Some Salem Branch maps

Discussion in 'Salem Branch' started by Explorer Chris, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. First up, we have one from 1884. The one is interesting because it shows TWO lines south of Salem, one to Riverside Mines, and as second line to a place called "Iron Hill". It also shows what I believe would be the branch to DeCamp terminating at a location called "Simpson". I have not been able to locate any of these locations on modern maps.

    RIVERSIDE MINES 1884.jpg

    Second, here is one from 1888 featuring all the same locations as the one above.

    RIVERSIDE MINES 1888.jpg

    Third, we have one from 1898. This one shows some additional trackage to both Sligo (which by this time would've been the connection to the Sligo and Eastern) as well as to Plank Iron Bank. The line that was previously labelled as "Iron Hill" is now called "Simmons Mountain". It also shows what I assume is the DeCamp line, but does not name a terminus.


    Here's 1901...same as the last one but Riverside Mines is gone.


    Here's 1912. This one shows the DeCamp branch and also shows a line south of Salem but doesn't indicate the last point on the line. It also shows a little bit of the Sligo and Eastern.


    Finally, 1927. I had to piece this one together, but it's pretty decent. By this time, Salem is the end of the line. It shows the Cherry Valley branch, as well as a good chunk of the Sligo and Eastern.


    Attached Files:

    mountaincreekar likes this.
  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    I have found the use of "gazetteer" web sites and to some extent geneology web sites to be useful when looking for ghost towns and abandoned sites. They will usually give the source of the location name and a location given as Twp/Rge/Sec or Lat/Long.
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  3. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Using USAPhotoMaps software, I have found an old trace labeled "Old Railroad Grade". It is due west of the town of Wesco on the Salem branch. It appears that whatever line this was MAY have gone to St. James, and state road 68 MAY have used the roadbed to get over near St. James. However, as you near St. James, the gradient that it appears Hwy 68 utilizes to arrive at St. James does not look conducive to a railroad roadbed.

    Anyway, the lat/lon for the southernmost end of the "Old Railroad Grade" is:

    N 37.854158
    W -91.550241

    What a fascinating area!

    Edit: Chris, is there any way you can post larger sized maps? Or, can you link to the sources? I may be able to assist in figuring out where some of those lost towns were.

    I am very interested in exploring this area using virtual terrain with any eye toward relaying the old railroads as a "V scale" (virtual scale, aka computer simulation) project, circa 1870s!
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  4. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Supporter

    The Decamp branch runs parallel to MO Rt. 68 on the highway's east side beginning near the intersection of Hwy YY west of Cook Station. It crosses Hwy 68 between Winkler and the intersection of State Rt. NN, and ends about five miles or so north along a Phelps County Road. It did not reach St. James. The roadbed is still very easy to spot from the highway in most places; some small culverts still exist. The Decamp branch intersected with the Salem Branch at Bangert Missouri, and was abandoned in the early 1930's.

    Pat Moreland,
    Union Mo.
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  5. Yeah, the trackage that more-or-less follows 68 would've been been the DeCamp branch. The maps show up larger on my computer, I don't know why the turned out so small once I uploaded them.
  6. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member


    Thanks for your help. There's a DeCamp Road that has gentle sweeping curves in it that heads west about 3/4 mile north of YY/68 junction. Might DeCamp have been on that road, and the road uses the D&P road bed?

    The Condray Branch:

    I only find one significant mine remnant west of Bangert where the Condray Branch was supposed to run. The mine in question was located just about 1/4 mile west of 68 and 1/4 mile north of FF. Wonder if that was the major mine that the Condray Branch was built to serve?
    mountaincreekar likes this.

  7. For the most part yes, you'll see the actual routing on the KMZ. It was pulled from old topo maps should it should be pretty accurate. The line ended on the west side of hwy F where DeCamp road intersects F. That's where the mine was.

    Hawkin's Bank iron mine was basically the end of Condray. That is the mine you've found at FF and 68.
  8. mkauffman

    mkauffman Member

    Just recently got interested in learning a little about the branch lines out of Cuba, Missouri. Have found these threads interesting and informative. FYI, you can locate the route along Route 86 if you use the new USGS historic mapping resource. Go to locate the area you want, click on the map and it will show you the available historic maps. There is a quad from 1928 that shows the whole route. Very cool.

