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THE FIRST SIGHT OF THE ENGINE.

The first locomotive on the Delaware Division was the "Piermont." It was dismantled at Piermont, loaded on a canal boat, taken up the Hudson River to Rondout, and thence by the Delaware and Hudson Canal to Lackawaxen. There it was set up, and used to distribute iron and ties to lay the track on the Delaware Division. This was in the summer of 1848. The engine was in charge of William Van de Graff, as engineer. Along in October of that year it became necessary to go to Narrowsburg with the engine. The news got circulated around, and the result was that, from a long distance about, men, women, and children came out of the backwoods settlements, two or three hundred strong, to see the iron horse. The locomotive was run up in front of the station and stopped, and in a few minutes some of the more courageous ones began to examine the "critter," as they called it, and not a few climbed upon the engine. Suddenly Engineer Van de Graff, full of mischief, sounded a full blast on the whistle. The effect of that may be more easily imagined than described. It was a "very hurrying time of year" just about then. Those on the engine tumbled off like a lot of mud-turtles dropping from a log. Some fell; others yelled, and tumbled over each other in their haste to get at a safe distance. Van de Graff was so convulsed with laughter that he rolled on the footboard to ease himself, and the experience was his favorite "stove committee?" tale for many a long day.


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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.
The Catskill Archive website and all contents, unless otherwise specified,
are 1996-2010 Timothy J. Mallery . The Railroad Extra pages are ©2001 Thomas Ehrenreich.