Central Valley Railroad

Central Valley Railroad

3-foot narrow gauge Central Valley Railroad (1872-1875) that ran from just south of Greene to just short of the village of Smithville Flats.
Believed to be the first narrow gauge railroad in the United States.

Central Valley Railroad Co., Articles of Association filed March 30, 1870, capital stock $300,000, from Syracuse, Binghamton & New York Railroad at Chenango Forks to Smithville Flats, Chenango County, 12 miles. H.G. Crozier, Smithville, President; Lewis S. Hayes, Treasurer; S.L. Rhodes, Secretary.

Certificate of change of the southern terminus to Greene, filed Jan. 7, 1871. P. 135, Gazetteer of the State of New York by Franklin B. Hough.

Lasted three years and the town of Smithville got the short end of the stick literally having to pay on the bonds for more than 35 years after the railroad was abandoned - $230,000 on $83,000 face value.

Chenango American, Thursday, March 31, 1870

Smithville Flats.

    We understand that real estate is advancing at a very rapid pace in Smithville flats. This is owing, undoubtedly, to the Railroad movement in this village, and to the enterprise of the citizens of that rich and flourishing town.

    Some of the best businessmen of Chenango County reside in Smithville Flats, and with their capital and energy, the day is not far distant when we shall see her take her place in the front rank of thriving villages of ou State.

    Nature has done her share toward making Smithville Flats one of the loveliest and smartest towns in this section. Just give such men as H. G. Crozier, Jesse Read, Geo. Kinnier, the Harnson's, and a host of other fine business men who reside there the least show the world, and if they don't make Smithville Flats resound with the busy hum of industry, then we will own we are no judge of human nature.

Chenango American, Thurs., April 7, 1870

    Smithville Railroad. - The citizens of Smithville have been actively engaged during the past few days circulating a petition for the purpose of bonding their town to build a Railroad from that place to Chenango Foks, We understand that they are confident of getting the requisite number of names, &c., and that their prospects for a road at an ealy date very favorable. They have, of course, formed a Company, and all preliminary steps have been taken. We have endeavored to get a list of the names of the officers of said Company, but have been unsuccessful thus far. Perhaps in our next issue we may be enabled to give more details of this new enterprise of our sister town.

Chenango Union, Norwich, N.Y., Wed., April 13, 1870

    Smithville Railroad. - The citizens of Smithville have been actively engaged during the past few days circulating a petition for the purpose of bonding their town to build a Raiload from that place to Chenango forks. We understand that they are confident of getting the requisite number of names, &c., and that their prospects for a road at an early date are very favorable. they have, of course, formed a company, and all preliminary steps have benn taken. - Greene American.

Chenango American, Wed., April 14, 1870

    We have been informed that the inhabitants of Smithville have succeeded in bonding their town for their proposed road.

Binghamton Daily Republican, Tues., May 10, 1870

The Railroad War at Chenango Forks.

    On Saturday we briefly mentioned the fact that there is a strife between two new railroad companies, for the possession of a certain piece of land in Chenango Forks, which both wish to use for railroad purposes. As near as we have been able to learn, the facts are as follows:

    The people of Greene, some time ago, determined to build a railroad to Chenango Forks, to connect with the Syracuse and Binghamton railroad. Two routes were surveyed, for the purpose of determining the best; and maps and profiles were made of each. These papers the engineer was allowed to keep in his own hands.

    At a later date, the project of building a railroad from Smithville to Chenango Forks was started; and it was seen that the land surveyed and chosen by the Greene Company was of great importance to the Smithville Company. for some reason, not well known to the general public, but probably well known to himself, the engineer who surveyed the route for the Greene Co., entered the services of the Smithville Company, and took with him the maps he made for the Greene Railroad. Here was a danger the Greene Company had not dreamed of; for the Smithville Company had only to file the maps with the County Clerk of Broome County, to hold the land in question.

    Consequently, as soon as they were in possession of the full facts, they telegraphed to mr. Johnson not to file maps or papers for any railroad company for a proposed road north of Chenango Forks. Mr. Johnson telegraphed back that if any papers of documents were presented, in proper order, he would be obliged to file them. This was on Friday.

    On Saturday morning, at five o'clock, Mr. Johnson was called up by Mr. L.S. Hayes, formerly of a business firm in Greene, who wished to see him at his office on important business. Mr. Johnson went to the office and Mr. Hayes handed him the Smithville Railroad map to be placed on file. Mr. Hayes then disappeared, and we believe he has not been heard from since.

    At six o'clock, Mr. Joseph E. Juliand of Greene, called upon Mr. Johnson, and told him that he had an injunction to serve, forbidding him to file the map of the Smithville railroad. Mr. Johnson informed him that it was too late, as the document had already been filed. The injunction, of course, was not served.

    At eleven o'clock, another messenger came with documents for the Smithville Railroad, as they had discovered that the first papers were not complete. Mr. Johnson refused to file them, as they were not properly certified to.

    An hour later, Mr. Brsbin, of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, appeared at the Clerk's office accompanied by Lewis Seymour, Esq., with complete maps and papers for the land in dispute, and they were properly filed. The Smithville people were thus fairly beaten after a very hard fight to gain some advantage, and it may be said unfairly.

    The engineer who deserted the Greene Railroad Company, and took his papers over to the Smithville Railroad Company, has been arrested for conspiracy, and a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Mr. Hayes, on the same charge.

    Mr. Johnson, in the part taken by him, acted under the advice of able counsel, and his course in filing the Smithville Railroad Company's papers before office hours is not censured by the counsel for the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company, who are the parties really interested in the Greene Railroad.

Chenango Telegraph, Norwich, N.Y., Wed., May 11, 1870

Railroad Difficulty
Strange Conduct of an Engineer

    There was considerable excitement in Greene, Smithville and Chenango Forks last week, in reference to railroad matters. We have made inquiries on the subject but find it very difficult to get at the facts. Such facts and rumors as we have heard are given, without positively deciding how far the statements are correct.

    It appears that the survey, for the railroad from Greene to Chenango Forks, was made by Mr. Hurley, who apprehended being superceded after the Delaware and Lackawanna Company took charge of the enterprise, tne latter having appointed Mr. Spencer as chief engineer. It is charged that Mr. Hurley has destroyed or abstracted from the engineer's office a portion of the tracings, field notes, profiles, & c. necessary to the progress of the work, and that by some means a rival inerest, or what by some is regarded as such, has possession of them.

    The suspicion of this fact having got abroad, Mr. Spencer was sent for on Friday evening last at oxford, where his office is located. He at once started with a corps to make a survey of that portion of the proposed road between the Chenango County line and the Forks in Broome County. Many people appear to suppose that at a certain point there is only a narrow pass, and that only one road can be located thee, buy we understand this to be a mistake. Precedence, however, seems to be an object with the clashing interests, for reasons which we do not at present quite understnd.

    When about two or three miles from Oxford, at 11 o'clock Friday night, Mr. Spencer and his party were upset, the team ran away, and Mr. Hiram Buel, the driver, was severely injured, having three ribs broken. Another team was procured and the party arrived at the scene of operations before daylight on Saturday morning and immediately went to work.

    There is another road projected from Smithville Flats to run down the Genegantslet creek about ten miles, when it intersects the road from Greene to the Forks, and this is the rival interest above alluded to. Both parties appear desirous of first filing their location maps in the Broome County Clerk's office, and both claim to have done so; the Smithville interest claiming to be ahead, while the other side we hear is intimated that their claim will be contested on the ground that their location map, &c., is in fact one made for the Greene inerest while Hurley was in its employ. The truth of this we have no means of ascertaining until further developments are made. The Greene interest also filed a map, but it is said to have been some hours later than the other.

    On Sarturday Mr. Hurley was arrested on a warrant charging him with malicious mischief, upon which he gave bail. On Monday he was again arrested and an examination was going forward, in reference to the abstraction of papers but we have not learned the result.

    In regard to the whole matter it may turn out that there is a good deal more of feeling that there is any occasion for; but, however that may be, we trust it will be amicably adjusted and no impediment put in the way of the speedy construction of the roads.


    After the above was written we were informed that, on Froday last, Engineer Hurley closed his office in Greene and left for Smithville Flats on gaining entrance to the office President Birdsall found the map of the route had been defaced by pouring ink over it; the field notes were not to be found. The Smithville organization on that day proceeded to locate, driving stakes very close to those of the Greene company. It is the purpose of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western company to push forward with their work, ad they do not expect that this flurry will seriously embarrass their operations.

Chenango American, Greene, N.Y., Thurs., May 12, 1870

    Not since the assassination of Lincoln has our town been so shocked and excited as it was on Friday of last week. Robert E. Hurley, a young engineer from Scranton, in the employ of the Greene Railroad Company, had finished the field work and was completing the three maps of the area. M. Birdsall, Esq., the President of our Road, under pressure of the D.L. & W. R.R. Co., was urging him to finish the map of the Broome County portion of the Road, but for some reason kept stalling. Finally on Thursday evening Mr. Hurley promised that the map would surely be ready by the next morning in time for Mr. Birdsall to take it to Binghamton to file in the County Clerkıs Office.

    In order to waste no time, Mr. Birdsall drove to the surveyorıs office on Friday morning expecting to pick up the papers and continue on to Binghamton, but the door was locked. After waiting awhile an entrance was forced into the office and what a sight met his eyes! The Engineer was gone and there upon the table was the map besmirched with ink, the line of the Road entirely obliterated by ink scratches, completely destroyed, together with books, estimates, field notes, etc. Three months labor lost!

