Railroad Anecdote

Railroad Anecdote

The Erie in 1848

When the Iron Horse from Hudson Came to Callicoon


To the New York Herald Tribune,

The woman who tells us in your paper that she saw the first train that went over the Erie Railroad reminds me of an experience of my own.

In the fall of 1848 the road was completed to Narrowsburg, and on the 8th day of December, in the same year, a locomotive left Narrowsburg and ran as far as the east end of the bridge over the Callicoon Creek in this village. It could not go farther west at the time as the bridge was not completed. This was the first locomotive ever seen in this place. It was No. 10.

Later in the same year the last rail was laid here connecting the eastern sections of the road with the ones from the west. This completed an all rail route from New York to Binghamton. A flag was prepared here at Callicoon and was presented to the conductor of the train. On this flag was inscribed, "The iron horse from the Hudson is welcome to drink of the waters of the Callicoon."

The official opening of the New York & Erie Railroad from New York to Dunkirk was made on May 14, 15 and 16, 1851. We have in the family the old timetable of that date. There were two trains running west on these dates leaving New York at 6 a.m. of the 14th and arriving in Dunkitk at 1:15 p.m. on the 15th. Many prominent persons were guests on this train. Among them were Daniel Webster, General Scott, Millard Fillmore and William H. Seward.

Most of our village people gathered on the hillside above the railroad to see the first train go thru. Flags were waved and flowers thrown. I was oe of a crowd of children, being twelve year old at the time, who made wreaths of spring flowers to be thrown on the engine, and I remember well that it was a very serious question with us, even after we were ready, whether our wreaths might not stop or derail the engine.

During the following week I went with my father on an excursion train from Cochecton to Narrowsburg and return.


Mrs. Liddie Curtis
Callicoon, NY
June 7, 1926