Cook Station Water Tank

Discussion in 'Water Towers' started by wpmoreland719, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Here are a couple of photos of the Cook Station water tank taken 06-02-2010, almost 60 years after the last steam locomotive took on water there. A 1982 article in Trains magazine written by a man who traveled from Pennsylvania to Salem in 1949 described the journey that he took over the Frisco, including his ride in the caboose from Cuba to Salem. Consolidation no. 957 was the locomotive used on his trip, and since the first diesel came to the branch in 1950, I have to wonder if 957 was in fact the last steam engine used on the line.

    Water was supplied by a nearby spring, and channeled through a concrete aquaduct about 300 to 400 yards to the tank. I remember the Cook Station Mercantile, which sets right behind it, still being open for business when I graduated from high school in 1996. Me and a couple of buddies were going on a float trip on the Meramec from Short Bend to Cooks in July of that year, and we stopped at the store to get a few things. There was a deck on the back of the store at that time, which we walked out onto. We looked into the tank (which was nothing more than an open concrete reservoir), and it was full of rainbow trout! Guess the owner of the mercantile brought a few over from Benton Creek and stocked the tank.

    I wish I could've got a little closer to it, but the mosquitos were about to carry me off.

    Pat Moreland,
    Union Mo.
     

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  2. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Wish my Brother in Law Ed Wofford was still alive as he could shed some light on a lot of Salem Branch things. He was the regular fireman for Jim Smiley on the branch and fired steam until they dieselized with a Baldwind VO something or other. The 900s were all hand bombers so he was in good shape back then.
    As a youngster I stayed with my sister and him occasionally at Cuba. They lived at the very west end of town on whatever street parallels the main line and I thoroughly enjoyed watching trains and keeping an eye out for my Dad going by on the engine.
    We took my little niece down to the depot to watch "Dadaw" come through westbound on a troop train with a 4400. We kept telling her to watch for Dadaw. He came through town fast and loud and just about moved the depot off the foundation and when the last car went by we asked if she saw Dadaw. Her eyes were still the size of saucers and she said "What Dadaw"?
     
  3. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Frisco.org Supporter

    I wish your brother-in-law was still alive too! I'd love to sit down and chat with a train crew member about the branch, especially one from the steam era.

    Interesting what you said about the Baldwin VO being used. My grandpa was working on the track gang when the first diesel came to the branch. He said that on it's first trip, it broke a large number of rails, since much of the line still consisted of 55 lb. rail. It always baffled me that a steam locmotive could be easier on rails than a diesel, but I guess it has to do with weight distribution. I always assumed that the first diesel on the branch was probably a GP7.

    James Breuer, now deceased, was a Cuba and Crawford County historian. He also ran a Standard Oil depot along the line in Cuba, and fueled the diesel before each trip to Salem. A few years ago, I came across a newspaper article that he wrote for the Crawford Mirror in 1974. Breuer also mentioned that when steam was replaced, " a large diesel was tried, but it broke the rails". He went on to state that a smaller one replaced it. It's always been a mystery to me what type the "large" diesel was, and what it was that replaced it. You may have shed some light on that.

    Pat Moreland,
    Union Mo.
     

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