Salem Branch, Rolla-Lebanon Sub

Discussion in 'Salem Branch' started by rogerrt477, Feb 17, 2002.

  1. jdstotler

    jdstotler Member

    Hi Pat! My dad has a photo of the accident at the Meramec bridge at Goltra. Unfortunately, after a couple of moves, he isn't sure where it is. He is still searching for it, and we will scan it as soon as we find it. Do you have any photos from the accident? Thanks.
  2. jdstotler

    jdstotler Member

    I found this photo on eBay last night. Unfortunately, it had already sold. The writing on the back states that this picture was taken in 1873, and the men had just finished the St. Louis, Salem, and Little Rock Railroad grade into Simmons Mtn Iron Mine, southeast of Salem. The description gives a brief history of the railroad as well. The description is signed W.P. Elmer, who is a well known historian from Salem. I have been using his writings for source material in my research I believe he was the attorney for the S&E, as was mentioned on this forum before.

    Simmons Mtn railroad grade 1873.png
    St. Louis, Salem, & Little Rock Railroad grade completed into Simmons Iron Mine, 1873 (W.P. Elmer)
  3. jdstotler

    jdstotler Member

    If this map was made in 1905, the Salem & Southeastern and the branch to Simmons Iron Mine would have already been removed. Salem & Southeastern was abandoned in 1888.
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  4. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    My late brother in law, Ed Wofford, born and raised in Salem went firing on the Frisco and then was in WWII. He eventually returned from the Philippines where he was in a RR battalion and bid on the Salem Branch as a fireman on a 2-8-0 for several years until it was replaced by a diesel. He came to Lindenwood and worked a yard job as engineer. He eventually took the daylight Chrysler turn and retired from that. Ed was one of the good guys.
  5. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Supporter


    I believe you posted somewhere that the diesel that was used for some time was No. 61 or 62. Was that one of the Baldwins switchers? I heard the story from my grandfather that the first diesel they tried “broke every rail.” I’m assuming that was a GP7. A recollection of the event published in the Crawford Mirror in 1974 said that a smaller locomotive was used afterward, but didn’t specify exactly what type.

    Pat Moreland
    Wesco, Missouri
  6. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Supporter

    If it’s the same photo I’m thinking of, showing the mangled bridge on a gravel bar, a crowd of spectators, and a livestock car resting on a stone pier, the location is Birdsnest east (geographically north) of Steelville over the Meramec. A caption with the photo misidentifies it as Goltra, but if you visit the Birdsnest river access, observe the stone piers of the original bridge as well as a the terrain, then compare it to the absence of such piers and the comparatively short span at Goltra, you’ll see what I mean.

    Rumors of a wreck in the water at Goltra have circulated among the Cook Station locals for years. It may have happened, but I haven’t found any evidence for it.

    Pat Moreland
    Wesco, Missouri
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2023
  7. jdstotler

    jdstotler Member

    Located newspaper clippings regarding 2 additional spurs to the Salem Branch. Griffith Bank Spur, off of the Cherry Valley Railroad, constructed by Frisco in 1908, and Stimson Bank Spur, off of the Dent-Phelps Railroad, built in 1880. I know that the Stimson branch was 3 miles long.

    Mention of Stimson Branch (misspelled):
    Stimson Bank.jpg

    Another mention of the branch, while under construction:
    Stimson almost done.jpg

    I believe the Stimson Branch is the railroad bed that is visible in a bottom crossing Hwy 68 just south of Hwy JJ. This would be just after the railroad left Clinton switch.

    The Griffith Bank Branch:
    Griffith Iron Mine Spur.jpg

    And again:
    Griffith Mine Switch.jpg

    I do know that the Griffith Iron Bank had tracks into the bank, as documented in this photo:
    Griffith Iron Mine.PNG

    Does anyone know anymore about either spur?
  8. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Supporter

    My apologies, it’s actually called the Missouri Digital Newspaper Project, and is a collection of the State Historical Society of Missouri.

    with pictures of Sligo, the furnace and the railroad.

