W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

The Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) => Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad => Topic started by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on January 30, 2009, 01:48:37 PM

Title: SR&RL Books and Photos
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on January 30, 2009, 01:48:37 PM
I picked up the newest SR&RL book from our table at the Big E show.  It's entitled A Chronological History of the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad Part 1 1878-1900 by Gary Kohler.  The book is a listing of events that occurred on each of the SR&RL's predecessor railroads.  Each section shows events and photos for the Sandy River, Franklin & Megantic, Phillips & Rangeley and Kingfield & Dead River.  Some of the photographs have never been published before.  Historic paper items are included such as track charts, trestle component plans, stock certificates and railroad passes.  Two of the 1888 passes were issued to Mr. Caswell of the B&SR.  I've enjoyed the book - it's a reference book that's an interesting read.   
Title: Re: SR&RL Books and Photos
Post by: John McNamara on January 30, 2009, 04:38:57 PM
Yes, for those who didn't get to the W. Springfield show, this book is available from the Museum Store for $29.95 plus $5 shipping (and plus 5% tax if sent to a Maine address). See www.wwfry.org for further details.
Title: Re: SR&RL Books and Photos
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on October 19, 2009, 08:30:36 AM
Volume 2 of Jerry DeVos "The Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad and Predecessors - Equipment Manufacturers and the Equipment" has been released.  This volume covers information on the Hinkley Locomotive Works, Jackson & Sharp, Laconia Car Company, Maine Central RR, Millers Platform and Couplers, H.K. Porter and The Portland Company (part 1).  There are many photographs, some never published before.  Jerry goes into detail about locomotive and rolling stock specs and modifications.  In some cases there are multiple photos of a car or engine as it evolved over the years.  

This work is a nice follow up to Volume 1, published in 2007 which covered the SR&RL's purchases from the Baldwin Locomotive Works, Billmeyer & Small Company and the William H. Dyer Company in Strong.  There was a good bit of new info on the Dyer Works that built a number of cars for the SR&RL.

Both books are available through the WW&F Gift Shop.
Title: Re: SR&RL Books and Photos
Post by: Dana Deering on November 09, 2009, 10:47:17 AM
     I picked up a copy of Volume 2 on Saturday and was up until 1AM (after a stint tending my grandchildren) reading it.  There is some great info in there.  I had no idea that the Portland Terminal Co had such a large repair facility at Turner Island in South Portland.  My mother's cousin owns that land now and is in the process of developing a rail/marine facility there.  I was there exploring shortly before he filled in the turntable pit but didn't have much time to poke around.  I found that historical tidbit to be quite inetersting.  The chapter on the Thompson Point Shops cleared up a mystery for me.  When I was a kid I used to spend some time horsing around at the old Gorham Dump.  One day a truck backed in and unloaded a whole bunch of old photos and papers and I was right there to dig through them.  I found lots of old railroad photos and rule books, etc., which I scooped up and put in the basket of my bicycle and hauled home, much to my mother's horror.  Anyway there is a series of pictures of the aftermath of a fire someplace but there was nothing written on the photos.  There were some markings on the locos and on a flatcar that said "Maine Central" but that was all.  Well, one of the photos was taken at a similar angle to one in V2 which shows the aftermath of the Thompson Point Shop fire of 1903.  Mystery solved! 
     A nice book overall.  There are a couple of errors in the photo captions.  One identifies Dana Aldrich as "Andy Aldrich".  Mostly minor stuff.  Excellent info and a good reference book!
Title: Re: SR&RL Books and Photos
Post by: Steve Klare on November 11, 2009, 12:11:33 AM
Hi Dana,

Andy Aldrich was Dana Aldrich's son. He worked for the SR&RL as a brakeman during the last decade of operations.

Does the photo have a date?