    And the Broome County map had disappeared. Within a short time it was learned that Mr. Hurley had hired a horse and fled. The telegraph was put to work and in a short time searchers started in different directions to overtake him. Sheriff Spencer tracked him to Smithville Flats where he was found at the home of L.S. Hayes in consultation with other important men of that town.

    The strife between the two railroad companies was for the possession of a certain piece of land in Chenango Forks which both wanted for railroad purposes. When the project of building a railroad from Smithville to Chenango Forks was started it was seen that the land already surveyed and selected by the Greene Company was of great importance to the Smithville Company, and whichever filed its maps first with the County Clerk in Binghamton could hold the land.

    As soon as the prisoner was returned to Greene Mr. Hayes and two others went to Chenango Forks with a tape-line and a piece of lath and commenced the survey of the Smithville Railroad. They procured the services of Ned Roberts of Chenango Forks, who had helped make the survey of our Road, to pilot thwm.

    So great was the need for haste that as soon as the Smithville maps had been substituted for the Greene maps, Mr. Hayes rushed them to Binghamton, reaching the Broome County Clerkıs house at 5 oıclock on Saturday morning, long before office hours. Mr. Johnson, the County Clerk, supposing Mr. Hayes to be a partner of Mr. Birdsall, because he had our map, consented to file it, only to learn an hour later of the deception when Joseph E. Juliand appeared for the purpose of delaying any possible filing of papers until the arrival of the Hon. John Brisbin.

    Back in Smithville, meanwhile, they had discovered that the first papers were not complete, and after enlisting the help of two other surveyors of the Greene Road, rushed the additional documents down to Binghamton to attach to the first. This message arrived at 11 a.m. but Mr. Johnson refused to sign them because they did not have the proper officersı signatures. He was not on the side of either company, however, and said that he would file the first ones that were in order.

    As soon as John Brisbin, of Sherburne, the Legal Advisor of the D.L. W. R.R. Co., learned about all this he immediately dispatched Chief Engineer Spencer to the Forks to take the survey and make a map of the Broome County portion of the Road. This accomplished, he arrived in Binghamton at noon of the same day, with a complete set of maps and papers for the land in dispute, which were properly filed. The Smithville people were thus fairly beaten and Mr. Hurley made a full confession of having made a written atgreement with officers of the Smithville Railroad Company (Hayes, Bailey, H.G. Crozier and Jesse Read) to confiscate the maps and surveys of the Greene Railroad Company in return for $3,000 for two years.

    (Note: At a trial held two years later in Norwich Supreme Court, the verdict was in favor of the Greene Railroad, which was a front name for the D.L.& W.)

Chenango American, Greene, N.Y., Thurs., May 12, 1870

An Unwarrantable Outrage.

    Never, since the assassination of Lincoln has our town been so shocked and terribly excited as they were on Friday of last week. The occasion of this we propose to briefly relate as near as we understand it.

    The Greene Railroad Company have had in their employ, since operations of the road commenced, an Engineer by the name of Robert E. Hurley, a young man from Scranton, Pa., and up to the time he committed the foul and disgusting crime for which he is now undergoing examination, we had not heard the first word against him, and those who were acquainted with him supposed him to be a gentleman in every respect.

    The circumstances of his case are as follows: It appears that he had finished the field work for our Road, and was engaged in completing the maps of the same, three in number. The President of our Road, M. Birdsall, Esq., was anxious to have Mr. Hurley finish the map of the Broome County portion of the Road, and to that end had been urging him to complete it as soon as possible; but the thing dragged itself slowly along, and the promises of the Engineer to the President relative to finishing the map were broken from time to time. The President and other officers of the Road became weary of the tardiness of the Engineer, and had several pointed conversations with him relative to the same, he always promising the map should be finished at a given time, but never fulfilling. Finally, on Thursday evening last, Mr. Hurley promised the President that the map would surely be completed on the following morning in time for the President to take it to Binghamton to file in the County Clerk's office.

    Friday morning came; the {resident called at the Company's office, and to his astonishment discovered that the map had not been touched since the day before. He again urged the Engineer to complete his map, (it only required the adding of a few names,) and Mr. Hurley agreed to have it ready in a half hour.

    Mr. Birdsall left the office and crossed over to Juliand's Bank, and while there the Engineer came over and asked him for some money. Mr. Birdsall told him he had no time to draw voucher that morning; that his team was waiting at the door, and he wished him to finish the map that he might proceed to Binghamton, and on his return he could have all the money he required. At this juncture the Engineer disappeared, and after waiting sometime, Mr. Birdsall went over to the office and found it locked.

    Affairs at this time began to assume a suspicious character, and Mr. E.B. jackson, one of the Directors of the Road, forced an entrance into the office. And what a sight met their gaze! There upon the table was the map be-smeared with ink, the line of the Road entirely obliterated by scratches and ink, and in fact, completely destroyed,together with books, estimates, field notes, &c.

    Who can imagine the feeling of these gentlemen as they looked upon the lost labor of the previous three months? It was also discovered that the Broome County map had disappeared. Treachery of the most damning character stood out in bold relief. The news spread like wild fire, and all felt as if the fiends from the regions of darkness and despair had conspired against us to rob us of our rights and property. However, our noble President and worthy Directors were equal to the emergency.

    In a short time they discovered that the bird had flown, that he had hired a horse, as he said, to go to Chenango Forks. In a very short time officers were started in different directions, the telegraph was put in operation, and everything done to secure the capture of this unfortunate and misguided man. Sheriff Spencer was the fortunate one to secure his arrest. He tracked the young man and caught him at the very fountain head, drawing nourishment and fattening on his treason. The Sheriff found his man at the house of one Lewis S. Hayes, in Smithville Flats, in sweet community with a number of the leading lights of that town. On the Sheriff making known his business to Mr. Hurley, Mr. Andrew Bailey, who was present, told the Sheriff that he could not take Hurley, as he already had a warrant for him and James Hazard for an assault on the person of L.S. Hayes. This hocuspocus was rather too thin to wash well with the Sheriff, and through the advice of R. MacDonald, Esq., who accompanied him, he took the prisoner in charge and brought him to this village.

    On arrival here, a large and excited crowd gathered at the Chenango House, and the excitement was at its highest pitch. Sober and unostentatious citizens vied with their more freely spoken neighbors in denunciation of the treasonable crime that had been perpetrated, and when it was known where he was caught, the indignation of our citizens knew no bounds. he was immediately arraigned on three distinct charges, and gave bail on the first in the sum of $4,000, H.G. Crozier and Andrew Bailey, of Smithville, becoming his bondsmen. his examination commenced on Friday evening, and is still in progress.

    Immediately after the arrest, Lewis S. Hayes, in company with two other men, whose names we have not learned, proceeded to Chenango Forks, and with a tape line and a piece of lathe, commenced the survey of the Smithville Railroad. They procured the services of "Ned' Edwards, of Chenango Forks, who helped make the survey of our road, to pilot them. They commenced at or near the beginning of our line at the Forks, and with the world evenly balanced upon their shoulders, proceeded with the Herculean task of trying to take the line of the Greene Railroad.

    And right here we want to ask. Can any sensible man conceive of a more foolhardy and shameless undertaking? It is our opinion that there is not a school boy five year old whose judgment would have not told him of the utter absurdity of such an undertaking. And yet we have heard of some men calling this transaction of Mr. Hayes - "smart." if this is "smart," then our State Prisons are full of "smart" men.

    Well, our worthies run their tape line route and the next morning found the gay and dashing "smart" catch Hayes at the door of the County Clerk's house in Binghamton with a map of his route put on record. This was about five o'clock in the morning, and the County Clerk supposing Mr. Hayes still to be a partner of Mr. Birdsall, and thinking he had our map, (which he did) readily consented to file the same. Now where did Mr. Hayes obtain that map? He obtained it from Mr. Hurley, and it is the property of the Greene Railroad Company, which was taken from them by this traitor Engineer. We don't suppose that Hayes or any of his clique bribed this weak-minded man to take that map from our Company, and to destroy the other maps, books, estimates, &c. Oh, no!

    Well, these "smart" fellows became aware that the garbles map was hardly the thing after all, and during the day they had another map completed by Cafferty and Griswold, who were employed on the survey of our Road, and presented that at the Clerk's office, desiring to withdraw the first map, or have map No. 2 attached. Map No. 2 not having the proper officers; signatures attached, the Clerk very wisely refused to accept it, and then it was that our "smart" rape line Railroadites slunk down into their boots and dug out; and that "smart" schemer, deep plotter, and profound thinker, Lewis S. Hayes, has gone to parts unknown, there to revel in the delights, and giggle over the triumph of having captured the Greene Railroad.

    On Mr. Brisbin, the Legal Adviser of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company, learning the facts of the case, he immediately dispatched Chief Engineer Spencer to the Forks to take the survey and make a map of that portion of the Road on which the Hayes party had attempted to "jump." This was accomplished, and at the hour of twelve o'clock of that day (Saturday) there was filed in the Clerk's office, in Binghamton, a bona fide map of the same.

    Too much praise cannot be given to these gentlemen, and to the officers of our Road for their promptness in this matter. They are clear headed, high toned gentlemen, able and willing to stand by the right, but when they are assailed by treachery and fraud, they spring into the harness, and there work with a will to vindicate themselves of their assailants.

About the Trial.