    Memories of Sligo, MO › watch
    This is a song that I composed on piano on August 12th, 2012, in honor and in memory
    of a town that is in my heart, Sligo, Missouri.
    YouTube · Marshal Allen Bailey · Aug 12, 2013

    An overview of the Sligo Furnace and its Railway.
    scroll down to Page 10; has a picture of the furnace and
    a summary about it.,_Missouri

    Newspaper article:

    Mar 14, 1981 ... The second largest iron blast furnace
    in Missouri was located at Sligo in the 1880's.
    The iron ore industries were instrumental
    for growth within these areas of the Ozarks.

      Before the St. Louis Salem & Little Rock Railroad,
    • other railways spur branches and the Sligo Furnace,
    • life was much harder:
      These are the categores;
      Physical Geography --
      Boundary –
      The Surface –
      Mineral Wealth –
      Valuation –
      Era of Settlement --
      Earthworks –
      Indians –
      Settlers –
      Land Entries –
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2023
  10. A 1959 large scale topo 1:250,000 map that shows the Salem Branch from near Cuba through Steelville & Wesco to Salem. It also shows the Crawford County Midland Railroad (Cherry Valley Railway). Red bordered grid sections are ~ 5 miles W to E by ~6 miles S to N,
    being ~ 30 square miles each. Contour lines 100' change in elevations. Highest location 1,771.7' msl Taum Sauk Mountain where it snows more often.

    Read about it at Place name: Taum Sauk Mountain Description: The highest peak in Missouri, 1771.7 feet above sea level. West of Ironton, its northern and eastern segments are in Iron County; its bulk in Reynolds County.
    More...@ smh library Rolla, Search Name Place Iron County
    and Name Places Reynolds County.

    This map also shows the SLSF from St. James, through Rolla to Arlington (by the Bundy Junction U.S. Army Railroad).

    click on the map to magnify the view.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2023
  11. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Red bordered squares are called Townships, they are six miles square, and therefore, a township contains 36 numbered sections; each section being a mile square, and so each section contains an area of 640 acres. The sections are numbered in a serpentine manner. In a map view of a township the sections are numbered thusly:

    This survey method was largely the brainchild of Thomas Jefferson . It was enacted into law during 1785, and for your edification, this act was probably the most significant thing to come from the US government during the days when it was governed by the Articles of Confederation.
    This survey method is used in in all fifty states, save the 13 original states, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, and Hawaii. The survey system is called the Public Land Surveying System, although the terms The Jeffersonian Mapping System or The Congressional Mapping System are used in the awl bidness (oil business).

    It is much better than systems, which use metes and bounds, i.e., from the large gray rock, go N30E for 607 feet. Much of south Texas is based on old Spanish land grants. Trying to spot wells, when the location is given by something like this, “go 24987 feet north of the Rio Grande River in the Juan Hernandez grant of 1647”, is fraught with peril. I have numerous horror stories and come to Jesus meetings about poor well spots due to poor geodetic practices.

    A series of grids have been laid out that consist of principal Meridians(N-S) and Baselines(E-W); townships are measured north-south, and ranges are measured east-west. The legal description of a Township contains the “distance” from the origin of the grid, i.e., Twp 4 N, Rge 6 E. A 36 mile square township may also have a legal name.

    So, if I had a 160-acre parcel of land, it might have this legal description:
    NE 1/4 Sec 26, Twp 4 N, Rge 6 E. It’s a very simple but elegant solution. (1/4 of 640 equals 160).
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2023
  12. jdstotler

    jdstotler Member

    Valuation of the St. Louis, Salem, & Little Rock Railroad and it’s branches in 1883.

    This valuation is interesting. This document refers to Riverside Mine as Bogy Mine (which it was once called). Also confirms the existence of the Stimson Branch, which I am currently tracking. Also included are the Dent-Phelps Railroad and Sligo Furnace Railroad. Salem & Southeastern is misnamed at Salem & Eastern.
  13. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Yet another illustration of his brilliance!
    gjslsffan, Ozarktraveler and Karl like this.
  14. Note 2) Sligo, MO Revised.

