxville, a short distance east of Lordville.

- - - - - - - - - -

February 5, 1903: "Town Topics": There was an unprecedented rush of traffic on railroads Sunday. On the Erie, 101 trains were moved eastward. Many of these were double headed and carried between 75 and 85 cars each. All available motive power was utilized, express cars being used for cabooses.

- - - - - - - - - -

February 12, 1903:

NOTICE
The Erie announces another popular New York excursion, at the very low rate of $2.50 for round trip. Tickets are good going on train leaving Hancock, at 7:46 a.m., Lordville 8:03 a.m., Long Eddy 8:13 a.m. Saturday, February 21st, and arrive in New York at 1'o'clock - noon; can have return leaving New York on or before Feb. 23d. This is a splendid opportunity to visit the metropolis at the height of the season and at nominal expense. Special attractions at the Theatres, Art Galleries, Music Halls, Zoological Gardens, etc. See New York papers.

- - - - - - - - - -

February 26, 1903:

Third Line of Track

Col. George Dunn, Chairman of the State Railroad Commission, in talking to a Binghamton "Herald" reporter about the recent hearing of the Commission at Albany when the Erie company was given permission to bond for $50,000,000 to be expended in making improvements, said that the Erie would add another track to its system from Port Jervis westward, making the system to Binghamton a three-track one. Between Port Jervis and New York City the line will be a four-track system. For some time the road has been reported to be securing rights of way and grants of strips of land along its line in the section around Binghamton.

The work of changing the Erie into a four-track system between Port Jervis and New York City is already under way. The work of adding another track west of Port Jervis will be taken up at the earliest possible moment.

- - - - - - - - - -

October 15, 1903: Equinunk and Lordville sustained heavy flooding when the Delaware River rose to 30 feet above low water mark, five feet higher than known before. Among the many losses were the suspension bridge, built in 1869, which was swept away; the Erie tracks at Lordville were submerged to a depth of three feet; at Bouchoux's, two miles east of Lordville, the eastbound track was washed out for a distance of 700 feet, to a depth of some 6 to 8 feet.

Train 2, eastbound, was stalled at Lordville until Saturday afternoon. Ex-President Grover Cleveland, it is said, was a passenger on the train, returning from a funeral of ex Post Master General Bissell at Buffalo.

- - - - - - - - - -

November 19, 1903: "Town Topics": Last Saturday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., 900 loaded freight cars passed over the Delaware Division of the Erie, more than has been in many years before in the same length of time.

- - - - - - - - - -

March 10, 1904: "Town Topics": Monday morning at Lordville, an eastbound train backed into a siding to let No. 30, the morning passenger train, pass. Before the train could be stopped the caboose and two cars were pushed off the end of the siding and rolled down the bank into the Delaware River. The Susquehanna wreckers were called.

- - - - - - - - - -

September 1, 1904:

Drinking Water Served to Passengers

A gratifying innovation has been made by the Erie Railroad, which requires the colored porters in the day coaches of all through trains to pass through the cars at stated intervals and serve iced spring water. World's Fair passengers taking the Erie and Big Four Line will put this among the very attractive features of the service.

- - - - - - - - - -

September 8, 1904: "Town Topics": The Erie's Labor Day excursion to Binghamton and Elmira Monday was largely patronized. When the train of seven cars left Hancock it contained 750 passengers, 72 of which boarded the train at this station. They were packed in like sardines in a box, and when the train reached Deposit they were still further compressed to make room for 100 more excursionists. However, the congested condition was relieved at Susquehanna where more coaches were added. The seating capacity of a passenger car is 60.

- - - - - - - - - -

September 22, 1904: "Town Topics": The Erie has prepared its hospital cars for service and will soon distribute them to the various division points. The cars are supplied with all the up-to-date surgical appliances and are fitted with suitable beds and operating room. One of the cars will be stationed at Port Jervis, and one at Susquehanna.

- - - - - - - - - -

September 29, 1904: Lordville: The Erie is raising the east track from this place to Bouchouxville.

- - - - - - - - - -


February 23, 1905: "Town Topics": On account of an avalanche of snow and ice which covered the westbound track of the Erie at Bouchouxville, Monday No. 1 ran as far as Hancock on the eastbound track.

- - - - - - - - - -

August 17, 1905:

PASSED THROUGH HANCOCK

The Special train on which President Theodore Roosevelt returned from Chautauqua to his home at Oyster Bay passed through Hancock on the Erie at 9:15 last Friday night. A number of people were at the depot to get a glimpse of and cheer the Chief Executive. As the train moved slowly through the village, the President appeared on the platform of the rear car and bowed in acknowledgment of the hearty cheering.

The Special was made up of three palace cars, and preceded by what is termed a safety train, which ran about 15 minutes ahead of the President's train.

The greatest precautions were taken to prevent an accident. All freight trains were ordered to stop thirty minutes before the scheduled time of the Special at all points on the road, and remain "dead" until the Special had passed. All switches were spiked and men stationed by them for an hour or two before the Special was due at the various points.

Over the Delaware division the train was pulled by Engine No. 515 in charge of Engineer S. Lucky, and the train in charge of Conductor Ed. Rosencranse and brakemen C. Murphy and B. Ostrander. On the train were several Erie officials; there were also several Secret Service men in the car with the President, and several telegraphers and linemen.

- - - - - - - - - -

October 26, 1905: "Town Topics": The Erie Railroad Company has designated Friday, November 10th, as the day on which a monument will be unveiled at Deposit to commemorate the spot and the date where ground was first broke for the building of the road in 1835. The new depot at Hancock is not quite completed although a large force of men have been hustling things lately. In consequence, the date of its dedication cannot be positively announced in this issue of the "Herald".

- - - - - - - - - -

November 2, 1905: "Purely Personal": We acknowledge the receipt of an invitation from the Board of Trade of Deposit to attend the dedication exercises of the monument erected in that village by the Erie officials to commemorate the beginning of the construction of the railroad seventy years ago. The ceremony will be held Friday, November 10th at 2:30 p.m., and a special train leaving Jersey City at 9:20 a.m. will be run to Deposit. All invited guests will be furnished free transportation.

- - - - - - - - - -

April 9, 1908: "Town Topics": The Erie recently issued an order putting a tax of $1 on all canoes carried any distance at all, and it has occasioned much indignation among the patrons of the road who like to ride to head waters on the Erie and come down the many streams. It is a decided change from an old ruling by which canoes were to be carried free at the convenience of the company, when accompanied by their owners, and when a release had been signed.

The canoes were to be slung from the roof of the baggage car and the owners were to look after them. This rule was passed for the convenience of an occasional traveler who had a canoe.

For the past 3 or 4 seasons, however, canoeing has been popular on the Delaware River, and canoeists from New York and eastern points have placed their boats in the baggage cars of fast trains and have had them transported free of charge for a distance of about 150 miles, leaving the railroad at Hancock or nearby stations and floating down the Delaware. It was to secure revenue from these canoeists that the charge of $1 is made.

- - - - - - - - - -


Back to Erie History Page