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HUNTERS AND THE LOCOMOTIVE.

The region through which the Delaware Division ran, fifty years ago, was almost a wilderness, and there were few who then lived in the region who were not in profound ignorance in regard to the locomotive; and being accustomed to the hunt and the ways of the forest, it was but natural that they should associate the sound of the steam whistle with the cry of some wild animal, especially when the whistle was heard at a distance of a mile or two. To not immediately set themselves to work to capture the animal responsible for that noise would have been contrary to their nature.

A short time after the locomotive "Piermont" created the excitement at Narrowsburg by its first arrival, it was necessary to go with it to Callicoon. The track being new and not ballasted, the run was very slow, not more than six or eight miles an hour. The whistle was blown at short intervals. Some of the famous hunters of the Pike Pond region, back in the mountain, hearing the whistle and taking it for the scream of a panther, which fierce beast still lurked in these hills, started with dogs and guns in hot pursuit toward Callicoon in an effort to head off the "varmint," and if possible capture it. The locomotive beat them several lengths, however, but had been standing but a short time at the station when three or four men rushed out from the bushes just across the track, their clothing all in tatters, covered with mud, and soaked from wading streams and swamps. The men were nearly exhausted, for they had run miles through the woods and swamps and across streams to intercept their game. Their surprise and chagrin to find that the object of their pursuit was not a wild animal, but a locomotive, standing quietly on the track in front of the station, may be imagined.


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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.
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