Sligo & Eastern

Discussion in 'Freight Operations' started by frisco1522, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Here are a couple of views of a S&E Shay doing her thing over the bridge. Salem Branch experts can identify the location. I'm not sure of the year either. These are from the collection of the late Wayne Leeman, a St. Louis newspaper reporter who did many railroad articles in the '40s and '50s.

    Attached Files:

    mountaincreekar likes this.
  2. w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021)

    w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021) 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    MMR Tim Kubat put together a great clinic years ago "Shays In The Ozarks". I think he even gave it during the FMIG Memphis Convention. He copied a lot of the photos from the James Foundation Library in St. James, MO. I went to the library once and thumbed through them - pretty impressive. Anyone researching that branch must spend a day or two at that library.
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  3. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    When I first saw these pics, I thought the location might be at Dillard over the Huzzah. The hills and the general area look right, but there are probably too many houses and buildings up on the hill for Dillard.

    We vacationed a lot at a fishing lodge at Dillard when I was a kid (1950's). The old S&E right of way was still evident then.

    mountaincreekar likes this.
  4. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    I wonder if a Tichy/Gould flat would be a good starting point for one of those bulkhead flats.

    There are lots of details to note:

    Pin-connected truss on pile-piers
    Four-pile bents
    Leaf springs on the flats

    Great photos , Don.
  5. JamesP

    JamesP James Pekarek

    Great pictures - thanks for posting! I know this might be a little off topic, but I wonder if someone who knows Tim Kubat could talk him into posting the "Shays in the Ozarks" clinic on this forum? Besides the S&E, the only other shay I knew about was the Ozarks Southern between Mansfield & Ava - they started operation with a Heisler from the Grandin operation, but had a shay later on.

    - James
  6. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Supporter

    I have a photocopy of one of these photographs (the one of the train crossing without any cars ahead of the locomotive), and the caption indicated that the bridge was at Dillard over the Huzzah Creek, which I believe is correct. In comparison to the photo that I posted a month or two ago of Sligo, the bridge there crossing Crooked Creek did not have a truss span. These were the two largest bridges on the line.

    Dillard and Sligo were both boom towns at one time, especially Sligo, but both dried up rather quickly after the smelter at Sligo closed in 1922. There just wasn't enough justification to keep the railroad going east of Sligo, although I believe that the section between Goltra junction and Sligo lasted a bit longer, maybe till 1930.

    My grandpa has a distant cousin by the name of Robert Earney who still lives in Steelville at the age of 91. I was fortunate enough to talk with him a few years ago, and he told me that his father took him to Sligo (they lived in Wesco) when he was four for a haircut. By this time, the smelter and railroad had shut down, but the equipment was still there. His father took him to the roundhouse, and they climbed into the cab of one of the Shay's. He remembered it being covered in black soot. What a neat experience!
  7. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Thanks for confirming the location of the S&E pics Don posted was Dillard, Mo. As soon as I saw them, "Dillard" screamed out to me in my mind. We had a lot of fun down there on summer vacations when I was a kid - at "The Old Mill Lodge" there upstream a couple of miles on the Huzzah, and Dillard, which were special places for me. We stayed there over fifteen times at least, plus many other day visits. The lodge was run by Mr. & Mrs. Lester Klemme (and dog "Rex"), formerly of Kirkwood, Mo. The mill is still there - now a Missouri State Historic site. It still operates!, and the place is as beautiful and rustic as ever. It's a nice one-day visit from StL in the fall when the trees are in color.

    When I was there in 1950's-1960's, there weren't as many buildings up on the hill as there are in these pics. Dillard had long before lost its "boom town" status for sure.

    There is a creek that runs through town that drains into the Huzzah - you can see it to the left of the tracks in these pics. It was good for catching crawfish for bait at a place in the background of these pics, close to Cottrell's general store/Gulf station (now closed). On our first visit there (I'm guessing 1952 or 53), we walked over to the creek while my mom was in the store and my dad said "Look, there was a railroad here!" as the r-o-w was quite obvious. The tracks ran along the side of that creek for quite a way as it ran through this very rugged part of Missouri (Crawford County).


    ps - Just checked my USGS maps - that creek was known as the James Branch.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2010
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  8. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Supporter

    Ken, can pin-point the exact location of the bridge in Dillard? I've looked for it a couple of time, but can't find any signs of (i.e., pilings, etc). I'm assuming it would be on the west side of the Hwy 49 bridge.

    Everytime I think of Dillard, I always think back to Thanksgiving Day 2001. I was working for the Crawford County Sheriff's Department as a patrol deputy and had only been on the road for about three months. I was the only deputy on duty for the entire county that day and while taking a stolen ATV report south of Sullivan, I received a domestic disturbance call in Dillard. I ran with my lights and siren all the way there, and as I was leaving Steelville southbound on Hwy 19, I looked down and noticed there was smoke coming out of my old Federal Signal siren control box. I made it there without catching on fire, and when I got to the residence, the male subject had an active warrant for Burglary 2nd Degree. He was a big 'ol boy, and he didn't want to go to jail. I was very diplomatic with him, and he finally allowed me to take him in without a struggle. Good thing for me.
  9. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Mo 49 runs from the SW to the NE after it comes down the hill from Cherryville approaching Dillard, which sits mainly south of the road. The S&E was, I believe, south of the road but north of the main part of Dillard as it passed by town, running just north of the James Branch creek. The Huzzah S&E bridge was just north of where the creek drains into the Huzzah (see the pics), but I never noticed anything remaining of it to be seen. It could be that after the S&E closed, 49 took advantage of the roadbed for an improved highway. During the 1950's, it was still a gravel road. The old 49 Huzzah bridge (since replaced) looked like a '30's structure, but I'm just guessing. The USGS map does not show the old railroad r-o-w coming through Dillard, which is why I'm guessing MoDOT might have used it. The map does show r-o-w working through the hills on both sides of Dillard.

