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December 9, 2004     Mifflinburg Telegraph
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December 9, 2004
 

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4---MIFFLINBURG TELEGRAPH, December 9, 2004 TRAIL OF HISTORY Courte., of Dr Ma O, B. Lontz. Early Railroads-- Part One 1 This article is from material written by Thomas Taber in 2002, with interviews of people who worked on the early rail- road or knew someone who did. The NEW BERLIN AND WINFIELD RAILROAD was incorporated Sept. 27. 1904 and ran from Winfield to New Berlin, 8 miles to serve a farming area. It was discontinued Sept. 9, 1916 and the track torn up. PARDEE LUMBER COMPANY was owned by Ario Pardee to supply mine props for his coal mines and also logs to his sawmill at Pardee. The railroad was built from Pardee on Pennsylvania Railroad land south as a horse tram and converted in 1888 to steam railroad. It was located basically in the eastern end of Poe Paddy State Park. It was torn up in 1904. SUGAR VALLEY RAILROAD was incor- porated Oct. 19, 1900 and ran ten miles from Jamison's Mill to Tea Springs in Union, Center and Clinton Counties. It was built from Running Gap on Spruce Run to White Deer Creek and then to Tea Springs area and Sand Spring Run and Kettle Hole and was abandoned 1904/1905. It was owned by Kulp Lumber Company, see Deed MS 3, page 356 at the courthouse in Lewisburg. WHITE DEER VALLEY RAILROAD, incorporated December 11, 1900, ran from White Deer to Duncan's Station (Tea Springs) for 16 miles in Union County. It was owned by John Duncan as his logging railroad. Built in 1901 to Tea Springs, Lick Run, and Mile Run, it was sold to the White Deer Lumber Company and re-organized April 17, .1906 as White Deer and Loganton Railroad. WHITE DEER AND LOGANTON RAIL- ROAD, incorporated April 17, 1906, took over over White Deer Valley Railroad. It was built from Tea Springs to Loganton,8 miles in 1906 and a also had a branch from Carroll over the mountain to near Rauchtown. Passenger service was dis- continued May 31, 1916 and the railroad closed soon after. It was torn up in 1916. WILLIAM WHITMER AND COMPANY was built in 1889 as a logging railroad and ran from Weikert up Weikert Run; Little Weikert Run up on Strong Mountain, into Center Cou. It was torn up in 1899. The WHITMER AND STEELE LUMBER COMPANY, bought out the Bishop Lumber Company at Woodward. The Bishop Lumber Company was at .Woodward about 1888 and then ran to Laurel Park. In 1906, Whitmer and Steele bought White Deer Lumber Company. Laurel Park operated until about 1911. In 1893 Reuben F. Brown sold 21,000 acres of white pine and prop timber in Hartley Township and Haines Township. He also had 2,600 acres for sale adjacent upon which were 4,000,000 feet of white pine and 2,000 carloads of prop timber. An 8-mile tramway was built to get it out of the woods. On Dec. 14, 1906, Laurelton Lumber Company was destroyed by fire with a loss of $20,000. The fire started in the boiler room. The lumber yards were saved. The company was owned by Whitmer and Steele. (Deed book KK, pages 518, 505 at the courthouse in Lewisburg.) August 19, 1899-- Had Ario Pardee used a railroad instead of trying to use water, he would have been successful in cutting his lands along White Deer Creek. The tract ran north and northwest from Lewisburg for 16 miles and was known as the Pardee Lumber lands. Mr. Pardee bought it from John McCall and intended to float logs down White Deer Creek but was relatively unsuccessful. The land was acquired by Mr. Kulp (Deed MM, page 638 at the courthouse in Lewisburg). His log railroad once reached the mountains followed Spruce Run. Logging was done on the south side of the mountain. The railroad crossed the mountain thru Buffalo Pass on Sand Mountain and then dropped down on a 4% grade to White Deer Creek. At that point the railroad was 7 miles east of Loganton, directly north of Mifflinburg. July 21, 1900-- Monroe Kulp bought 5,000 acres in Union, Clinton and Lycoming Counties, which was adjacent to his other land in Buffalo Valley. In 1903, Mr. Kulp ran three log trains a day with engineers Albert Moye Charles Cornelius and William Hughton. This year (1900), Mr. Kulp bought 5,000 more acres in White Deer. Sept. 5, 1903-- The engine and four cars of the Lewisburg and Buffalo Valley Railroad ran away on wet rails, down the valley about 18 miles from Lewisburg and was a complete wreck. The crew of Charles and Jack Cornelius, Oscar Zimmerman and George Dorman jumped. Aug. 12, 1904, Lewisburg Saturday News--- M.H. Kulp and company acquired the timber interests of John E