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

This page is from Thomas Ehrenreich's Railroad Extra website, and is reproduced here as a memorial to him and his dedication to preserving the history of railroading in America. Please note I have no access to the original source material and cannot provide higher resolution scans.
The Catskill Archive website and all contents, unless otherwise specified,
are 1996-2010 Timothy J. Mallery . The Railroad Extra pages are ©2001 Thomas Ehrenreich.