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
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
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.