Duncan. Mr. Kulp then controlled 70,000 acres, 7 locomotives, 65 cars and 72 miles of railroad (Deed book MS3 p. 39, 356, 372, 539 and Deed book PP, page 123, 204, at the courthouse in Lewisburg). Aug. 26, 1904--- the deal whereby M:H. Kulp and Company were to get the Duncan interests was called off. The firm of William Whitmer and son got it. From a letter from Ernest Geisewite who did a lot of railroad research-- "starting in Union County the main line came west to Spruce Run. Somewhere east of Spruce Run was located one of the camps---- Woolheater. Another camp was the camp on White Deer Creek. This was No. 5. Another was Kettle Hole Camp on White Deer Creek. This was No. 9. Another camp was located at the head of Kurtz Gap and known by that name. Cooper Mill Camp was located on Sand Spring Run near Tea Springs. Spruce Run Camp was located in Spruce Run Gap. Pine Swamp Camp was locat- ed west of Sand Mountain Tower. Crabapple Camp was located at the head of Black Gap. Tunis Gap was situated at the head of Tunis Gap. Second Gap Camp was locat- ed on White Deer Creek at the foot of Second Gap. In 1966 you could still see the layout of the stables where they kept their horses. One of tim place names was Cracker Bridge Gap, high lies to the south of White Deer Creek between Frying Pan Gap and Pot Pie Hollow. The tram road crossed the ravine at Cracker Bridge Gap on a bridge. On the way to the Second Gap with supplies, a barrel of crackers bounced off the logging car while crossing this bridge. The crackers were spilled on the bridge so the bridge was given the name Cracker Bridge. In 1966 the remains of the bridge could still be seen. The gap east of Pot Pie Hollow was known as Pump Hollow. Here the engines had to be supplied with water. There being no water in the area they dug a well on which was placed a pump. The water had to be pumped by manual labor from the well to the boil- ers. Several years ago (from 1966) the well was located by the side of the old grade." Ernie Geisewite did much research on railroads. "He tells many stories of his early days as a child and his trips with the railroads. John Sholter of Mifflinburg ran a train camp at Sand Spring. There are stories that we in today's living can- not believe. For instance, meat was put in a carton and loaded on a wagon and delivered to the camps where it was kept in spring water as there was no refrigerator. It did not keep for many days without spoiling. Daniel Mark worked the camp at McCalls Dam (Centre County). He was there at the time McKinley was shot (Remember when that was?) He then worked at Kettle Hole. His biggest camp was at Kurtz. From an interview frotfi a person we get the fact that Ed and worked on the White Loganton Railroad. Ed was a Harry, a brakeman. Harry brakeman. Francis Martz was a foreman at Eastville. He was re Bruce Fritz. " A man was to peel a carload of per day. He only took off about the log's bark. The rest would when the log dried. Peelers sometimes contract to cut bark off could cut 1-1/2 to 2 cars a day, made more than the pay which based on one carload, W.S. Rhoads was a freight Loganton and later, Ward G. price Engineers included: Dan Romig, Bingaman, Lew Wilkerson and Crissman was Superintendent. At Carroll, Ray Harbach was a man about 1915. His father also there. His brother, Chester an agent at Carroll. He was a would go over at the time the due. He just handled the package and did not sell tickets. Harry Laubach was foreman of Loganmn section. There were on a section. The jobbers Miller and Link Confer. Engineers, Bingamen and LOu Wilkerson two log trams. They started out Deer each morning and went up logging area and brought back a cars. The POT (engine) switched woods and got the cars ready for two freights. The POT engineer -as Meixsel. The conductor on the ger train was John Bubb. The six cars of logs with three ahead- three behind. The biggest logs white pine 36 inches in diameter feet long. (How beautifulD. They teamed (dragged) to Carroll and on the train. You could take a passenger train tfl ! morning to White Deer from and go to Williamsport and then back. This train had no logs. It did finished lumber cut at sawmill, brought in coal and the gondola cars. One passenger stayed at Loganton over night ..... I did not get, possibly about 1900. | John Bubb would take the mail to Loganton post office in a or a sled in the winter. A gravel was built with wood sides from tion up to town in 1910. The first at Loganton was Jack Rhoads. (Note--- I thought most of this does not cover present Union found it most interesting and it almost pertain to any lumber caf this area.)