Steam train

Ray L. McCormick

Content Tools

Courtesy of Ray L. McCormick, 119 North Buhl Farm Drive, Sharon, Penna. (great nephew of J. H. Christopher) This little steam train, standard gauge with cars, operated between Warrensbury, Missouri and Pertle Springs, a distance of two miles, and did a thriving business from the early 1880's until the early twentieth century, when the autos enticed people to seek far away resorts and scenery. This train and the resort, consisting of several man-made lakes, a large hotel of 150 rooms, a large tabernacle for various entertainments, numerous cottages, bowling alleys, tennis courts, boating and swimming, was all conceived an constructed by James H. Christopher, a pioneer in develop that area of Missouri.

During its heyday, this resort attracted visitors from St. Louis, Kansas City and all points in Missouri. The 'Dummy', as the train was known, met all trains of the. Missouri Pacific, which published special rates and tickets included a ride on the 'Dummy Line' to Pertle Springs. On one Fourth of July the 'Dummy Line' shuttled

back and forth from early morn until midnight and carried some eight thousand passengers. In early days this Spring, with mineral waters of high medicinal value, lay in a heavily wooded area and there

were Indian trails leading to it for it had long been a favorite haunt of the Red Men. Written by Kenneth C. Christopher of Senica Falls and St. Petersburg, Florida (a nephew of J.H.C. Any other information and photos on this little steam engine and short line railroad will be appreciated.

Courtesy of Irvin G. Hoffman, R. D. 1, Box 31, Manheim, Pennsylvania 17545 This photo was taken at the 1963 Williams Grove Steam Show on a very hot day. This is Lester Hoffman's Frick from Rheems, Pennsylvania. Harvey Hoffman, Lester's father, is giving Lester a few instructions. Harvey should know; he has been threshing for some 60 or 65 years. He has a 9 x 10 Frick all slicked up and he has a Geiser separator that was his brother Samuel's. This separator is some 80 years old and it runs and looks good. Come and see it. He has an Ann Arbor 18 x 22 boiler. If you want a threshing job done, he can do it. He still threshes almost every year with it on Millard Hoffman's farm at Rheems, Pa. Harvey is 78 years young. Go to see him; he would be glad to see you.

Foreground: Mary Frances Severn daughter of Mr. Severn.

Background: (behind Mr. Severn) Mr. Clifford Sullivan, one of our oldest members, who recorded the entire

visit on his tape recorder, (behind everyone) the 1286 herself, clearly the hit of the show during her visit.

Mr. Hart has just been given one of the show exhibitor's plaques, and has announced that he will mount it in the cab of the locomotive as a memento of the visit. Similar plaques were also given to the engine crew.

This picture was taken on Sunday, September 19, 1965, at the Tenth Annual Reunion of our society. It shows 1286 arriving at the show at Arcadia. A few of the 20 traction engines we had lined up along the tracks can be seen on the left. When the 1286 whistled for the Arcadia crossing, all of the engines on the grounds cut loose with their whistles to say hello. The engine crew told us that they had never been given such a welcome before.

At this reunion, we think we scored an exclusive feature as regards all traction engine shows. We had a main-line passenger train, consisting of a steam locomotive and seven cars, stop at the exposition grounds. The locomotive was no. 1286, one of the last heavy-duty steam locomotives built in North America. It was formerly in service on the Canadian Pacific Railroad until retired by dieselization. Number 1286 is a 4-6-2 type (Pacific) and regularly handled transcontinental passenger trains before being retired. On the day of her visit to our show, she was pulling a train of seven stee coaches.

The engine and cars are now owned by Rail Tours, Inc., York, Pa. This equipment is operated over the line of the Western Maryland Railway on several occasions each year and over the remaining segment of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroads on most Sundays of the summer months.

<>     Next>>