Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Story of Great Uncle Bender | 13 Comments - Click Here :

    You know how it was when you were a kid and your relatives talked about their ancient relatives and the good ol’ days? Well that’s about what I have to work with here. As near I recall of this third hand information, Uncle Bender, was my father’s mother’s uncle on her father’s side (but I couldn't swear to that). His name was English, and so was my Grandmothers maiden name. His real name was actually Benjamin (I think), but apparently everyone called him Bender. No one knows why.

    At the Turn of the Century (that is the 20th Century), Bender English was a young man very enthused about photography. He resided in Arkansas somewhere. I probably heard where once, but that is part of the 80 percent of what you hear that you don’t retain. So, Arkansas. I do know he was a schoolteacher from one story I heard, but that might have been after his trips to Colorado.

    Around 1909 to 1910 or so, he traveled to Colorado several times. That was before he got married (actually I’m not sure he ever was married, but then I couldn't say he wasn't either). The reasons for his trips have never been clear to me. He may have been going to school. I guess he had a couple of degrees. While he was there he took a bunch of photos, but most of them would be of no interest here. He did travel around on the C&S a bit and in particular the South Park. Somewhere there is a journal on his travels, but the devil if I can find it right now. The photos I’m sharing with you here are of the few days he spent at Bath and the vicinity of Trout Creek Pass. These Photos don’t include anything from the Colorado Midland (too bad) tho I’m sure he took shots of that Railroad too. I have to admit I only have a small portion of his collection. My “other” relatives each got some of portion of it as well.

    As I said, in the teens Uncle Bender was a schoolteacher somewhere in Arkansas. I’m not sure what grade or grades he might have taught (not little kids I’m sure). Then around 1918 (he was too old to go to Europe for the war, but may have had some connection to that) he went back east (New Jersey I think) and it was while there, he contracted influenza and apparently didn't survive. His belongings somehow went to my Great Grandfather (his brother) and then some of that to my Dad’s mom. I have other relatives who worked for the C&S around or out of Trinidad on my Dad’s side, but they are all gone too. So I acquired these photos and as many of the railroady shots as I could.

Enjoy his photos!
Derrell Poole

Bath Colorado – September 1909. Uncle Bender encountered a drover or a wrangler moving a few head of horses south of the yard at Bath. Said his name was Old Bill, and he worked for one of the ranches in the South Park. In the background were the 2-story section house and an engine on the wye. At the right of the photo was the Handcar shed.

This is actually a cropping of the previous photo. The Midland tracks would be between the tail of the wye and the trees in the background.

There is no explanation why this engine is running light up grade above Longs Creek. There was a 170-degree loop over Longs Creek. In this view I believe we are looking south. It’s a pretty stiff grade as the road has come off of the South Park and is climbing to the Pass.

No. 5 is on freight duty in this view and passing under the Midland overpass. We are looking more or less North East.

The tail end of this freight passes under the CM bridge. This view is on the other side of the CM ROW.

This is a pretty high angle shot and I've always thought Bender must have set up his camera on top of the Privy to take it. In the background you can see thru the underpass looking South East. The Depot at Bath was boarded up at this point and all of the business conducted out of the Section House. There was a coal shed next to the Depot across from the Section house and apparently the coal from the car has already been unloaded. In the background you can see a recently rebuilt Caboose so there was a train either sitting in the yard or perhaps slowly passing thru as Bender took the shot. Wonder who the damsel on the porch was?

The tail end of a short train creeping up the hill toward Bath from the east. It looks like the caboose is No. 304 (which would be renumbered 1006 in 1912). It looks like there is a lantern in the cupola portal. This is probably getting toward dusk and the lamp would have been the rear warning light. As far as I know only 304 had this feature.
13 Comments - Click Here :
  1. Now do you see why I think you ought to be modeling Trout Creek pass and surrounding territory?

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  2. But. There's a whole railroad out there.... so, well, let's see what I can do with something else....

    d

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  3. Did Uncle Bender leave any color photos of the line-or tips about how to scenic it?