    The examination in the case of Robert E. Hurley is still in progress as we go to press. A number of witnesses have been examined, and the following points have been proved: The destruction of the maps of the Greene Railroad; the identity of the map filed by Hayes in Broome County wit the map on Thursday evening in the office of our Company; the arrest of Hurley as detailed in another article, and by several Directors of the Smithville Company it has been proved that Hurley was in Smithville on Thursday night last, being brought there by Hayes and A. Bailey, and that a conference was held at the house of H.G. Crozier, and a written agreement made with Hurley and signed by Jesse Read, pledging themselves to employ Hurley if he would leave the Greene Railroad, and that they would give $3,000 a year for two years, pay to commence back to Jan'y 1st, last.


    Later - Wednesday Noon. Robert E. Hurley this morning made a full confession, in which he states that in the written agreement made between him and Hayes and others, as testified by Bailey yesterday, it was stated that if he should deliver to them the maps and survey of the Greene Railroad, he was to have said pay. He also confesses to the destruction of the maps and the delivery of tracings and surveys to L.S. Hayes on Friday morning last.

Chenango Telegraph, Wed., May 18, 1870

The Railroad Strife

    The account given in this paper last week of the trouble between the two compnies which have been striving for precedence to the location of a railrod from the county line to the village of Chenango Forks, was substantially correct. We are now able to add that after obtaining the maps and surveys of the Greene company, through the bad faith of an engineer, the Smithville company filed them in their own behalf.

    Thy were filed at five o'clock on the morning of the 7th, by Mr. L.S. Hayes, who then disappeared and has not since been seen, although diligent efforts have been made to find him. It is understood that if found he will be arrested on a charge of conspiracy, or for having and using the property of the Greene Railroad Company.

    It turns out, however, that the papers filed were in some particular defective, so that the whole proceedings amounted to nothing. At noon on the same day complete maps were filed by the agent of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, and this secured the right of way. Mr. Hurley, the engineer who betrayed his trust, is from Scranton, and is said to have been a good engineer and enjoyed a good reputation prior to this performance. He has been held to bail in the sum of $6,000. we hear that several directors of the Smithville company have resigned.

    We are not aware of the exact state of things in regard to the Smithville road, but it cannot be otherwise than that itas progress has been delayed by the occurrencwes alluded to. it will be a very great convenience to the people of that town to have a raiload running to Smithville Flats, and we trust their efforts to secure one, without collision with other interests, may succeed.

Chenango American, Thurs., May 19, 1870

    We are informed that the best legal authority in the State says, that the map filed by Mr. Hayes at the Clerk's office in Binghamton, at an early hour of the morning recently, is just about as good for the Company he represented as deacon skin would be. We understand that Mr. Hayes says that the Smithville Company is going to hold that portion of the Road described by that map.

    When we have a right to go into a neighbor's lot, and drive his cattle into our pasture, without any consideration whatever, and say they belong to us, and that our neighbor may whistle for his cattle, then will the Smithville Railroad Company hold the road on that map. However, the Delaware, Lackawwana & Western Railroad company are going on to build the Road immediately, and if our friends think that the above named company is interfering with that which belongs to them, why they had better "go for" said Company, and we will warrant them a very funny time.

Chenango Union, Norwich, N.Y., Wed., May 25, 1870

    Greene. - The examination of Robert E. Hurley, terminated last week, Wednesday, and resulted in his being held to answer the charges brought him in the higher court in September next. He was admitted to bail. Supreme writs have been served upon Messrs. Crozier, Bailey, Read and Hayes, (of Smithville,) and each of them have given bail in the sum of $5,000, to answer to the charges preferred against them.

    Messrs. Clapp & Adams, of Scranton, Pa., who have taken the contract for grading the Road from Chenango Forks to Norwich, were in town on Tuesday, contracting for lumber for shanties, & c. They state that work will be commenced without delay at both ends of the line, and pushed vigorously.

    Chief Engineer Spencer has been in town during the past few days, and completed a map of our Road from the Broome County line to this place, and it is now on file at the Clerk's office in Norwich.

    Twenty persons now find employment in the Lock Factory in this village.- American.

Chenango Union, Norwich, Wed., July 13, 1870

The Central Valley Railroad.

    This important enterprise is intended to connect by rail the two cities of Binghamton and Rome, by the most direct and feasible route. The initiative step is already taken by the organization of a Company with an able and efficient President - Hugh Crozier, of Smithville - and a competent Board of Directors; and proceedings are now pending and being taken to bond the towns along and adjacent to the proposed Road. The bonding will be required to be heavy - not more than sufficient to secure the right of way and to grade the road.

    The free coal interests of the Lehigh and other valleys in Pennsylvania, concentrated and moved by the strong, practical and executive mind of the Hon. Asa Packer, will readily secure its completion and entire equipment. All the roads from the coal mines in that part of the State, and the roads in this State with which they have to connect, are monopolies. The anti-monopolists, of whom Packer is at the head, want and will have a free road, carrying for any and all who will pay toll.

    The citizens of Binghamton, having an eye to the main chance, have organized an association to promulgate this great project of free coal, and its liberal distribution all through our State, by generously assisting in the construction of a road - now partly built - from these coal fields to their city; thence on the west side of the river to Chenango Forks; thence to the Genegantslet brook; thence up that stream - its banks affording a comparatively straight and easy grade - to or near its source in Pharsalia, where you reach the summit.

    The grade to this point will probably not exceed forty or forty-five feet to the mile in any place. From the summit the road may run to Smith's Valley, to intersect with the road the Rome people and others on the route aee now projecting and building, and form a part of that enterprise; or it may run west of that projected road, by the shortest feasible route as it is said such route can be readily found. A railroad up the Genegantslet through the towns of Smithville, McDonough, Pharsalia, and thence on to Rome, commecting with the Watertown and other roads north, crossing the Syracuse and Smith's Valley Road, the Midland and other roads, all being narrow gauge, will open up unbounded facilities for the free coal men to throw their coal into all the large cities of this State and the Canadas, counteracting and keeping the great coal monopolists in wholesome check, as well as affording the best markets in the world.

    Hence the great interests of the free coal men in this road. Without it they must submit to the hard necessity of having their coal carried when and as the owners or lessees of the other roads now built and building may choose, or else sell out their mines to the owners or lessees of these other roads. But the people of western Chenango must not be blinded by the fact, that while these Pennsylvania coal men will have a free road, and say to themselves they will adopt our route from necessity and build the road without favor from us, and so leave us with all the advantages of such road without cost or trouble, for there is a strong connecting route, turning at Smithville Flats up by Long Pond through Willett to Cincinnatus and South Otselic.

    Hence, now is the time for the towns in the western part of this County to arouse themselves, casting behind them the penny wise and pound foolish policy, and take hold of this great work with an energy worthy of themselves, and in some degree commensurate to the untold benefit it will be to them. This is their golden opportunity. If suffered to pass unimproved, never will there come such another; but they will be forever doomed to trundle on heavy wagons over hard roads and long and tedious hills, to find depots, wien with a manly enterprise and well directed effort they would be in their very midst. Much and many ways this road will help the entire county; but it will be the pride of and the richest blessing to the towns through which it will pass, and they should hardly take rest until it is secured.

Chenango Union, Norwich, Wed, July 20, 1870

    Smithville Items. - Charles D. Payne has removed the Post Hotel, and is erecting on its site a large three-story hotel with French roof. The plans and drawings of the architect show a building that would be an ornament to any town. Its nearness to the McDonough Sulphur Spring, will make it a pleasant summer resort.

    The Sanford Manufacturing Company is this month to commence building a factory, 28 x 100 feet, for manufacturing hay and grain forks, butcher and shoe knives. The company is composed of Gilbert Sanford, Lewis S. Hayes, C.P. Tarbell and J.B. Lewis.

    The site of the Read tannery, burned a few years since, has passed into the hands of parties who intend at an early day to rebuild and enlarge the tannery. Nearly nine acres of land and an excellent water power sold for only $1,000 - not what the land was worth.

    Messrs. A.N.& E. Harrison, J.B. Lewis and A.M. Harrison have each recently enlarged their places of business. The prospect of the Central Valley Railroad has stirred up our citizens to various plans for building up our village. The complete assurance we now have of the success of the road will no doubt increase their activity.

    Beautiful building sites are numerous, and pure soft water is to be found on every lot. Three streams pass through the village, affording an unequaled water-power. The Long Pond and Cincinnatus Pond, each about two miles long, and the Round Pond, are such ample reservoirs that a drouth does not seriously affect the flow of water. We offer these advantages and the hearty welcome of new comers. Parties from other places are already making inquiries for real estate here, attracted by low prices, and the certainty of a railroad.

Chenango Telegraph, Norwich, Aug. 3, 1870

The Central Valley Railroad.

    This is the name of the new Railroad sought to be built by our friends of Smithville Flats and adjoining towns. The Company is well organized by the appointment of H.G. Crozier Esq. as President, Supervisor Rhodes, Secretary, L.S. Hayes, Treasurer, and such men as Col. Jessie Read, Andy Baily, Geo. Kinnier, V.S. Emerson, and others whose names have escaped our recollection as diectors. te road is inended to start from Binghamton, running via Chenango Forks and the Genegantslet Creek to Smithville Flats; thence via McDonough or Willett north to the crossing of the Midland branch to Auburn, and thence to Smiths Valley and the Clinton road to Rome.

    The building of the road will be urged forward and assisted by Hon. Asa Packer, the Pennsylvania Railroad King, and when completed will be connected with the Coal Mines, and will be the only one running north through the State that is not in the interest of a coal monopoly.

    It will be remembered by the readers of the Telegraph that something like eighteen months ago we predicted that our county was to become a great railroad center. This road is upon the line of one of those we marked out in that article as likely to be built within ten years. We had no idea whn that so short a time would see the initiation step taken for its construction.

