The writer was recently presented with two pictures of railroad
engines or locomotives. The photos were a prize possession of our
retired railroad engineer, Lester Baker, who celebrated his 72nd
birthday December last.
What makes the photo of the older model (reproduced from an old
tin-type) of double value to Mr. Baker is the fact that his
grandfather, Daniel Baker, who can be seen standing on the cab of
the wood-burning engine, was the engineer. This is supposed to be
one of four like engines in operation at the time of its
manufacture, which was prior to the Civil War. The engine was used
to pull coal cars from the mines at Trevorton to Trevorton Junction
(now Herndon) and thence across the Susquehanna River Bridge to
Port Trevorton. At that time the old Pennsylvania Canal was in
operation and the coal was loaded on boats and taken to Havre de
Grace, Md., and other points South.
Mr. Baker was employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad Co.
The large and modern engine is the one Lester engineered prior
to his retirement. He is pictured at the front of his engine.
Construction of the railroad between Trevorton and Port
Trevorton, was begun in May 1850, and after several years delay,
the first train to use its tracks was in the year 1855. This was
operated by the Trevorton, Mahanoy and Susquehanna Railroad Co. On
August 8, 1867 the line and equipment were sold at sheriff sale to
William L. Greenough and John Zerbe Valley Railroad Co. It was
however later purchased by the Philadelphia and Reading Coal &
Iron Co., and lastly was the property of the Reading Co. The
original corporation also built the bridge across the Susquehanna
River. The first toll collector at The Herndon Bridge was Parish
Hensey, who was followed by William Lamb. The latter will be
remembered by some of Herndon’s older folks.