    Matt Kauffman
    Kansas City, Missouri
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  9. Brad K

    Brad K Member

    I hate to bump this since it's been almost 3 years, but the maps shown have a branch line that I've been looking for - Beaver. Do you possibly have the maps from 1884 all the way to 1901? Thanks!
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  10. In regards to DeCamp mine's location;
    From hwy. 68 north, turn west on DeCamp Road [#4160] until it stops.
    From that T- intersection go ~ 600 feet northward on county road F.
    Then make a left turn [to the west] for ~ 600 feet to the location of DeCamp mine.
    37.885066, -91.610323 .
    Much of pit was full of water. View by google earth.
    Interesting, part of the DeCamp mining was underground diggings.
    Here this a topo map 1924, 1928 addition, showing that the entire route from Bangert to DeCamp. The Bangert to Vilean puts most of the railgrade witin 3 miles from the side of the map; and Decamp 4 miles.

    The route basically follows the ridge line from Bangert to DeCamp. You will notice that if they had built a route from St. James southward, it would not of had that quality. Would have had some very high % grades which steam locomotives of that time could not likely handle. Nor does any possible route to the Benton Creek valley.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2023
  11. jdstotler

    jdstotler Member

    Frisco ad salem little rock'.PNG

    Frisco advertisement from 1877 showing the St. Louis and Little Rock connection via Salem.
  12. jdstotler

    jdstotler Member

    1928 Rand McNally Company map of Missouri’s railroads

    This map confirms the rumored branch to Buick on the Sligo & Eastern Railroad! Within the next 10 years, almost every spur of the Salem Branch would close.
  13. jdstotler

    jdstotler Member

    I’m very interested in this comment, though it was a few years ago. I’ve done a ton of research, and have seen nothing about a Beaver. Does anyone know more?
  14. Brad K

    Brad K Member

    I’ll have to look back and see, but from what I remember is that it was in between Rolla and Newburg, and was on several timetables. I can’t remember when it was taken off. Supposedly the station is still standing.
    jdstotler likes this.
  15. palallin

    palallin Member

    Beaver Creek still runs through there, crossing under both 63 and I44.
  16. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Beaver appears to have been 2.3 miles east of Newburg;

    This PTT from 1881 shows Beaver:

    and this timetable from 1898 shows Beaver:

    However this one from 1914 no longer lists Beaver but has substituted Mackado as the station name:
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  17. I found another map with the S&E railway to Buick. What was different: It showed East End at the correct position. It also had Rulon ~ 3 miles eastward from East End. These two are the only times I have seen that Rulon labeled on it.
    This topo has the ridge line road from Bixby to Buick. It does not change in elevation every much. Perfect for a railway. Surface water drains off perpendicular from the railbed. The rest of the area is filled with high hill and steep hollows. From 1932 to 1967 there were no railways in that area.

    Another iron mine;
    Place name: Ben Brooks Iron Bank
    Description: One and a half miles east of East End. Named for a man living there.

    Goggin, Carole J. <> @ the Rolla library.
    I just said to her that I am a historian with historical forums. Three times she did some research for me without a fee charged. She said that we all are together in history of this area. She added that the Iron County Historical Society may be able to help for more information about Rulon.

    This topo map has the complete railway from Bangert to Decamp. I like the way this map shows the Dry Branch of the Meramec Riververy boldly full of water.

    Continuous map USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer
    USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer shows all of the 1967 Lead-Line.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2023
  18. tferk

    tferk Member Supporter

    1917 valuation map of the Sligo & Eastern, includes Sligo Furnace Co. and Iron County Central. I did not see this posted in any other threads.
    Sligo & Eastern valuation map 1917.jpg

    Sligo & Eastern valuation map 1917.jpg
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  19. jdstotler

    jdstotler Member

    Whoa, whoa, whoa… Valley Knob, southeast of Salem? Map from 1917??

    The location of Valley Knob (on the map; never heard of it before now) is approximately the location of Riverside Iron Mine, which did have a railroad branch, however it was removed in 1888. Couldn’t have been a branch in 1917. Interesting.
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  20. jdstotler

    jdstotler Member

    I spent a few hours researching last night, as well as making a few phone calls. I’ve located the actual site of the town of Valley Knob. It’s about 4 1/2 miles further southeast than Riverside Iron Mine. Talked to the guy who owns the property, he says there is no evidence that there was ever a railroad there, and he highly doubts it. I would have to agree.

    I’m not sure where that came from on this map! Maybe they saw an old branch to Riverside, saw Valley Knob was the next town in that direction, and just included it on the map? By 1917, there would have been structure on the abandoned right-of-way, so I’m certain the railroad couldn’t have been reinstalled after 1888. This has been a fun mystery for me!
    mountaincreekar likes this.

Share This Page