    With the favorable decision of Judge Prindle in regard to the bonding of Smithville (which is confidently expected by the friends of the enterprise) the work of bonding other towns will be pushed forward. McDonough and Pharsalia will we understand be asked to bond in its aid, and other towns to be benefitted by its construction.

    The energy and perseverance thus far of Mr. Crozier and the other gentlemen actively engaged in the pusing it forward, is a good earnest that they will not rest from their labors until the work is accomplished. Its completion will open up to Commerce a new avenue which will give new conveniences to the citizens along its line, as well as to all the Country.

    New values will be created, Commerce will be benefitted, the country will be enriched and all will rejoice in the enterprise, public spirit and energy of its projectors. it should be built and we trust it will be speedily.

Chenango Telegraph, Wed., Dec. 28, 1870

The Central Valley Railroad

    The readers of the Telegraph will remember that we made mention in July last, of the argument upon the application of the Smithville Railroad commissioners for authority to issue the bods of that town in aid of the construction of a Railroad from Smithville Flats to Chenango Forks, or to some point on the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R.R. Judge Prindle rendered his decision on Saturday last, sustaining the application and allowing the bonds to be issued.

    Hugh G. Crozier, President, and Lewis S. Hayes, Treasurer of the Company, were in town on Saturday, as well as the Commissioners, and the Bonds of Smithville were at once issued. We are glad to be able to state that Messrs. Crozier and Hayes in behalf of the Company, have succeeded in contracting with one of our prominent citizens for the construction and complete equipment of the road, which is to be about eight miles long and is we understand to be in complete running order by the first of November next. We are asked to withhold the name of the contractor for a few days, but we can assure our friends in Smithville that his name is only the synonym for success, and that when he enters upon the work he will push it forward with all possible energy and despatch. He possesses withal abundant means for the prosecution of his work. Satisfactory arrangements have been made for the conversion of the bonds, amounting to $83,000, into available funds.

    The work of bonding the town of Smithville has been attended with unusual obstacles, not only from remote sections of the town, but from other towns having an opposing interest to the construction of the road, and in less persevering hands than Messrs. Crozier and Hayes must needs have failed. We congratulate them upon their success. The running of the Iron Horse upon the Flats before snow flies next fall, will be a perfect vindication of their action in the matter.

    The Central Valley Railroad Company is well officered and in their hands the people of Smithville need have no fears that their interests will suffer.

Chenango Union, Wed., Dec. 28, 1870

    Central Valley Railroad. - An esteemed correspondent writes from Smithville, giving the following cheering intelligence in regard to the progress of this railroad:

    Editor Chenango Union. - Satisfactory arrangements have been made to complete the Central Valley Railroad and the construction of the road to Smithville Flats, and its equipment, have been placed under contract. The town of Smithville has issued its bonds in aid of the road.
            LEWIS S. HAYES, Treas.

    Not having heard much said about this road of late, we had about come to the conclusion that the project had been abandoned. It appears, however, that we underestimated the energy and perseverance of the gentlemen having in charge. They have been quietly at work, perfecting their arrangements, and now astonish us with the intelligence that they have the funds to build the road, and have put it and its equipment under contract. This evidently means business.

    Smithville will not stay"inland," but is determined to keep step to the music of Progress. A few enterprising and energetic men determined that this road should be built, and for them to project is but to push forward to the achievement of their designs.

    What ever benefits the people of Smithville are to deriv from this railroad, they will be indebted to Hugh Crozier, Lewis S. Hayes, and others, whose vocabulary does not contain such a word as fail. Success, say we, to the Central Valley Railroad.

Chenango American, Thurs., Dec. 29, 1870

    The work of bonding the town of Smithville has ben attended with unusual obstacles, not only from remote sections of the own, but from other towns having an opposing interest to the construction of the road. - Chenango Telegraph.

    Mr. Telegraph, will you please tell us what "other Towns" opposed the bonding of Smithville? If you can't answer this question, you had better stop printing such silly bosh. the people will laugh at your ignorance.

Oxford Times, March 1, 1871

The Smithville R.R.

    We learn from the Chenango Union that the contract for grading, bridge-building, track-laying, and equipping the Central Valley Railroad, running from Smithville to the junction of the D.L. & W. R.R., has been let to Warren Newton, Esq., of Norwich. And that the rolling stock of this road contracted for is to consist of one one locomotive, and ten cars of all kinds. The work of grading is to be begun in May, and it is expected that the road will be in running order next fall. We also understand that the gauge of this road will be narrower than any of the railroads in this State.

Oxford Times, March 22, 1871

    We understand that the Smithville R.R. will be in running order the coming season. The road will extend from Smithville Flats down the Genegantslet, crossing the Chenango river, and intersecting the Valley Road below Greene, at an expense of about $25,000. The stock we learn is selling at a premium already. Success to the R.R. enterprise.

Oxford Times, May 3, 1871

    The narrow gauge of the Smithville R.R., is rapidly narrowing down to a cipher... "Only this and nothing more."

Chenango American, Thurs., May 25, 1871

    The Central Valley Railroad Company commenced operations on their road last week. There about 25 men and several teams now at work on the farms of E.C. Olin and Wm. S. Harrington, about three miles below this village. We understand that a larger force is expected soon.

Chenango Union, Wed., May 31, 1871

    We learn that on Friday, May 19th, ground was broken on the Central Valley Railroad. This road is to be a narrow gauge, and will connect with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western about midway between Greene and Chenango Forks. We underastand that it is the intention of the company to have it in running order from that point to Smithville the present season.

    This is the first three foot gauge railroad underway in the United States, although many are in contemplation. It is designed as the first link in a through line extending via Cortland and Auburn to the lakes. The passenger cars on this road are to be six feet wide and ae designed to be models of neatness and convenience. The rail is limited by law to a mininum of forty pounds to the yard. Success to it.

Chenango Union, Norwich, Wed., June 7, 1871

    Central Valley Railroad. - We received a call on Saturday last from Lewis S. Hayes, Treasurer of the Central Valley Railroad, who informs us that the work of grading is progressing finely, some two miles being already completed and ready for the ties. The grading was commenced about midway between Smithville and the Junction with the D.L.& W, Railroad, and is progressing each way. A locomotive, which is to weigh ten tons, is being manufactured for the Company at the Grant Locomotive Works in Patterson; and cars for the road are being made in Scranton. The passenger car will be a model of elegance and will comfortably seat thity-six persons. The iron has been purchased, and is now on its way from England.

    Mr. Hayes informs us that the road will be in runing order from Smithville to the Junction by the 15th of August.

Cortland Standard, Tues., June 13, 1871

    We learn that on Friday, May 19th, ground was broken on the Central Valley Railroad. This road is to be a narrow gauge, and will connect with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western about midway between Greene and Chenango forks. We understand that it is the intention of the company to have it in running order from that point to Smithville the present season.

    This is the first three foot gauge railroad under way in the United States, although many are in contemplation. It is designed as the first link in a through line extending via Cortland and Auburn to the lakes. The passenger cars on this road will be six feet wide and are designed to be models of neatness and convenience. The rail is limited by law to a minimum of forty pounds to the yard.

Cortland Standard, June 27, 1871

    A three-foot gauge railway, said to be th first in the United States, was begun in Chenango county, N.Y., week before last. It is designed to be the first link in a through line extending via Cortland and Auburn to the Lakes. The passenger coach will be five feet wide. The rail is limited by law to the minimum weight of 40 pounds to the yard. It is estimated that this system of railroads costs in construction one-half less than the ordinary roads, while the capacity is nearly as great. The road will be known as the Central Valley Railroad. - Groton Journal

Chenango American, Thurs., July 6, 1871

    The Smithville correspondent of the Chenango Union says: The first question always asked us now-a-days is "How's the Railroad?" Grading is completed from the lands of John Newton to the junction with the D.L.& W. R.r. with the exception of that portion on the farms of Paul Porter and S.P. thomas. The graders aee now at work on the farm of John Hagaman near "Geneganslet."

    The heaviest work done thus far has been on the farm of John C. Marcy, one cut there being eighteen feet deep. Ties are beginning to make their appearance at many points along th line. Eight canal boats loaded with rails are now on the way from New York. They are to be unloaded on the opposite side of the river near the junction.

    Messrs. Pearsall of Coventry, Hyde of Oxford and Perry of German, Commissioners appointed at the last court, have been upon the line this week and have appraised the lands taken on the farms of Wm. B. Burroughs, Mrs. Paul Porter, S.P. Thomas, Thomas Stoddard, Sam'l A. Gross, Margaret Winter, John Newton and Daniel Rogers. This secures the right of way for nearly the whole line, and will bring the entire cost about $6,000.

Chenango Union, Norwich, Aug. 9, 1871

    Central Valley Railroad. - The Chenango Forks correspondent of the Binghamton Leader says:

    "We notice several cars at this station for the C.V.R.R., and that the company has received the rails for the road. The former are cunning little things, about as large as an ordinary dry goods box. The road is to be a very narrow gauge one; only thirty inches."

(Note: Actually, it was 36-inch gauge).

Oxford Times, Aug. 16, 1871

    The whooping cough is in progress. So is the railroad. Both are fast approaching terminus (No ambiguity intended.)

Chenango American, Thurs., Aug. 24, 1871

    President Littlejohn, Judge Low, and other gentlemen in the interest of the Midland Railroad Company, were at Smithville Flats, on the 16th inst., in consultation with the President and Directors of the Central Valley Railroad. These gentlemen are looking up a route for a Railroad from Cortland to Hancock.