If I remember right, Vol. II of Two Feet Between the Rails is dedicated to Andy. Be was a major resource for Robert Jones when he was researching and a lot of his reminiscences are in the back of the book.
Title: Re: SR&RL Books and Photos
Post by: Dana Deering on November 11, 2009, 08:02:37 AM
Thanks, Steve,

     I do know who Andy Aldrich was and the photo is not of him.  It's Dana. For one thing Andy never had a moustache. I don't have the page number right in front of me but it was a photo taken around the time of the Consolidation when Andy was just a babe and it is in other books, too, and the man is always identified as Dana.

     It's a minor distraction.  There is a lot of really interesting info in the book.
Title: Re: SR&RL Books and Photos
Post by: Steve Klare on November 11, 2009, 10:33:36 PM
You're right, Andy would have been way too young at that time. I don't think I've ever seen a picture of him during the operating years anyway.

I guess being that even a teenager in the last days of SR&RL operations would be in his 90s now there are few or maybe no more Sandy River Men out there anymore.
Title: Re: SR&RL Books and Photos
Post by: Dana Deering on November 12, 2009, 07:48:49 AM

     I've seen at leat one photo of Andy Aldrich when he was working for the Sandy River.  He's pictured with the crew of #19 and he's standing on the pilot with his arm on the smoke box.  I think all of the old Sandy River men are long gone.  I met Cliff Cushman, an old Sandy River man, back in the late 70's.  I ventured up to Phillips and was poking around when someone directed me to Cliff's place.  He gave me a tour of the Sandy River RR park and the railroad room at the Phillips Historical Society.  That was one rare treat.  He died the following year.  Anyway, now almost all of those who saw the two footers in operation are passing from the scene.  Such is life and now it's up to us to preserve what's left.
Title: Re: SR&RL Books and Photos
Post by: Bill Sample on November 12, 2009, 09:26:35 AM
Regarding the last of the Sandy River men, David Campbell of the MNGRR located one who lived in the Portland area back in the 1990s.  IIRC his name was Jim Sellinger, and he had been on a section gang for awhile - think the gang foreman was his father.  David and I later found his name in a payroll book in the railroad room at the Phillips Historical Society.  David arranged for Jim to visit the MNGRR and I met him there, just after a cab ride in one of the Monson engines.  I'll never forget the smile on Jim's face while he was on the loco.  I know Jim passed on a year or so later.
Maybe a year or two later after Jim's MNGRR visit was a newspaper article on a 100 yr old man who still lived on his own, think it was in South Portland.  The article described one of the centenarian's many work experiences as being a mail clerk on the SR&RL - I thought that this meant an RPO clerk so maybe he actually worked for the post office department rather than the railway.  But he would have at least worked ON the SR&RL.
Dana, you are quite fortunate to have met Cliff.  I wish I could have met some of the old timers, but at least Jones and Gus Pratt and others have done such a good job on preserving their memories in print and on film.  Especially with my favorites Dana Aldrich and Ed West.
Yes, now it's up to us to pass these memories along.
Title: Re: SR&RL Books and Photos
Post by: Stephen Hussar on November 12, 2009, 08:42:21 PM
Just FYI, we are working with Jerry DeVos, and currently in the process of rejuvenating Newell Martin's Sandy River films...creating an ultra-realistic soundtrack, and restoring sections that have never been seen publicly. Look for this DVD to be available in the not too distant future...

Title: Re: SR&RL Books and Photos
Post by: Dana Deering on November 13, 2009, 07:34:37 AM

     Meeting Cliff Cushman was a treat that I'll never forget and one that happened by sheer luck.  I have a photo somewhere that I took of him that day standing next to the F&M flanger at the SR&RL Park (taken with my Kodak Instamatic!).  I was also fortunate to have a grandmother who was a closet B&SR fan who introduced me to an old B&SR man, Ernest Ward.  There were other narrow gauge veterans around but I never got to meet them as I was just a kid.  At least I got to meet a couple of them.


     Based on the results of your past DVD endeavors I can imagine that the Martin Films will be nothing short of excellent by the time you've finished with them.