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South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
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   Author  Topic: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches  (Read 1618 times)
wis_bang
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #20 on: Apr 2nd, 2015, 12:21pm »
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I've seen this picture before, no sign of the ROW but 10 years before it was a busy customer. By the 1938 aerial photos the street between Lincoln and Line were developed right over some of the row. You can see the hump where the ROW used to cross Centre St [between Grant & Milton streets]. I remember the tracks crossing Line St, passing a blacksmith shop  as it curved to cross Iron St, just before ending in an open lot. Can you picture a few mother hubards pushing a bunch of coal cars up there?

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gfluck1
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #21 on: Apr 2nd, 2015, 5:39pm »
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I'm sure you have it was also a G.A.F. research lab.
 
http://www.colorantshistory.org/EastonCRL.html


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JTE1953
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #22 on: Apr 3rd, 2015, 7:34am »
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Not to sound pessimistic but are we certain that the branch actually reached the Stewart Silk Mill on Coal Street?  I've seen Sanborn Maps from 1919 showing the mill but no rail line in sight.  Are we saying that the branch was extended sometime after 1919 but was gone by 1938?  Would like to see a Sanborn map from the mid-1920s.

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gfluck1
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #23 on: Apr 3rd, 2015, 9:14am »
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I would say it was possible, its a distance of approximately 3,000 feet from Line & Iron Streets to the silk mill property.  
 
The question is did they receive (coal) or ship product that would warrant a rail spur to the mill?


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wis_bang
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #24 on: Apr 3rd, 2015, 2:05pm »
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I struggle with this too. I was told it went there.  
 
The one photo above, shot looking at the mill from the NNW, Coal St seems to end at Milton. If the rail came across Stern field and entered the plant at Milton & Coal makes sense. The massive wall at the SE corner of Lincoln & Coal would have supported the end of the line.  
 
When was the Silk Mill built? That whole area was farmland so it wold have been easy for the Valley to build a line climbing up to south side, they had to push everything up the hill; no passing sidings, run around or Wye so it was built to push cars up to the end.
 
I'm amazed that it would be converted to oil, they burned bunker, so early.  
 
I remember sending a load of #4 to the GAF side and often walked past a delivery walking to St. Joe's early in the morning.  
 
I guess the hours per gal. was a lot better than hours per ton of coal even w/ the tiny tank trucks of the day.  
 
The Rail Road may have built the line to deliver coal to this new plant and priced the service to recover the engineering costs and other industries built along the line, if you build it they will come, while the growth in housing made the end of the row worth more as building lots.  
 
The Maps were only as accurate as the last survey; I'd like to see one from the earliest 1900's or 1890's. This could have been a tax issue. By 1938 all of the active rail was outside the city limits w/ just the small amount of rail across Line & Valley streets. Easton annexed south side in 1932 so unused rail line in a growing residential area would have become a property tax burden.
 
I haven't found proof on historic topo maps but the is a limited choice of maps and I would imagine Sandborn surveyed more frequently than Uncle Sam.


« Last Edit: Apr 3rd, 2015, 2:32pm by wis_bang » Logged

Grandson of a LV conductor & I remember the EL running behind the Univ of Scranton too!
gfluck1
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #25 on: Apr 5th, 2015, 12:54pm »
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The 1904 Sanborn map shows the mill, but I have not found a build date as of yet.

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gfluck1
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #26 on: Apr 18th, 2015, 1:34pm »
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on Apr 5th, 2015, 12:54pm, gfluck1 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The 1904 Sanborn map shows the mill, but I have not found a build date as of yet.

 
Mill construction started in 1898 and was completed in 1899.


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wis_bang
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #27 on: Apr 18th, 2015, 10:16pm »
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Reliable oil fired boilers were coming into use around that time.

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Grandson of a LV conductor & I remember the EL running behind the Univ of Scranton too!
wis_bang
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #28 on: Apr 19th, 2015, 8:26pm »
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Rode around the area today w/ my GARMIN recording the altitude(s) where I could find former crossings on Line St, Holly St, etc. and as I circled around Glendon and South Side I went by the Silk Mill. The corner of Coal & Milton is 355' and the hump on Centre St that I think matches a possible ROW is 372', the highest point I found and 42 feet higher than the crossing at Line St. It could have run ll the way to the mill if it was completed that far but surely didn't last too long if it did reach the silk mill.

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Grandson of a LV conductor & I remember the EL running behind the Univ of Scranton too!
Tomsusmc
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #29 on: Feb 28th, 2016, 11:45am »
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Hi.....
 
I too, grew up within 2 blocks of the South Side Branch, and would jump on my bicycle when I heard the drill at the Easton Car crossing..... I even got to ride in the diesel engine one day...... I know the area real well, and I'm replying to an old post....
 
Tom


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Tomsusmc
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #30 on: Mar 5th, 2016, 9:20am »
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As I thought more on this subject, I do not remember the South Side Branch going to GAF, or the Silk Mill. I know GAF burned coal, my Grandfather worked as a watchman there, but I think it was trucked in. I can also remember going there to pick up coal ash/cinders, used on the roads of Glendon in the Winter, with a local contractor and his dump truck. This would have been about 1957-1958. I rode in the back of the dump truck, spreading the cinders by hand.
 
I played midget football on the field (Pioneer Field) across Reynolds Street from the Fleas Club, of which I have been a member since 1967, and my father was a Life Member there. Going South on Reynolds Street, towards Williams Street, there were military style barracks/homes where the Cheston school now stands. I had relation that lived in one of them.
 