Chenango Union, Norwich, N.Y., Thurs., Aug. 31, 1871

    A locomotive for the Smithville Railroad has arrived at Chenango Forks. It is a three foot gauge engine, built by the Grant Locomotive Works of Patterson, N.J., weighs eight tons, cost $7,000, and is named after a prominent banker of Norwich, "Warren Newton."

Chenango American, Sept. 14, 1871

    All calm in Norwich now. The Hancock route is said to be abandoned. President Littlejohn is an angel once more.

    Trains on the D.L.& W, Railroad do not now stop at South Oxford, the station having been removed a mile below, and is called Cone's. We also notice that a new station is put on - Central Valley Junction - where the Smithville road comes in, though trains do not stop there as yet.

    Major Samuel E. Houghton, said to be the smallest man in the world, was a guest at the Rogers House last week Tuesday, and attracted a good deal of attention. He is 31 inches in height, 20 years of age, and weighs 41 pounds. He would make a good conductor for the passenger train on the Smithville Railroad. - Times.

Chenango American, Sept. 28, 1871

    The narrow gauge railroad, from Deposit to Alaska, passed through town (Smithville) one day last week on a Howe Truss Bridge drawn by a black mule and a polar bear. Time 2:16 3/4. No ice is in the boiler and no stops at green stations.

Oxford Times, Oct. 4, 1871

    We learn that the iron on the Central Valley Railroad is laid to within two miles of Smithville Flats.

Chenango Union, Norwich, Wed., Nov. 15, 1871

The First Narrow Gauge Railroad in America

    'Sentinel," the Norwich correspondent of the Utica Herald, under date of October 25th, 1871, gives the following description of the Central Valley Railroad, which runs from the junction of the D.L.& W. Railroad in the town of Greene, to the village of Smithville, and is now nearly completed. The town of Smithville, Chenango County, is entitled to the honor of building the first narrow gauge railroad in America. The following is the article alluded to:

    "To-day a party of gentlemen from this place, among them some of the officers and directors of the Auburn & Deposit Railroad Company, by invitation, made a tour of inspection over the Central Valley, or "Velocipede" railroad, extending from a point on the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, some four miles below Greene to Smithville Flats, a distance of nine miles.

    "An hour's ride on the New York and Philadelphia express, in charge of Conductor Thatcher, brought us to the Central Valley junction. Here we were met by Engineer R.E. Hurley, with a delegation from Smithville, who, after some preliminaries, with the locomotive Warren Newton in waiting, took the party a number of times, and at varying rates of speed, over the portion of the road in running order, four and a half miles. After a thorough examination of every part of the road, the excursionists, whose expectations were more than realized, were conveyed to Smithville, where a sumptuous entertainment had been prepared. An hour for dinner, and a brief season to mingle with the hospitable citizens of Smithville and the officers of the Central Valley, and the party were driven with almost railroad speed five miles, to Greene, in time for the Utica express, reaching home at 6 P.M.

    "As the Central Valley railroad is the first narrow gauge projected in the United States, and has upon its track the first narrow-gauge locomotive ever turned out from any shop in this country, and as this new system at the present time is attracting much attention, a brief description of the road, the rolling stock, its capacity, &c., may be of interest to the public. The grading, it may be remarked, with the bridges and culverts, is completed and the unfinished track is being rapidly put down. The gauge of the road, which is the same as all projected upon the new plan, is three feet. The bed, which was graded under the immediate supervision of Mr. Hurley, who is likewise the contractor, is a piece of work rarely equaled and nowhere surpassed.

    "The ties are five feet and placed with about the usual spaces between. The rails are 41 pounds to the yard and of the best English steel. When coupled, as they are with the most approved Fish plates, they are as unyielding and secure as continuous rails. The engine, from Grant's works at Patterson, N.J., when loaded weighs eighteen tons. Thd drive wheels are forty-eight inches, with two inch steel tire. The material throughout is of the best quality, while in the construction is displayed the perfection of art.

    "The freight cars are fourteen feet in length by six and a half feet in width and height. Weight, 4,500 pounds; capacity, five tons. The flat cars are sixteen feet in length. The baggage car is twenty-six feet long, heigth and width same as freight cars, with a net capacity of nine tons. The passenger cars are thirty-four feet in length, with a capacity for thirty-four passengers each. Weight 14,000 pounds. An ordinary passenger car from the same works at Wilmington, Delaware, weighs 40,000 pounds, is fifty-five feet long, with a carrying capacity for fifty-two persons. The better to comprehend the advantages or disadvantages of the new system, compared with the old, let us institute a single comparison between the two.

    "Three passenger cars of the narrow gauge, weight 41,000 pounds, occupy 102 feet of the track, and will carry 102 passwengers. Two ordinary coaches weigh 80,000 pounds, occupy 110 feet, carrying 104 passengers. In the one case we have 796 pounds car weight for each passenger; in the other, 411 pounds. Other things being equal, which is most economical? The difference between the narow and the ordinary gauge may be further shown in the ratio of paying to non-payhing transportation. The weight of an ordinary freight car is about ten tons of paying freight, or the ratio is one to one.

    "The capacity of a car weighing two and a half tons on the narrow gauge, which is a fraction more than the freight cars on the Central Valley, is five tons, giving a ration of two and a half to five. If to this we add the fact that a large part of the cars are not filled to their maximum capacity, and that many cars are to be taken from point to point, we will find the difference very largely in favor of the new system. A distinguished engineer well says of our present system, that 'we send gallon measure to carry a pint.'

    "Careful estimates of all the elements which go to make up actual cost in transportation show that the cost in narrow gauge roads is less than half that on common railways. Their tendency in keeping freight charges at reasonable prices must be salutary, and in checking the arbitary rates of the mammoth combinations which control most of the through lines.

    "The special claim for the new system, which in this article has been but imperfectly considered, is economy. Now, how about the construction? The actual cost of a road on a gauge of three feet will not exceed one-half the cost of an ordinary line, and the expense of operating the same will be diminished in a like proportion. The average cost of our present system is not less than $35,000 per mile, and there is hardly a line in the whole country below $20,000, while the new system can be constructed in some cases as low as $8,000, and in most cases from $10,000 to $12,000 per mile. The great difference in cost is due not to increasing the steepness of grades, but to the narrow surface needed, the sharper curvature possible, the diminished cost of ties, culverts and bridges, and the diminished weight of the rail used on the track.

    "The great cost of construction, equipment and operation of an ordinary railroad limits the lines of roads to prominent avenues of trade and travel. These spur lines can be constructed by the people, and the control retained for their own advantage. They can be extended into regions hitherto inaccessible to railways, and are probably the best solution of the important problem of cheap and rapid transportation.

    "The pioneer gauge of the world is in the mountains of Wales. It is a little road extending from the slate quarries in the Festiniog valley to Port Madoc, on Cardigan bay. The gauge of this road is one foot eleven and a half inches. The sharpest curves have a radius of 132 feet, and the maximum grades are 70 feet to the mile. The rail weighs thirty pounds to the yard, the engines seven tons, the freight cars have a net capacity of three tons, and the passenger cars which are ten feet long nd five feet wide, are capable of carrying twelve passengers each. To-day trains one thousand feet in length are un upon this rod at a speed of fifteen or twenty miles per hour, with as much comfort and safety as on any other, in the old world or the new. The success of this little road, which has been in operation for thirty years, has secured, tardily yet surely, the expansion of our railway system to an extent never dreamed of by the most sanguine of our railroad men.

    "There are other roads in Wales and in the old country, two feet six and tow feet seven inches gauge, a large number of three feet and a fraction above. In our country thee are over twenty narrow gauge railroads projected or in process of construction, embracing in the aggregate upward of 3,000 miles. The longest of these is the Denver and Rio Grande, 876 miles. One hundred and fifteen miles are under construction, 76 of which have recently been put in operation from Denver to Colorado Springs."

Chenango American, Thurs., Nov. 30, 1871

    Serious Accident. - A boy by the name of Frederick Gardner, was seriously injured on Saturday last, while in the act of jumping on to a construction train on the Central Valley Railroad, near Greene Corners. One of his limbs was horribly bruised, and a portion of one of his feet had to be amputated.

Oxford Times, Dec. 13, 1871

    The Smithville R.R. is progressing finely. - It has progressed as high as "38,26." When it gets up to 1000 we'll retire.

Oxford Times, Wed., Dec. 13, 1871

"All Aboard for Smithville."

    The passenger and smoking coaches destined for the Central Valley Railroad have arrived, and we infer from that that trains will soon commence running to Smithville Flats. the cars, though small, are aaid to be models of neatness and beauty.

Oxford Times, Dec. 20, 1871

    Last week you say that you infer trains will soon commence running to Smithville Flats. Very likely they will, the upper terminus of the R.R. being down in wido Barnes' plantation, full three-fourths of a mile south of the Flats, and is likely to remain there at least till a new charter is granted.

Oxford Times, Jan. 24, 1872

The Smithville R.R.

    We hear a rumor that the Smithville narrow gauge Railroad has been abandoned, or in other words, that the line or charter has been purchased by the Western Midland Company, and that the road will be altered to a wide gauge.

Chenango American, Thurs., Feb. 8, 1872

The Greene R.R. Company Sustained.

    Our readers and this community will remember the little unpleasantness that was stirred up between the Greene R.R. Company, and R.E. Hurley, Lewis Hayes and others, a few months since, in regard to the latter party conspring to jump a portion of the former's railroad in Broome County. The matter culminated in an action brought by the Greene R.R. Company against Hatesm Hurley & Co., in the Supreme Court, which was tried at Norwich last week before Judge Murray, and a verdict for damages amounting to $1,059.26 in favor of the Greene R.R. Company was rendered.

