The Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) > Bridgton & Saco River Railway

A little peice of the #6

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Eric Bolton:
Here is a little peice of information that Im sure is little known. Im sure many of you have heard of Edgar Mead. He was very active in trying to save the B&H in its last years. This was not Mr. Meads only railroad involvement however. Mr. Mead purchesed Ely Thomas Lumber Co. two truck shay #6 (I am not sure of the date). This locomotive ended up on a long term lease with the New Jersey Museum of Transportaion better known as the Pine Creek Railroad. A few changes were made to the locomotive including the addition of a new headlight. This headlight just happened to be the headlight from B&SR #6 as seen on page 81 of "Two Feet to the Lakes." The shay has been out of service for the past few years awaiting needed repairs. The headlight now rests in our shop. So a little peice of the long gone #6 still survives. Here is a picture of it on the shay.

Dana Deering:
That is very cool, Eric.  There is a fellow named Cam Brown who worked for the B&H as a teenager back in 1940-41 and he worked with Everett Brown (no relation) the Master Mechanic, engineer, et al of the B& H.  They were trying to get #7 running again and Cam was small enough to fit in the tiny spaces under #7 so he worked in the shop a lot.  Anyway, I kept up an email correspondence with Cam for quite a while and one of the notes  he sent tells about a shelf inside the shop that was lined with old headlights.  No doubt Ed Mead grabbed one or more when the B&H was checking out and that was probably one of those that Cam saw.  Interesting.  Anyway, now that you know the story it's time to return that light to its rightful home  ;)

(It looks pretty darned good where it is, since we no longer have #6!)

Keith Taylor:
Is the Maine Two Foot Display that Mr. Mead built, and had at Allaire still there? As I recall, it contained No. 6's front number plate, an Eames Vacuum Brake Co. vacuum hose complete with gladhand and some nice (for the era) On2 models and it had a selection of B&SR and B&H switch locks and keys as well.
. It used to be on display in the Freneau, NJ (ex. CNJ)  Depot building.

Eric Bolton:
Keith the two foot gauge display was removed a few years ago when the inside of the station was restored. I'm told that the items went into storage. Other then that I have no idea.
Dana what an interesting story. Just adds a little bit more to the history of that headlight. Thanks for sharing. Ill see if I can get any better pictures of the headlight. You know what I just noticed too the headlight is still mounted on "the 6." Interesting twist fate. Another interesting note (though not involved with the B&SR) is that the whistle you see mounted on the shay was used for the sound effects in the begging of the Flinstones cartoon.

Dana Deering:
Wow,  I had no idea that 6's number plate still exists.  The Bridgton Historical Society owns a live steamer model of 6 on display at their headquarters in Bridgton and it's very nice.  6 was the unsung heroine of the B&SR and was their steady workhorse right up unitl she was retired in 1933.  Then she sacrificed herself to keep 7 & 8 running.  One of my favorite photos from the B&SR is of #6 in front of the Bridgton engine house with her engineer and fireman leaning out of the fireman's side window.  You can see the engineer's reflection in the glass!

 I always liked #4, too.  She was the ugly duckling but she was Everett Brown's favorite.  "She could run like a deer and her exhaust was elegant!", so he said.


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