Old Colony Railroad
Railway and Locomotive
There are few earlier subscribers than I for your excellent
paper, and your uniform fairness to employer and employee is admirable.
Your historical articles on the evolution of the locomotive are
interesting to a "past master" throttle puller like
myself, though I did not stop there, in railroad service.
of old and curious locomotives, I do not remember to have seen
one like the blue print I am mailing with this, but I can give
you nothing of their history further than as I saw them as a young
boy on the Old Colony and Newport R. R., now N. Y., N. H. &
H. R. R. At that time they pulled suburban trains between Boston
and stations south of there. This was in the early sixties, at
the time of the Civil War, and to see one of these little engines
and a big freight enginea 16 x 24-in. cylinder engine was
a big one thendouble heading with a trainload of soldiers
going to the war was a sight, to my youthful eyes. As is characteristic
of railroad men, they were nicknamed "pups," and I then
resolved that when "I was a man" I would run a "pup,"
or maybe a big "Blood" engine. I later realized my ambition
to run an engine, but never ran a "pup" or a "Blood."
By whom or where these engines were built I do not know. The print
shows the end of machine shop and wall of roundhouse of the N.
Y., N. H. & H. R. R. in South Boston. You can see that they
were no mean engine when you read the name of the first governor
of Plymouth colony, "Governor Bradford," on the side
of the cab. You may be able to get the history of these little
engines by writing to some old employee of the "Old Colony
Railroad." We may say they (the "pups") were very
small, but they no doubt filled their purpose in their day as
we do ourselves. I am glad of your success and enjoyment of a
long, useful life.
GEO. H. BROWN.
Opening of the Old Colony Railroad.
By W. A. HAZELBOOM.
[This article, which is complete in itself, forms so interesting
an account of the opening ceremonies of the Old Colony Railroad
in 1845, that it is printed as received from Mr. W. A. Hazelboom,
of Boston, Mass. It is one of the many interesting reminiscences
of early railroad days which have been sent to Angus Sinclair
for use in his book on the "Development of the Locomotive
Regular daily train service commenced November 10, 1845, on
the Old Colony Railroad, but it was on Saturday, November 8, that
the directors and stockholders of this corporation with a large
number of invited guests made an excursion to Plymouth to celebrate
the official opening of the road, it being the first time that
a train of cars had run the whole distance. The train left the
station at South Boston drawn by two locomotives bearing the expressive
names Miles Standish and The Mayflower, a third engine owned by
the company bearing the honored name of Governor Carver, was on
this day assigned to the humble but useful work of hauling gravel
to complete unfinished places in the roadbed. The train consisted
of thirteen cars, which were built by Bradley & Rice, of Worcester,
and were described in the newspaper reports of the day as neat,
beautiful and remarkably comfortable and easy. At the different
stations along the line, other guests joined the company, and
by the time they arrived in Plymouth the party consisted of about
800 in all. Notable among the guests were John Quincy Adams, ex-President
of the United States; Hon. Daniel Webster, the venerable Judge
Davis of Boston, John Davis of Worcester, several of the clergy
and the officers of other railroad corporations.
At all the towns and settlements along the road flags were
hoisted and the people were assembled to witness the novel procession
and salute it with the roar of cannon, cheers, waving of flags
and handkerchiefs and other demonstrations of satisfaction, the
whole line of the railroad presenting a gala day appearance. At
Abington a large number of children were drawn up in a line to
greet the party, and at this place a band of music joined it.
On arriving at Plymouth the whole company marched under escort
of the band to Pilgrim Hall, which, in the language of a scribe
of those days, "was opened and warmed with good fires for
the occasion." After the excursionists had vacated the cars
a large party of ladies, gentlemen and children of Plymouth, by
invitation of the railroad officials, were taken on board the
train and treated to short excursions.
At Pilgrim Hall, Jacob H. Loud, Esq., of Plymouth, made a short
address of welcome, alluding to the, enterprise of the company
which had in less than a year from the time of first breaking
ground on the line of the road been able to complete it sufficiently
to allow the commencement of regular service. He concluded his
address by inviting the gentlemen present to partake of a light
collation which had been prepared at almost a moment's notice
and which was intended, without ostentation, as an expression
of hearty welcome to that ancient town. The company then retired
to the lower hall, where tables were spread and where they found
cold meats and other refreshments, prominent among which was plenty
of hot chowder made from cod fish and clams, famous Pilgrim, dishes
which proved most acceptable and popular with these modern Pilgrims,
judging from the energy with which they were attacked, as stated
by the scribe already quoted.
Toasts were responded to and addresses made by the Hon. John
Quincy Adams, Hon. Daniel Webster, Josiah Quincy, Jr., Esq., E.
Haskett Derby, Esq., P. P. F. Degrand, Esq., Judge Davis, and
others. Several of the speakers alluded in impressive language
to the contrast between the festive occasion of their arrival
in Plymouth and that of the Pilgrim fathers who 225 years before
had first set foot upon the bleak and lonely sands of New England.
After spending the remainder of the time at their disposal in
strolling through the quaint streets of this ancient and most
interesting town, every part of which is redolent with historic
flavor, the visitors resumed their seats in the waiting train
for their journey homewards.
On the trip to Boston, which was started at about 3:10 P. M.,
the train stopped at all the stations, where, as on the trip down
in the forenoon, there were assembled crowds of enthusiastic people,
who repeated their demonstrations with the added accompaniments
of lanterns, fireworks and bonfires. The train reached South Boston
at about 6 P. M. without experiencing the least mishap to mar
the pleasure of the first trip over the new Old Colony Railroad,
which Mr. Nathan Hale, of the Boston Advertiser, one of the speakers
of the day, fittingly termed "A Band of Union Between the
Rock of Plymouth and the Cradle of Liberty."
Old Colony Equipment of Old.
Referring to the short sketch of the little engines called
pups, illustrated in the July number of RAILWAY
AND LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERING, I am much indebted to Mr. W. A.
Hazelboom of Boston, Mass., for information in regard to these
little engines which I was unable to give at that time. He sent
me a list of the locomotive equipment of the Old Colony Railroad
used in 1849, fifteen engines in all. The Gov. Bradford was one
of three "pups," and was built by Hinkly & Drury
in 1845, cylinders, 11 x 20-ins., weight 26,500 lbs., and some
remained in service until 1878.
GEO. H. BROWN.
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This page originally appeared on Thomas Ehrenreich's Railroad Extra Website