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Where was Nanty Glo's C&I
Railroad station located?

Letter #352, March 3 2011

Jon --

My book on the C&I Railroad is available. Title is The Cambria and Indiana Railroad by Jack Hill and right now is just available through www.Createspace.com. It will be available thorough Amazon.Com later next week. The ISBN is 978-1456305574.

I have a section on the Eleanor Yards and the C&I houses on Cardiff Road. Pictures of the Heisley Mine, Eleanor houses, the C&I station in Nant-Y-Glo.

Anyway maybe you could mention it on your web page. If you could, maybe you could pose a question as to where the C&I station was and what happened to it. I am sure some old-timer knows.

Thanks,
Jack Hill

Reply: I have read the new book and plan to do a review later this week. Can anyone help us pinpoint this railroad station (note that the station that is now the municipal building, on Chestnut at First Street, was the Pennsylvania Railroad station for Nanty Glo).

—JK, webmaster

Feedback:

Letter #353, March 3, 2011

I remember Mr. Miller who lived in the C&I houses and worked for the C&I. As kids we did a lot of hiking and exploring in the area and visited him in his small RR shack somewhere behind the C&I houses. There was a fairly big rail yard back there and towards where the secondary school is now. The only place I knew of multiple rail lines. The shack was, I believe, the only building left there, but there were ruins of other buildings, if memory serves.

Phil Bartoletti

I asked Phil for approximate dates and he replied:

Letter #354, March 4, 2011

Hi Jon,

Best guess would be 1965, plus or minus.

By coincidence, I drove down to Nanty-Glo yesterday for a brief visit. I took a picture of the rail yard I was referring to (attached).

This may, in fact, be what's left of the Eleanor Yard. I don't know.

It is within sight of the Elementary school and the housing project. All I could see from the road are old railroad ties.

But my point is that this is the only place I knew of anywhere near Nanty-Glo that had multiple tracks. (It had maybe 6 sets).

In talking to my younger brother and my wife, they remember Mr. Miller's shack and some kind of maintenance building (I believe they're right). And other foundations possibly.

The line spurred at Lincoln to an old mine tipple, and then again to run two lines through Barker Row, one at the top and one near the bottom, close to Cardiff Road. The station could possibly have been down there, but we're too young to remember it.

However, pure speculation, given the background in the picture, it could have also been down towards the lower end of Ivory Hill, near what was Ragley's Lumber. Most other places would have mountains framing it closer than that.

Phil

Letter #355, March 5, 2011

Jack Hill comments:

It would make sense to be somewhere near the Eleanor yards. but not necessarily. . . . What was interesting was that it took a while before I was able to pinpoint the C&I houses and Eleanor yards when I was prowling in Nanty Glo. I went into . . . one of the service clubs (like the Elks) and asked several people in there, but I had little success—I used the term Eleanor yards and that didn't help. I think it was Barb Hanaken at the historical society who picked up on the term C&I houses and she told me where they were. (I had found the drawings and request for bids in the C&I files.)

Finally, someone knew where the C&I overpass on Cardiff Road used to be. Once I got up there I talked to a lady whose husband used to work for the C&I and she took me down to where the yards were. C&I houses seems to be the term used in Nanty Glo.

You didn't get to the yards easily. There were just some small access roads. I am looking at that map and I am trying to place Cardiff Road on it, but as I recreate how the C&I came through Nanty Glo it woudl seem to me that the most logical place for the station would have been off Cardiff Road since there would have been reasonable access to the station, although it could have been down further where the C&I crossed Bulah (sic) Road. Looking at that photo, I can only see two tracks in front of the station, but this is the way the RR's used to do stations. The Mainline track was always the outer track and there was a passing siding just in front of the station. That way one train (like a passenger) could be on the siding and a freight or express could then pass on the mainline. Again, as I recall, the C&I kind of skirted Nanty Glo on the South or East, so unless you rambled in that part of town, you would not have been very familar with the C&I.

I have attached two photos of the Eleanor Yards as they appeared in 2009.

Jack Hill

Letter #356, March 6, 2011

Another update:

Jon,

My father worked for the C & I Railroad at the Eleanor yards and we lived in one of the C & I homes from about 1935 to 1960. We kids were never allowed at the yards but occasionally as kids we would disobey and pay the price later. I was told the passenger depot was in Colver when it was known as Colver Heights. As I remember that was always the hub of the railroad and the yard was mainly for maintenance of the cars and engine. Beside my father, my brother and two of my uncles worked for the C & I, both in Colver and the Eleanor yards.

Hope this may clear up some confusion or does it cause more?

Nancy (Straw) Mills

Thank you, Nancy. But the problem remains that there are pictures of both Colver and Nanty Glo C&I stations, definitely not the same building, and thus far no one can say with confidence where the Nanty Glo one was located. Jack's description of Eleanor Yards as not easily accessible makes me lean to that being the location, as most people in greater Nanty Glo may never have seen it (if it was along Buelah Road it would have been seen by all). But if you don't remember it at Eleanor, it must have been gone early in the C&I's history. —JK

. . . But what do I know? Monday's mail brought the two most authoritative answers yet. But unfortunately they don't agree.

Letter #357, March 7, 2011

Warren Thompson wrote:

I was told years ago that the station was in Lincoln. My great grandfather, grandfather, father, and brother all worked for the C&I RR.

