Dad had taken the cream to town on this Saturday morning and had left us to put in the kitchen stove wood before the rains of Fall commenced.
If there was an easier way to do a task, Ken could certainly figure it out. Today was no exception. I think he spent most of the morning building sides for his wooden express wagon that would enable more wood to be piled on it thus less trips would need to be made from the woodpile to the woodshed. He attached a couple of pieces of leather harness to act as load securers and we were in the business of wood hauling.
As the rank grew higher in the windowless shed, I stood on a wobbly overturned tea box and piled the sticks that Cliff passed to me.
Suddenly, I saw a shadow in the doorway and turned to find Gramp standing there. He took one look at Ken’s wagon and said, “It is too bad that you weren’t around when I was hauling pit props to the boxcars at the BarnesvilleSiding as we certainly could have used some modifications to the sleds and the ramp to make the job easier.”
As usual, I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.
Once Dad arrived home, he explained that many of the local farmers cut trees that were too small for logs and peeled them, and sold them as pit props to be used in the bracing of mine shafts. These timbers were loaded by hand into boxcars and then hauled off by the St. Martins train to be sent on to a mine in some unknown place.
Although the St. Martins Train had originally been planned to go only from Upham to St. Martins to get the lumber to the shipping vessels, the track was extended to join up with the big-train line at Hampton. In fact I found a map in the Land Registry Office that showed plans had been in the works to build a railway from Coldbrook, near Saint John to join the St. Martins line near the Barnesville Station House.
For those of you who have never head of this railway, it was incorporated in 1871 as the St. Martins and Upham Railway Company and the line was opened in 1878.
Speaking of the big railway lines, in 1992, David Nason wrote a book on Railways of New Brunswick that explored the development and construction of the many lines in New Brunswick, ending in the early twentieth century when the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railway owned or controlled every line.
David describes the numerous branch lines, the expectations of their shareholders and the small communities they served. These railways did not always fulfil the dreams of the citizens; indeed, it was not unusual for railways to be constructed the wrong way, or with the wrong gauge, or with too little capital, or simply too late.
David states in his introduction: “At the peak of railway operations in the 1930s, there were over 2000 miles of railway track in the province of New Brunswick.”
The book gives information on the St. Andrews and Quebec Railway, The European and North American, The Western Extension, The Intercolonial Railway, The New Brunswick and Canadian Pacific Railways, The National Transcontinental and Canadian National Railways as well as details on the Branch Line Railways of the Fredericton Branch Railway, The Carleton - City of Saint John Branch Railroad Company, The Albert Railway Company, The Petitcodiac and Elgin Railway Company, The St. Martins Railway Company, The Grand Southern Railway, The Kent Northern Railway, The St. John Bridge and Railway Company, The New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Railway Company, The Canada Eastern Railway Company, The Moncton and Northumberland Strait Railway Company, The Fredericton and St. Mary’s Railway Bridge Company, The Temiscouata Railway, The Tobique Valley Railway Company, The Caraquet and Gulf Shore Railway Company, The York and Carleton Railway Company, The International Railway Company of New Brunswick, The Central Railway Company - The New Brunswick Coal and Railway Company and the Fredericton and Grand Lake Coal and Railway Company, The Southampton Railway Company and the Saint John - Quebec Railway - Valley Line.
If any members in your family tree were associated with the railway, you will find Railways of New Brunswick by David Nason very informative. David tells not only of the location of the lines but in many cases reveals information on the sod turning, cost of construction, name change, profits and losses. He has included several pictures in the 136 page publication.
|A copy of the book is for sale at http://www.rubycusack.com/Book-Railways.html
* * *
Burns - Faulkner - Bettle: I am seeking information on members of the family of Richard Dixon Burns and Isabella Faulkner of Upham, Kings County, New Brunswick. William Tweedale Burns, was born there on March 14, 1864. Charles Lyman Burns was born November 06, 1871 and died October 03, 1918 but I do not know his place of death. His birth and death dates are recorded in his sister Emma Bigelow Burns's bible. Charlotte Ames Burns was born on March 01, 1853 and was the second wife of John Alexander Bettle, the son of Joseph or Josiah Bettle and Phebe Taylor. Their marriage took place on December 02, 1873 in Kings County. John Bettle was born July 05, 1827 in Passekeag, Kings County and died March 14, 1905 in Passekeag and was buried in Titus Hill Cemetery. I would like to find Charlotte Burns Bettle’s date and place of death as well as her burial place. I was also appreciate information on the Faulkner family of Hammond Parish of Kings County.
- Mary Bates, P.O. Box 82, Walpole, MA., 02081-0082, USA. E-mail to email@example.com.
Ruby is a genealogy buff. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. When E-Mailing please put Yesteryear Families in the Subject line. Please include in the query, your name and postal address as someone reading the newspaper, may have information to share with you but not have access to E-mail. Queries should be no more than 45 words in length.