The "hump" on Center Street between Grant & Williams Streets didn't ever have tracks crossing Center, that I'm aware of.
 
What I do remember is a "Bumper" and lots of fine coal dust on the tracks/ground and property where the tracks did cross Line Street going towards Valley Street, where the Citizens Club now stands. There may have been a coal unloading facility/storage yard there for GAF. I do remember a chain link fence on Line Street, and on Valley Street.
 
Backing up a bit, where the drill entered Transogram Toy Co. the trestle on Easton Coal Co, did receive coal, and cars from the drill would be staged there until pick-up and delivery operations were completed at Transogram. The property was divided/shared with Frank McInerney Contractors.  


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wis_bang
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #31 on: Mar 21st, 2016, 11:11pm »
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There is another thread with a few sandborn maps and an article from a Scranton newspaper describing this branch opening in 1911 to haul coal up to southside where teams could haul coal down hill instead of having to haul it up from town. looking at the maps I noticed Atlantic dye, which was mentioned as one of the largest branches customers, was located where Transogram was. the line may have ended just over Valley St. Perhaps it was graded another block, or so, making that odd hump in Center St

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Reading2102
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #32 on: Jan 7th, 2017, 12:13pm »
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Hello everyone. I'm a newcommer here and I've been reading all these great posts on the South Side Industrail branch. I grew up in Easton (Wilson Boro) as well as my mother and fathers families, so there was always a lot of "local history" passed around any time any of us got together. In regards to getting coal to the Stewart Silk Mill, I don't know if a track ever made it to the mill itself or not. But this I do know. My dads family lived on Center Street by Belmont until 1938. My oldest uncle was born in 1920 (passed away in 2010) and he told me that as a boy he'd go to an open area around Line and Valley streets where the railroad ended, and would watch what he called an "electric clamshell" scoop coal out of the railroad cars and load it onto a truck with solid tires that was chain driven, and it would take the coal to Stewarts Silk Mill. He told me they'd get as much coal out of the cars as possible and what was left in the pockets they'd dump on the ground and then shovel it into the clamshell. Once the car(s) were pulled out they'd clean up the rest of the coal. He wasn't sure how long this operation lasted as the family moved to Palmer Township in 1938 by the Taylor Wharton company (with more railroad stories).
   I do know that the silk mill was still burning coal in the 1950's yet as my dad and uncles worked for a man by the name of Charlie Kelly who had dump trucks. They would unload car loads of coal at the "chutes" into a dump truck by the Lehigh Valley passenger station in Easton. Then they'd haul it to the silk mill and either dump it into the boiler room bin or the stock pile that was outside. There was a ramp off of Lincoln street right by the boiler house that they'd drive up to what they called the "upper level" where they'd turn around and back to the boiler room. I know he was still doing this until 1955 or 56. He also said that the majority of cars they unloaded were WM cars, and also said that there was no way at Easton to thaw the frozen coal at the cutes during the winter, so they'd have to build fires under the cars to thaw out the coal so they could unload them.


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Flemington Flyer
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #33 on: Jan 9th, 2017, 11:11am »
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Welcome!  
 
Thanks for sharing that story....It's the little "human interest" pieces like that that make history come alive!
 
Hope you enjoy your "stay" here in the forums, and pick up some extra info from reading everything archived here!


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wis_bang
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Re: South Side Industrial and Bushkill Branches
 
« Reply #34 on: Jan 10th, 2017, 1:06pm »
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on Jan 7th, 2017, 12:13pm, Reading2102 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hello everyone. I'm a newcommer here and I've been reading all these great posts on the South Side Industrail branch. I grew up in Easton (Wilson Boro) as well as my mother and fathers families, so there was always a lot of "local history" passed around any time any of us got together. In regards to getting coal to the Stewart Silk Mill, I don't know if a track ever made it to the mill itself or not. But this I do know. My dads family lived on Center Street by Belmont until 1938. My oldest uncle was born in 1920 (passed away in 2010) and he told me that as a boy he'd go to an open area around Line and Valley streets where the railroad ended, and would watch what he called an "electric clamshell" scoop coal out of the railroad cars and load it onto a truck with solid tires that was chain driven, and it would take the coal to Stewarts Silk Mill. He told me they'd get as much coal out of the cars as possible and what was left in the pockets they'd dump on the ground and then shovel it into the clamshell. Once the car(s) were pulled out they'd clean up the rest of the coal. He wasn't sure how long this operation lasted as the family moved to Palmer Township in 1938 by the Taylor Wharton company (with more railroad stories).
   I do know that the silk mill was still burning coal in the 1950's yet as my dad and uncles worked for a man by the name of Charlie Kelly who had dump trucks. They would unload car loads of coal at the "chutes" into a dump truck by the Lehigh Valley passenger station in Easton. Then they'd haul it to the silk mill and either dump it into the boiler room bin or the stock pile that was outside. There was a ramp off of Lincoln street right by the boiler house that they'd drive up to what they called the "upper level" where they'd turn around and back to the boiler room. I know he was still doing this until 1955 or 56. He also said that the majority of cars they unloaded were WM cars, and also said that there was no way at Easton to thaw the frozen coal at the cutes during the winter, so they'd have to build fires under the cars to thaw out the coal so they could unload them.

 
That explains all the coal around where the track crossed Valley street and the old blacksmith shop on the alley. Those chain drive trucks required maintenance and so would the chain/bucket conveyor used to load them.
 
The hump on Centre Street might have been the haul road built up to make a level trip to the silk mill. A compacted level road would be necessary to support the weight and climbing any grade with those old trucks cost time. lots of time.


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