Then Frank Charney sent this:

Letter #358, March 7, 2011

Regarding the subject of the C&I RR station, I extracted the information below from the rootsweb ancestry page by Jencks. I recalled mention of Peter Corti, a Nanty Glo stone mason, working on the Nanty Glo C&I Station. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pacblack/interests/Jencks/Jencks.html

The stone building started last year as a C&I RR station at Nanty Glo was not opened for service until July 25. Russell Thomas was the first Agent and Operator. He was an operator for the New York Central RR at Fleming Summit on the Cherry Tree and Dixonville RR. He joined up with the C&I in January, 1921, and is still with the Company (1943) at Colver. Chal Dilling was contractor on construction of the Nanty Glo Station and Peter Corti did the stone work. Both lived in Nanty Glo.

And the mention of "Chal Dilling" shook another fact from Frank's memory that may have solved the mystery. Frank continues in a second email:

Letter #359, March 7, 2011

Also remembered George Dilling remarking about the C&I RR Station as follows: http://www.nantyglo.com/gdilling2.htm

My father's name was Chalmer. He was known as C.R. Dilling, or as Chal Dilling. He was a building contractor in Nanty Glo, but I don"t know what all buildings he built. I remember being in his office once when he was drawing up blueprints. Most of the work I was associated with was remodeling during the depression. He built the tile houses on Pergim Hill (Christoff Street), St. Mary's School, St. Charles Church in Twin Rocks, I believe the LaMantia Building, the C&I railroad Station at the top of Second Street above the feed mill, a building at ....

Many thanks, Frank. So there it is—Second Street above the feed mill and the answer has been right here on the home page all along. The feed mill (Sybert's) is one of the few "old-time" buildings still standing and which is pictured on our front page for some months each year. The area seems like a good place for a railroad station, but it amazes me that no one in this forum has said he or she can actually remember seeing it there. Maybe it was blocked from view by the feed mill or Ragley's Lumber? But if George Dilling put it there, I'm inclined to believe it.

I was never certain where Second Street ended and Buelah Road began . . . would have considered that part of it Buelah (because it already has curves). I would think it closer to Springfield (section) than Lincoln (section) and closer to Barker Row (section) than either of those, but if this exercise has shown anything it is that I'm no expert. —jk

Or, maybe not . . .

Phyllis La Mantia Grembi writes:

Letter #360, March 8, 2011

The Library of Congress has an untitled photo of the Beulah Road area, heading into Nanty Glo, a bit before the Feed Mill. I agree, perhaps the station was more in the Ivory Hill area or further in the other direction toward Springfield. Just a thought . . . . http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/fsa1997017038/PP/resource/

Here is the picture she refers to:

Or, maybe the station was already gone by when the picture was taken (between 1935 and 1942, according to the Library). Jack Hill explains:

Letter #361, March 9 2011

The location on Second Street (since you said it becomes Bulah (sic) Road) is where the RR crosses to go to Revloc and would make sense. My thoughts were why didn't folks remember it? The station probably fell into disuse about 1932 since that is when the C&I discontinued passenger service (Denise Weber points out that was [also] when the post office discontinued mail contracts with the PRR and the C&I), so with no passenger service, there would have been no need for a station and agent. Thus you would have to be aware [of] your surroundings in 1932 — how old would that have been? Age 6 or so? thus we would be talking about somebody in their mid 80's as of when we started asking the question.

It was a lot of fun trying to work this out

Jack Hill

A clue in the power lines?

Letter #362, March 9, 2011

Yes, this is fun trying to figure out.

The question I would have for Mr. Hill would be concerning the untitled picture on Beulah road heading towards Nanty Glo.

The power line poles in the picture appear headed to the station or at least what seems to be the feed store in the distance. Notice that the poles look simpler and less sophisticated (single tier, less powerful) than the poles in the station picture coming from the same direction.

It makes me wonder if the untitled picture is actually older than the station picture, or if the two are not in the same area.

Phil Bartoletti

On the other hand, might the electric cars the C&I used for passengers have required more substantial electrical hardware? Once the passenger cars were discontinued, the extra hardware could also have been eliminated. It could also be the power line using the C&I right of way carried power generated by the railroad or Colver mine, whereas the lines on Buelah Road were put up by a fledgling Penelec, or even the telephone company. (Denise Weber's Vintondale history reports that the whole town got it's electricity from the mines initially. Just a guess; Hill's book says at least some of those electric railcars were battery powered, so this may not pertain.) —jk

Last word? Here's a map

Jon,

Letter #363, March 10, 2011

The C & I Railraod Depot was located on Second Street (or Elder Street) based on the 1923 Sanborn Map of Nanty Glo (a copy is/was located in the Nanty Glo Library). The location was about 500 feet beyond the feed mill/lumber company on the left side of the road on the C & I Railroad tracks.

I don't know if the building still exists, but the location is shown on the attached map.

Regards,
George Warholic
Webmaster, Blacklick Township Website
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Click the map to see at full-screen size

Thank you, George. I think this closes the case. jk

An 'eyewitness' recollection

Letter #364, March 14, 2011

Hello All,

The foundation remained when I was a teen in the '40's.

There was a flat area North of the building which the kids from Ivory Hill used as a ball field. Many hours were spent playing there and large boulders which lay to the East of the "ball field."

Bill Lezzer, Class of '47

 


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