    Founders of the Sligo Furnace Company

    The Sligo Furnace Company was formed to exploit iron deposits in Crawford, Dent and Phelps counties, first noted by surveyor E. B. Sankey along the line of the St. Louis, Salem and Little Rock Railway. Sankey invited A. L. Crawford of New Castle, Pennsylvania, H. A. Crawford of St. Louis, Missouri; A. J. Crawford of Terre Haute, Indiana; J. P. Crawford of Missouri; and David Carson, former superintendent of the Maramec Iron Works in Phelps County, Missouri, to inspect the area’s prospects. As a result, the Crawfords and Carson determined to build a furnace along Crooked Creek in Dent County, a site within reach of the St. Louis, Salem & Little Rock Railway and close to plentiful deposits of iron ore, limestone for flux, and timber for charcoal-making.Sligo forges near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania), capitalized at $30,000. H. A. Crawford of St. Louis was Consequently, the Crawfords and Carson incorporated the Sligo Furnace Company (a Missouri corporation named after the the major shareholder, with 150 shares; his brothers and David Carson held 120 shares. After the purchase of land in January 1880 for a furnace site, the company was recapitalized at $100,000. David Carson supervised construction and operation of the plant until his death. The company’s physical plant took shape in 1880.

    Edward Goltra purchased the Sligo Furnace Company in ~1898.
    Soon later he sold it to the American Car & Foundry when he became the President of ACF.
    Last edited: May 11, 2023
  15. jdstotler 1883 p.870 Manual of Railroads--Missouri
    St.l. S. & l.R.

    Hi Jacob!
    Lot's of new info. from you Thanks!
    I really like that manual. Quantifies info about our railroads.

    This manual is the first to acknowledge what I keep saying.
    It was "Sligo" Junction! Not "Goltra" Junction until ~1898.

    Edwards Goltra showed up in ~1898 when he came to town and purchased the furnace
    with others' money. That is called an investors group.
    When he got control of the highest-grade iron ore and the furnace company, he worked
    his way into the position as President of American Car & Foundry. Once there, he did
    not do as well supporting Sligo; he moved on to other ACF adventures.
    1921 BOOMmmm, the furnace blew out again and Edward's ACF did not replace it that time.

    From then on Edward Goltra was to iron, is sorta like, what John C. Frémont was to constructing more rails forward along the Pacific's planned South West Branch.

    Notice that the President, V.P. and Directors of the railroad were the same names as the
    owners of the furnace.
    Major Investors were Jay Gould, NY NY and H. S. Hayes, both well known
    names in many other railroads.

    E. B. Sankey superintendent of the railroad was the guy who surveyed everything
    in these three counties. He had his fingers in everything business and got people working together.
    Just NNE of Steelville is the hamlet of Sankey [on one of your newspaper clippings,
    it stated "there was a turntable here"]. Another hot find! You're on a roll!
    Perhaps the research team will find some remains of it?
    We need to keep posting your Evergreen website "Jacob's -research results -google map".
    Keep your followers - following.
    (y) again "Thank You"!

    Last edited: May 11, 2023
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  16. Brad K

    Brad K Member

    jdstotler, the amount of time and research you're putting into this is amazing, and great to watch in real time. I live about 3 minutes north from the DeCamp mine site on highway F and have been intrigued by the Dent-Phelps RR ever since I found out about it years ago. If you ever find another spike and need someone to take it off your hands, just hit me up haha. I'm interested to know what's left of the DeCamp site, with Cahill greenhouses taking up the space of where it would be along highway F.
  17. Rob R

    Rob R Member

  18. locations, productions, populations
    Missouri Historical Review, Volume 022 Issue 4, July 1928
    Page 588 2nd paragraph [not below that].
    Other ghost towns in the Ozarks are taken.

    [​IMG] <<<<
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2023
    wpmoreland719 likes this.
  19. jdstotler

    jdstotler Member

    Glenna Pauline (Harmon) Pitts, from Cook Station. Photo taken on the Meramec River bridge at Goltra.
  20. jdstotler

    jdstotler Member


    This railroad interchange was built by volunteers in preparation for the Salem, Winona, & Southern Railroad, the Missouri Southern Railroad, and the St. Louis, Houston, & Mineral Belt Railway. All three railroads were promised to exit Salem from this interchange within a year. None of the three were ever completed. The railroad interchange sat abandoned and unused. This aerial photo is from 1955, just before the area was developed for a neighborhood.

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