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  4. Wonder if y'all could please sign your name. If you are not a member of the Blog you will have the name "Anonymous". Everybody is Anonymous! Sheeesh....

    There are no color photos in Bender's collection. God scenic'ed Trout Creek Pass.

    But maybe some day I'll show you how I scenic a layout (when I actually have a layout).

    d

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  5. That's a great collection, Derrell. It's so neat to see that the C&S was using Kadee couplers back in 1908 and 1909, too! (grin!)

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    1. Oh, nitpicker, eh? (lol). Thanks Trevor! Yes. Uncle Bender had a marvelous Camera that could superimpose modern technology - but he didn't take Color Photos... go figure!

      One of the aspects of Model Railroading we don't talk about too much is the Story telling. We all tell a story even if we stick strictly to the prototype and never place tongue in cheek. Is that story just the Narative of history or is it some charactor that interacts with history? Or is it the Allen-esque story of a completely fictional Railroad? All are interesting and a very FUN way to enjoy and share your hobby.

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  6. That's really neat.

    Had me going.

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    1. Thanks Simon!

      Had you going...?

      What ever do you mean?

      LOL

      Glad you enjoyed.

      Derrell

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  7. Nicely done Derrell! -Bill

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  8. Great work on the Hilltop and Bath area. The location where both the CM and C&S (DSP&P, DL&G) interfaced was the Newett Union Depot down Trout Creek Pass at the Narrows. Today the efforts of Trout Creek have separated the main lines of the two roads, but back in the 1880-90-00 and teens were a yard area servicing both roads where coal from Baldwin on the C&S was transloaded into Midland Coal Cars and shipped on to Leadville and Cripple Creek.

    My favorite was an 1888 excursion from Leadville to Baldwin for the Miners' Fair. The out trip from Leadville was no problem, but the movement from the DSP&P NG train to the CM Broad Gauge train was really stressful for the two crews in moving all the drunks.

    The other "great story" is when the CM first reached the Hilltop/Bath area and the DSP&P took the four flat cars loaded with CM engine #32, a class 91 0-6-0 switcher with tender from Bath to Como to Breckenridge to Leadville and the CM crews using teamsters to haul the Broad Gauge Locomotive down to the CM yards and up to the Hagerman Tunnel to build the 2d District of the Midland from Leadville to New Castle and Aspen. A great story that has only been documented in the last five years.
    Great job there Darel and Darrell.

    CM Auditor

    Tom VanWormer

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    1. Great stories, Tom. I'm cringing at the thought of a std gauge loco on ng flat cars - even the bigger 30 foot Peninsular cars that they very likely were.

      In examining Newitt today it is a bit hard to imagine how an interchange could have taken place between the two roads; the gully between the C&S yard and the CM tracks is very pronounced. But at the time Trout Creek wasn't the psychopath it later became. The effects of the watercourse show up in the South Parks records in some subtle ways. For instance, bridge 1132, as built in 1888, located about a mile or so north of Newitt was a single span (16') pile trestle just 4 feet clear of the creek (basically a set of stringers between two sets of piles). What was there previously was like just a wooden box culver. But as the creek increased in its intensity the railroad was forced to install a bridge. Then some time after 1894 the single span became 2 spans and the height of the bridge was 10 feet. The 1917 ICC map notes that the rails end just above the bridge location. Today a field examination will show that a bridge perhaps 100 feet in length would be needed to cross the channel where the bridge was once located. It would be perhaps 15 feet high.

      I’m sure you know Trout Creek is really a pretty small stream – even below the springs at the Narrows. Like the engineers, who located the tracks right on the bed of the Creek its hard to imagine little stream ever being so violent.


      Derrell

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  9. Robert McFarlandJune 1, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Long's Creek- I assume you are referring to the loop that is visible from 285 while climbing the east side of the pass.This is the first time I heard the name.Could you please give some info on how it got its name and activity around there?

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