    The people generally understand this case, and we have no desire to rake it over. By the above decision the Greene R.R. Company have vindicated their course and the conspiring party hav place themselves in an unenviable position before the public. It is proper to a state that the charges preferred against Mr. Jesse Read, of Smithville, in this action were not sustained, and that the jury in the case exonerated him of the charge of conspiracy.

Oxford Times, Feb. 28, 1872

    Adams is sawing Railroad wood; but not for the Smithville road. They burn gas or benzene, hard telling which.

Chenango Union, Norwich, Wed., March 6, 1872

Opening of the Central Valley R. R.

    The Central Valley Railroad Company will commence running regular passenger trains from Smithville to the junction with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Road, on Monday next, March 11th, arrangements having been completed to connect with the D.L.& W. This will prove a great convenience to the citizens of Smithville and vicinity, and comes just in time to save them from the horrors of the spring mud. We hope that the business of the road will fully answer the expectations of its friends.

Chenango American, Greene, N.Y., Thursday, March 7, 1872

Opening of the Central Valley R.R. - The Central Valley Railroad Co. will commence running regular passenger trains from Smithville to the junction with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Road, on Monday next, March 11, arrangements having been completed to connect with the D.L.& W. This will prove a great convenience to the citizens of Smithville and vicinity, and comes just in time to save them from the horrors of the spring mud. We hope that the business of the road will fully answer the expectations of its friends. - Chenango Union.

Chenango American, Thurs., March 21, 1872

    The Central Valley Railroad Company have erected a neat and substantial depot building at the Junction 4 1/2 miles below this village.

Oxford Times, March 22, 1872

    The Smithville R.R. has thawed out.

Oxford Times, May 22, 1872

    The Smithville R.R. is doing a good business. The stock, we understand, is selling at $1.37 percent, in advance on old rye.

Chenango American, Greene, N.Y., Thursday, May 23, 1872

    Opened. - The Central Valley Railroad opened to the traveling public on Monday. Persons desirous of traveling on this road, may get themselves posted as regards the running of trains, by referring to time tables sticking up about this village. Some of the names of the stations on this road, savor of the romantic. The following is a complete list of the names referred to: Creswell, (Smithville), Maple Wood, Genegantslet, Lake Petona, Green Grove, Fair View, Junction.

Chenango American, Greene, May 23, 1872

Central Valley Railroad

    Three Foot Gauge. Time Table No. 1. For the government and information of employees. Takes effect MONDAY, MAY 20th, 1872.

Trains Moving South

    Creswell, (Smithville,) 6:25 A.M., 10:15 A.M., 4:50 P.M.; Maple Grove, 6:29 A.M., 10:19 A.M., 4:54 P.M.; Genegantslet, 6:32 A.M., 10:27 A.M., 5:02 P.M.; Lake Petona, 6:45 A.M., 10:35 A.M., 5:10 P.M.; Green Grove, 6:55 A.M., 10:45 A.M., 5:10 P.M.; Fair View, 7:02 A.M., 10:52 A.M., 5:27 P.M.; Junction, 7:05 A.M., 11:10 A.M., 5:05 P.M.

Trains Moving North

    Junction, 7:20 A.M., 11:20 A.M., 6:00 P.M.; Fair View, 7:27 A.M., 11:27 A.M., 6:07 P.M.; Green Grove, 7:35 A.M., 11:35 A.M., 6:15 P.M.; Lake Petona, 7:45 A.M., 11:45 A.M., 6:25 P.M.; Genegantslet, 7:53 A.M., 11:53 A.M., 6:33 P.M.; Maple Wood, 8:01 A.M., 12:01 P.M., 6:41 P.M., Creswell, 8:05 A.M., 12:05 P.M., 6 :45P.M.

    Trains will stop on signal only at Maple Wood, Lake Petona and Fair View. Passenger Trains will have exclusive right of way.

    Close connections made at the Junction with Express Trains on Utica Division, Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R.R.

C.E. & Manager

Chenango Union, Norwich, May 29, 1872

    Smithville Railroad. - The Central Valley Railroad was opened to the traveling public on Monday of last week. The names of the stations on the road are Creswell, (Smithville,) Maple Wood, Genegantaslet, Lake Petona, Green Grove, Fair View, Junction. The road is a three-feet gauge, and about eight miles in length.

Chenango American, Greene, June 5, 1872

Central Valley Railroad

    Three Foot Gauge. Time Table No. 2. For the government and information of employees. Takes effect MONDAY, JUNE 5th, 1872.

Trains Moving South

    Creswell, (Smithville,) 6:20 A.M., 4:20 P.M.; Maple Grove, 6:25 A.M., 10:30 A.M., 4:20 P.M.; Genegantslet, 6:32 A.M., 10:37 A.M., 4:32 P.M.; Lake Petona, 6:40 A.M., 10:45 A.M., 4:40 P.M.; Green Wood, 6:50 A.M., 11:02 A.M., 4:57 P.M.; Fair View, 6:57 A.M., 11:02 A.M., 4:57 P.M.; Junction, 7:05 A.M., 11:10 A.M., 5:05 P.M.

Trains Moving North

    Junction, 7:15 A.M., 11:25 A.M., 5:15 P.M.; Fair View, 7:23 A.M., 11:33 A.M., 5:23 P.M.; Green wood, 7:30 A.M., 11:40 A.M., 5:30 P.M.; Lake Petona, 7:40 A.M., 11:50 A.M., 5:30 P.M.; Genegantslet, 7:43 A.M., 11:58 A.M., 5:48 P.M.; Maple Grove, 7:55 A.M., 12:05 P.M., 5:55 P.M., Creswell, 8:00 A.M., 12:10 P.M., 6 P.M.

    Trains will stop on signal only at Maple Grove, Lake Petona and Fair View. Passenger Trains will have exclusive right of way .

    Close connections made at the Junction with Express Trains on Utica Division, Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R.R.

C.E. & Manager

October 23, 1872 Oxford Times:

    The Central Valley RR Co. have sold out to the Westerm Midland Co. and that work will soon commence on the wide gauge. The rails on the narrow gauge will be taken up and there is talk of laying them from Smithville to McDonough."

(This reported buyout never was shown on any annual NYS Engineers and Surveyor's Reports.)

The New York Western Midland never built any trackage AFAIK but had its offices in McGraw(ville), NY. It was to be 150 miles long and had officers from NYC, Oswego (DCL), Middle town, Cortland, McGrawville, Skaneateles, Homer, & Deposit.

Chenango American, Wed., Nov. 7, 1872

    The Oxford Times, in an article on the Smithville Railroad, says: "We learn that the Central Valley Railroad Company have sold out to the Western Midland company, and that work will soon commence on the wide gauge. The rails on the narrow three feet gauge will be taken up, and there is talk of laying them from Smithville to McDonough.

Chenango American, Thurs., Feb. 13, 1873

    The Central Valley narrow gauge road is now running from Bainbridge on the A. & S. Rilroad, north 12 miles to Smithville Flats. It is proposed to extended it to McDonough, 12 miles further, next season. - Utica Herald, Feb. 7th.

    The Central Valley Railroad has been "snowed up" since last Christmas, and no trains of any kind have been running since that time. It extends from Smithville Flats to the D.L. & W. Railroad, at a point a few miles below this village, and does not connect Bainbridge and Smithville, but public traffic and communication between those two points are at present carried on by means of the Smithville stage and Payne's express, which run regularly between Smithville and our village, and from hre to Bainbridge through the agency of Joel Judd's mail and passenger transportation line, which is "one horse," but regular and reliable, making daily trips over the narrow gauge road up the Coventry hills, some places with a grde of 300 feet to the mile. The Herald reporter must have seen Joel's turn out gaily dashing away from th Bainbridge Railroad depot, and mistaken his establishment for a narrow gauge locomotive.

Chenango American, Wed., March 6, 1873

    Charles P. Tarbell has been elected President of the Central Valley Railroad.

    The Central Valley Railroad still slumbers undisturbed under its snowy sheet.

    The Central Valley has paid its tax to the town of Greene.

Oxford Times, April 23, 1873

    The Smithville Railroad is running as usual.

Oxford Times, July 23, 1873

Smithville Stone Quarry

    Two years ago an extensive stone quarry was opened by Messrs. Beardsley & Miller, of Oxford, 7 miles north of Greene and 2 miles north of Smithville Flats, which contains at present some of the very best of flagging and other stone.

    An excavation 100x200 feet has been made upon the hillside east of the river. The stone exposed appear to have separated from the mass of which the hillside is composed, in h uge longitudinal dykes, parallel to the hill, between which are seams of a few inches in width, filled with angular debris. Transverse seams divide these dykes into cubes 12 to 30 feet in length. The depth of the rock removed is 14 feet. The strata are 2 1/2 to 16 inches in thickness, perfectly smooth, with square angles and sides. one or two only of the lowest layers are ripple-marked; the ripples examined have a direction south-west and north-east. It is estimated that 30,000 yards are now uncovered. Large quantities have already ben shipped by the Central Valley narrow gauge railroad and by canal.

    The fortunate owner of the land on which it crops out receives a royalty of 10 cents per yard for all stone removed. - Binghamton Leader.