    Your story about your 2001 adventure made me think of the Cottrell boys - I think their names were Luke and Clem. In addition to the Dillard store and gas station, the Cottrell's ran a nice Black Angus farm there. My dad would give the boys a couple of bucks and they would go out in the fields and dig us up a bunch of worms for bait. The Huzzah's bass and bluegill loved them!

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2010
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  10. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I think this may be the best place to include this tidbit, but we can move if someone deems it better elsewhere. From the June, 1931 Frisco Employee's Magazine list of Agency Changes:

    Effecctive May 1, 1931, Sligo, Mo., located on the Eastern division, Rolla sub-division, Sligo branch, was closed.

    Best Regards,

    SAFN SAAP Member

    If you have any better shots of Sligo & Eastern freight cars that all information can be seen, please post them or PM me with them. This looks like a neat little line. Did it interchange with the Frisco anywhere?
  12. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Supporter

    The S&E interchanged with the Frisco's Salem Branch at a point between Wesco and Cook Station known as "Goltra". I don't think that there was ever anything more there than a switch. The line wound along the Meramec River for about a quarter of a mile before continuing on east through fields and hollows (we call them hollers :) to Sligo. The first mile or so of right of way is on what is now a Crawford County road (Old Mine Rd).

    Pat Moreland
    Union Mo.
  13. Ishmael

    Ishmael Member

    Thanks, everybody, for the information and the photos. I did some exploring along that line but never had time to get a whole lot of information.

    Pat, your story of the big old boy with the Burg2 warrant brought back memories. I worked Pruitt-Igoe project for a long time and there were a lot of big fellers there. I always preferred to talk them in rather fight them. That's the best Police work.

  14. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Supporter

    Manny, there is a nice photo on of one of the Shays with a boxcar or two at what appears to be a lumber or tie facility in Roulon. Go to the site, browse by location, select Missouri, then Roulon. It's the only photo for Roulon.

    Mike, we may have discussed this already, but in the 1984 photos that you sent to me, you can see "Goltra" in the background of the photo where you standing on the Meramec River bridge facing north. The crossbucks in the background mark the spot where Old Mine Road crossed the Salem Branch and connected with Hwy M and this is exactly where Goltra was located, although like I said, I don't think that there was ever anything there, just the junction and maybe a siding. From what I've read about the line, conventional side rod locomotives were used from there to Sligo, but the Shay's had the duty on eastward, as the track was pretty light and rough.

    Where was the Pruitt-Igo project? I'm guessing it was probably on the north side of the city. I hear that's where most of the action's at!

    Pat Moreland,
    Union Mo.
  15. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    The Pruett-Igo project was a housing project in the near downtown St. Louis area. Started out pretty nice when new, but went the way of most "projects". Not a good place to be.
  16. DanHyde

    DanHyde Member

    I used to pass it every morning and afternoon when I worked at Gruendler Crusher and Pulverizer on North Market. It was a horror to see at times.
  17. Ishmael

    Ishmael Member

    The ironic part about Pruitt-Igoe was that most of the people there were decent but poor. Also a lot of single mothers and this created problems when the welfare checks came in. You had to have your wits about you at all times. Don and Dan are both right about the location, Pat. But it was basically inner-city. Lot of stories to tell, but not the same as being on your own in Crawford County. We at least had backup.
  18. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Supporter

    Don and Dan, thanks for the information on Pruitt-Igoe. Glad I work in Franklin County, which of course has it's share of problems, however, especially with drugs. Sorry for straying off topic, but the greatest thing about this forum is the people here and their knowledge in a variety of different subject matters.

    I enjoyed working in Crawford County, especially in the southern half, because it gave me the opportunity to drive around and view parts of the Lead Line, the Salem Branch, and the S&E. Dillard and Davisville were two of those areas which seemed to police themselves, so I didn't spend a lot of time there as compared to Cuba and Leasburg. The residents in the southern part of the county usually didn't call the sheriff, but there were some pretty wiry folks down there. I chased a guy one night down the banks of the Huzzah and caught him on a gravel bar. He had bailed from his pickup on a traffic stop. There was meth in the console, a rifle in the seat, and a poached deer in the back. Luckily I had another deputy with me that night, but that was rare. Still, I wouldn't consider it as bad as some of the inner city project areas that Mike had to contend with.

    Back on topic, you guys may have seen a large building in St. Louis near the riverfront with "SLIGO" written in big letters on the roof. Is the building still there? I was at Fair St. Louis last week and looked for it, but didn't see it. Also, was there a connection between this building and the Sligo Iron Furnace Company?

    Pat Moreland,
    Union Mo.
  19. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Sligo is/was a steel dealer.
  20. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Supporter

    mountaincreekar likes this.

Share This Page