THROUGH THE DELAWARE VALLEY.
Pending the dispute over the change of the route for the railroad
from Matamoras to Sawmill Rift, the Company was not idle in the
Delaware Valley. The herculean task of hewing a way for the rails
along the rocky edge of Pike County was in the hands of Ives,
Farrell & Co., a member of which firm was J. S. T. Stranahan.
In constructing the road on this difficult section, between what
is now Parker's Glen and Handsome Eddy, and other places, where
the rocks rose almost perpendicularly from the rivers, edge, it
was necessary to suspend the laborers from the brow of the lofty
ledges in baskets at the end of stout ropes, while they drilled
holes for blasting, and tamped in the powder and fuse. When a
fuse was lighted, the men would be drawn up by fellow-workmen
to the summit. Life frequently depended on the security of those
fastenings as the workmen dangled high in midair, and on the activity
of the men operating the windlass at the top.
The blasts frequently hurled great masses of rock across the
Delaware River and into the Delaware and Hudson Canal, much to
the interruption of navigation during the open season, and to
the damage of the canal property. Not a few boatmen refused to
run on the canal during the season of 1847, and numerous suits
for damages were brought by the Canal Company against the Railroad
Company. Whenever "railroader" and "canaller"
met, anywhere between Lackawaxen and Port Jervis, rich Irish blood
was sure to flow. This antagonism between the employees of the
two companies has been put on record all these years as having
been the cause of the Callaghan-Kays tragedy at Lackawaxen, Pa.,
in 1848, but such is not the fact.
Erie Page | Stories Page
| Contents Page