Chenango American, Thurs., Aug. 14, 1873

    We are informed that the Midland people have under consideration various plans for shortening the line of their road. One is, to build the Hancock line via Colesville and Lisle to Freeville. Another, and more feasible plan is, to build from Guilford Summit, south-west, to the village of Greene, thence to Smithville Flats, Willett and Gee Brook, taking the line of the Utica, Chenango & Cortland railroad, to this place. This can be accomplished in a shorter time and with a smaller outlay of money than any other route.

    Of the U., C. & C. railroad 16 miles from a portion of the proposed line, and 6 miles of the Central Valley railroad can be used in the route by widening its road-bed at a moderate expense, leaving the gap of 10 miles from Gee Brook to Smithville and the section from Greene to Guilford to be provided for.

    This line would shorten the distance from Cortland to Guilford 18 miles, and instead of the heavy grades from Cuyler to Plymouth, and from Norwich to Oxford, there would be nothing in excess if 55 feet going east. The road would pass through th village of Greene and near the villages of Smithville, Willett and Cincinnatus, securing a profitable local buiness. It is high time the people along the route took some steps to show its advantages and urge its claims. - Cortland Democrat

Chenango American, Thurs., Aug. 21, 1873

    Excursion Picnic. - On Friday of this week the children of Zion Church Sunday School will have an excursion picnic, on the line of the C.V.R.R. The children will meet at the church at 10:30 A.M. The parents and friends of the children ar cordially invited to attend.

Cortland Democrat, Friday, Sept. 5, 1873

Railroad Prospecting.

    Through the courtesy of President Smith of the Utica, Chenango & Cortland R.R we received an invitation to take a trip across the country along the line of this road, a well as the of the completed extension to Deposit. The party, consisting of a majority of the Directors, the President, Engineer, R.E. Hurley and the writer, started a week ago last Monday in comfortable carriages furnished by Wm. P. Randall, of this place.

    The work between this place and Cincinnatus has not been advanced to any considerable extent for the past few months. There is some work yet to be done near the mouth of Gee brook, and other points between Solon and Cincinnatus, but the heavy work is nearly all completed, and there is no reason why we should not say that the grading between this place and the mouth of Gee brook is substantially done.

    The line, as it leaves the mouth of Gee brook, bears to the left and runs up the valley a distance of 1 1/2 miles, to Cincinnatus, where it diverges to the opposite side of the valley along the side of the east hill, to Willett, where it bears to the left around the brow of the hill, crossing the highway between Willett and Smithville Flats, near the Pond. Keeping to the right most of the way until reaching the last named place, where it is proposed to intersect with the Central Valley road to Greene, if satisfactory terms of consolidation can be agreed upon. The track of the Central Valley road is only three feet in width, and is a curiosity to all who have been accustomed to wide gauge roads.

    Our party were treated to a ride over the road, and we must say that we were greatly surprised to find that the cars rode so easily, and that the train could make such fast time. The speed of the train was not slackened when rounding a curve - and there are several sharp ones - and passengers would hardly know unless they were in a position to see tht they had diverged from a straight line. It is claimed for this road - and we would say with good reason - that it can be operated with much less expense than the wide gauge roads, and that it is capable of doing full as much business. We should like to see a longer line of the narrow-gauge fully equipped and in operation, for we believe that roads of this description will one day come into general use.

    The Central Valley road is nine miles in length, its southern terminus intersects the Chenango Valley branch of the D.L.& W., about four miles south of Greene.

    From Greene, two lines to Deposit - which - is to be the terminus of the road - have ben surveyed, one by way of a Afton and Coventry, and the other by way of Ninevah, where it crosses the Albany & Susquehanna and Delaware & Hudson roads. This line appears to be the most feasible, and taken altogether we should say that it was in all respects a good route and one that could be easily and economically constructed. A road through this section would receive large local patronage, and the connections would enable the road to do a large through business. It passes through a rich and productive section of country, and the people all along the line are anxious to have the enterprise put through, and promise substantial aid to that end.

    At Smithville Flats the party were advised to put up at Payne's Hotel, where every attention was paid to their wants that could be desired. This hotel is entirely new, fitted up with all the modern improvements, and is kept as well as any of the best hotels in large towns. The culinary department is excellent, the rooms and furniture clean and neat, waiters polite, and in fact everything about the house is strictly first class. Mr. C.D. Payne, the proprietor of the house, is a gentleman, and deserves to be, as we are assure he is, successful in business.

    On Monday evening the party were entertained at the elegant rsidence of Mr. H.L. Crozier, at Smithville. Mr. Crozier has everything about him to make his life comfortable, and he dispenses his hospitality with no grudging hand.

    We arrived home on Thursday evening, having heartily enjoyed the trip in very respect.

    (From the implication of the above article, there would have been a U-turn at Gee Brook (near the intersection of Routes 41 and 26 south of Cincinnatus) with the resulting U-turn connection to go south from Cincinnatus onto Willet and on to Smithville.

    As far as the grade from Willet to Smithville, there'd be a small climb out of Willet to just short of present-day Stump Pond, then fairly level highland for a mile or two, and then the long gradual descent around Cincinnatus Lake, Long Pond, and down the outlet creek valley from Long Pond into Smithville. This grade would have been spread over quite a few miles. The steepest grade would have been the final mile or so dropping down into Smithville.)

Cortland Standard & Journal, Sept. 16, 1873

Utica, Chenango & Cortland R.R.

    We have been repeatedly asked of late what the directors of this road were doing toward its completion. In another column will be found an advertisement over the signature of the President, Mr. Allen B. Smith, calling a meeting of the stock-holders at the office of the company in this village on the 14th of October, for the purpose of taking into consideration the agreement entered into between the directors of the company and the directors of the "Central Valley Railway Company," for the consolidation of those two companies. The conditions of the consolidation are not set forth in he advertisement, but we infer that it is expected that this consolidation wll inure to the complation of the road.

    It has been urged with increasing emphasis, that the season for railway building is rapidly passing away, and that th work remains stationary. We have no information as to the causes of the delay, nor as to how soon it is expected the work the work will be resumed in case the consolidation is perfected, but we suppose the directors have ben unable thus far to either raise the means for going on with the work, or to make a union with any company, which would enable them to do so. Without doubt the directors are fully aware of he responsibility resting upon them, and have done and are doing their best to meet the just expectations of the punlic. We have no authority to speak for them, and can only point to their official action, as apparent from the advertisement published in the Standard & Journal elsewhere.


The Utica, Chenango & Cortland R.R. Company

    Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the stockholders of "The Utica, Chenango & Cortland Railroad Company" will be held at the office of the company in the village of Cortland, Cortland county, N.Y., on Tueday, the fourteenth day of October, eighteen hundred and seventy three, at one o'clock in the afternoon fo the purpose of taking into consideration the agreement entered into between the Directors of "The Central Valley Railway Company" and the directors of 'The Utica, Chenango & Cortland Railroad Company," for the consolidation of said companies and railroads, under and pursuant to th act entitled "An act authorizing the consolidation of certain railroad companies, passed May 20th, 1869, and acts amending the same."

    And for the purpose of said stockholders voting by baallot fo the adoption or rejection of said agreement.

    Dated September 8, 1873
    Pres't of the Utica, Chenango & Cortland R.R.
    Frank Place, Sec'y     20w4

(Subsequent issues of the newspaper carried no followup articles on this meeting).

Chenango American, Wed., Dec. 11, 1873

    The Central Valley Road having ceased to run for the present, Mr. C.D. Payne, of Smithville, makes the following announcement:

    Payne's Hot Air Express will leave Smithville for Greene, at 1-2 past 8 A.M., to connect with the down train on the D.L.& W. Road, 11:25 A.M. , and up train at 5:52 P.M. Extra trips if necessary.

Chenango American, Wed., Aug. 13, 1874


    For some time, as the bright Summer days have been passing, the family of Dea. A.G. Rose, have been contemplating a Day in the Forest, somewhere - anywhere, - for refreshment, rest, and quiet enjoyment; and, when the Rev. Dr. Mikels, wife and daughter of new York came, to make their annual visit, it was at once decided, to make a picnic for them, and give to them, the honor of the occasion.

    It was arranged, by the good family, having the matter in charge, that Tuesday, Aug. 4th should be the day, - and that all hands should be ready at 9 A.M., for a start to "Maple Grove," on the farm of Aaron Forbes. At the appointed hour, a number of carriages, single and double, were standing before the "Gothic Cottage," loaded and being laden with suggestive baskets, pails and bundles - and happy, expectant, men, women and children, getting ready for the March to Woodland. Of course there must be some ministers along besides the D.D. - so among the invited guests were the Rev. Geo. Porter and family, and the Rev. J.H. Sage and family.

    We are inclined, however, to think these two families were invited, that there might be a good, wholesome, moral restraint upon the company, when once away from the restraints of home.

    As soon as the grove was reached, the carriages were unloaded, there commenced a search for croquet grounds and a place to "boil the tea-kettle;" and there was as much earnestness in one search as the other. The Old Pioneer, Geo. R. Lyon, proved himself skillful, in getting a fire-brand from a smouldering brush-heap, and with the assistance of others, soon had

    A bright fire burning on the ground,
    With brilliant glare and crackling sound.

    There as activity in the grove. The ladies busily arranged the long table, covered with snow-white cloth, and most delicious cake, biscuit, cheese, pickles, cold chicken, pop-corn, candy, &c. Companies busy in arranging croquet grounds and in commencing games; Men trimming trees and putting up an immense rope, for a swing; some tending fire; some watching the steaming kettles; some bringing water; and in the midst of it - behold! the engine whistle, and the approaching train; (for the grove is exactly on the line of the "Central Valley RR").

    For a moment there was bravery in camp; and it was even suggested, that the company, make a raid upon the train, and one of the company, went so far As to throw his hat, at the engine, as it came up.

    But the conductor, the gentlemanly Mr. Hurley, wore a pleasant face, and all feelings, of an antagonistic character, quickly subsided; and one of the party, Dept. Sheriff Boynton, in true Yankee style, at once commenced negotiating for a ride; not , however, for himself along, but for all the merry party.

    It was soon arranged, that the train should go on its way, to Smithville, and deliver up its passengers, and then return, in about an hour, to take the company on a pleasure trip, leaving them time, meanwhile, to enjoy dinner; and when Mr. Hurley was asked "How much will be the expense?" he replied: "It is an honor to be called upon, to favor such a good looking company, and you may set your own price." Whether he received his impression from the gentleman with whom he was making the arrangements, or from some ladies whowere standing near, we are not certain.

    Then, to the tables, while the jolly little engine moved off, with its load of yellow coaches, - and, by this time, it required but one call, to start all, for all were hungry. The table was called to order by Dea. Rose, and thanksgiving was offered by Bro. Porter. And then - all who have been similarly situated, know what happened. How delicious was the food, entire. how cool the pure air of the forest. How free the interchange of thought and good cheer.

    But the hour was up, and back came the train - changed into an "accommodation ," for the pleasure of the company. The ladies, had a nice place at the table, arranged for the conductor and engineer, and soon they were earnestly testing the articles of food, which had been brought to the grove, and from what we could see, they dispensed the food, with intense satisfaction.

    All aboard!

    Then came a hurry to the cars (which, by the way, are little beauties, filled with luxury and convenience.) The train was crowded, and soon moving southward, to the music of happ voices - innocent jests - outspoken humor - and the steady rattle, of car wheels, while impromptu ticket agents - conductors - express agents - and hotel runners, besieged the passengers, constantly. A few miles southward, and back to the grounds; - an inverval of half an hour - lest the company should forget how to play "croquet," and all aboard for Smithville and return.

    Too much, cannot be said, in praise of Mr. Hurley, who contributed so much, for the pleasure of the day. Let all, who wish to enjoy the pleasures of a picnic, make sure to engage his services and his train. also, too much cannot be said in praise of our liverymen of town, who are always ready, on such occasions, to do a fine thing, for an extremely reasonable sum. The whole affair, from beginning to end, was a splendid success. The day passed, without accident, and the good Doctor Mikels, and family, will have occasion to long remember the day in the grove.

Hammondsport Herald, Wed., April 21, 1875

    Capt. Wood has been in Smithville, N.Y., the past week, sperintending the removal of the iron for our rail road. The work is being pushed rapidly forward by T.E. Rollins, of Corning, who has charge of the work. They were delayed two days last week by the fall of a foot of snow, and the washing away of a bank by the high water. The rails will be sent to Bath as fast as they can get car loads made up.

Chenango American, Greene, N.Y., Thursday, April 22, 1875

    We understand that parties are now engaged in taking up the iron of the Central Valley Railroad, and that it is being taken to Hammondsport, Steuben County where it is to be used in another road. The rolling stock has also been sold. Thus ends the Central Valley Railroad and the inhabitants of Smithville are somewhat out and injured, as we anticipated they would be when the project was commenced.

Steuben Courier, Bath, N.Y., Wed., April 28, 1875

    Captain-Conductor-General Superintendent Wood has measured his coaches, and finds it impossible to get the whole name on, so he has decided, we learn, to letter the cars "B. and Ham. R.R." Don't you wish now you had changed it to Vine City?

Steuben Courier, Wed., May 19, 1875

    We are informed by Captain Wood that, in all probability, trains will be running regularly on the Bath & Hammondsport Railroad by the 29th of June. The road is nine miles and a half long to the Erie depot, and the heaviest grade is 132 feet to the mile. This grade continues for about six thousand feet.

    The three feet gauge cars will be an entire novelty in this region. The passenger coaches are about thirty-two feet long, and six and one half feet wide, and will accommodate thirty-two persons. The seats are arranged in the same manner as those in broad gauge cars, but on one side they will accommodate two persons, while those on the other side will accommodate but one. There will be three trains each way daily, one in the morning, one at noon, and one at night. They will connect with the Erie trains at Bath, and with the steamboats at Hammondsport. The intermediate stations will be County House, Cold Spring, and Pleasant Valley.

Hammondsport Herald, Wed., July 14, 1875

    A good story is told of an Erie engineer who drew along side the miniature engine which does the business for the Bath & Hammondsport Railroad, addressing the engineer of the "Joy." He remarked, "That engine cannot draw much, can it?" "No," was the reply, "do you not think it could draw Erie's first mortgage bonds." - Corning Independent.

    Gay times these for Hammondsport. The train from Bath arrives three times each day, often loaded with passenges; the steamers are ready and are soon boarded with merry parties of excursionists, others seek the Glen or our Hammondsport hotels and boarding houses. Long live our new railroad, which is bringing so much life to our village, and three cheers for Capt. Wood, who has persevered in completing the road, for Conductor Bennett, for Engineer Reynolds and for faithful Robert.

Chenango Union, Norwich, Thurs., July 16, 1875

    Railroad Opening. - The people of Bath and vicinity celebrated on the 5th inst., the opening of the narrow gauge railroad between the village of Hammondsport, a distance of eight miles, and the cars were crowded on each successive trip. the rails and rolling stock of the new road formerly did service in this County, on the Smithville road, and the engine "Warren Newton" drew the excursionists on the 5th.

    Capt. Wood, who owns a steamboat on Crooked Lake, purchased the material and removed it to Steuben County, and owns most of the road, which now runs in connection with the steamer, for the accommodation of pleasure parties, etc. The engine, however, proves too small for the business required of it, and the heavy grades, and a new and heavier one will be purchased.

Chenango American, Nov. 29, 1900

    By resolution passed by the Board of Supervisors last week the town of Smithville will raise this year a sum sufficient to wipe out its bonded indebtedness incurred in 1868, and under which the town hs been struggling ever since.

    The sum raised this year is $2,720.20 which with a sinking fund of $261 will pay up the principal and interest. The bonds were issued in 1868 to the amount of $83,000 for the construction of a railroad from Greene to Smithville. The road connected with the old Greene Railroad, now the D.L.& W., at a point about three miles below Greene and ran toward the village of Smithville. Its terminus was about 60 rods over the Smithville line.

    It was operated for about a year and disappeared in the night - engine, cars, rails and all being shipped off before the people of Smithville knew what happened. The equipment was shipped to New York and is said to be still in use on Long Island.

    The removal of the railroad leaving a bonded indebtedness of $83,000 on the town was a severe blow to Smithville and drove capital and business out of the town.

    For 20 years or more nothing was paid upon the principal, but since that time the town has raised $5,000 annually for payment on the principal. About 12 years ago a portion of the debt, about $45,000, was refunded at 4 percent but the remainder continued to bear 7 percent interest. This town has paid on account of this railroad indebtedness in principal and interest about $230,000, for which it has received in return the use of a cheap railroad for a portion of a year.

    (The claim sometimes has been made in this area that the Pittsburgh & CastleShannon Railroad, a 40-inch gauge line, was the first narrow gauge railroad in the United States. The P&CS wasn't established until September 1, 1871, but its first section, Pittsburgh to Fairhaven, opened for regular business on November 1, 1871.

    The Central Valley, projected in 1870 and placed under construction on May 19, 1871, didn't begin operations until March 11, 1872.

    One can access a summary pertaining to the P&CS

    Since one was 36-inch gauge and the other was 40-inch gauge, there might be some truth to the contemporary newspaper claims that the CV was the first 3-foot narrow gauge line in the United States; however, one would have to investigate that more closely before asserting it as absolute fact.

    Indeed, one of the difficulties is that, if 4-feet, 8-1/2-inches is accepted as standard gauge, anything less than that would be, for practical purposes, narrow gauge and there were a number of lines that operated on a narrower than standard gauge that show up in an 1863 Pennsylvania railroad report, although some are only slightly narrower.

    Modern narrow gauge enthusiasts tend to think in terms of 36-inch, 30-inch, 24-inch, or even 18-inch gauges, but I think one could make an argument on behalf of any road laid to less than standard gauge having been a narrow (or at least "narrower") gauge. Certainly, the P&CS gauge of 40-inches should qualify in anyone's book as a narrow gauge railroad.

    What railroad was the "first" narrow gauge in the U.S.? That could be a real can of worms to determine . . . the "first" to be projected, placed under construction, OR to begin regularly scheduled service? If the latter is the criterion, it certainly wasn't the CV, even if that line was the first in 36-inch gauge, given the date the P&CS began to haul passengers andpart freight on a regularly scheduled basis.

    The saga of the Central Valley and Smithville seems to me part and parcel of the periodic bouts with "railroad fever" experienced in many locations.

    Insofar as Littlejohn is concerned, he always has struck me as a promoter and robust opportunist, the kind of individual who was very concerned that he should benefit personally from the causes he served. He certainly wasn't an altruist. He probably fitted well into the atmosphere of the New York State Assembly, especially during the years he served as its speaker.

    One could question the entire idea of building a railroad during the late 1860's and early 1870's to connect Oswego and New York City, since it probably was too late to offset the east-west domination of rail lines already controlled by the Vanderbilts, but, in an effort to keep money flowing into his project, he made poor judgments regarding the route and construction standards that deprived the Oswego Midland and its successors of the opportunity for economic viability.

Contributed by Richard Palmer
Railroad History
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