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Bellefonte Railroads

Allegheny and Bald Eagle Railroad Coal and Iron Company

History of Centre and Clinton Counties, John B Linn, 1883

"The first railroad enterprise which eventually culminated successfully was the Allegheny and Bald Eagle Railroad Coal and Iron Company, authorized to be incorporated June 12,1839 (Pennsylvania Laws, 285). Hon. Thomas Burnside, Abraham S. Valentine, Jacob Gratz, John Mitchell, and John G. Lomrey were the corporators, the object of which was to develop and take to market the bituminous coal of the Snow Shoe region. Its powers were kept intact by legislative enactments, but nothing done towards construction until the year 1857, when a survey was completed by William Harris. The road was forthwith commenced and completed, at a cost of eight thousand two hundred and fifty-nine dollars per mile, all of which was paid as the work proceeded. Nov. 9, 1859, the first train reached Snow Shoe. On the 24th of March, 1859, the corporate name was changed by act of Legislature to that of the "Bellefonte and Snow Shoe Railroad Company." William Harris, of Bellefonte, located the road, and acted as engineer up to his death, when he was succeeded by James Summerville, and he after some years by David Butts.  Daniel Rhoads, Esq., of Bellefonte, was the efficient general superintendent up to the time of the lease to the Bald Eagle Valley Railroad in 1881. Andrew J. Cook commenced service with the company Oct. 1, 1862, and at the time of the lease was assistant manager.

The length of the road from the intersection to Snow Shoe is twenty-one miles. From the intersection to Gum Stump at the foot of the Allegheny Mountains (four miles) the grade is forty feet to the mile; from Gum Stump to the summit (seven miles) one hundred and twenty feet; and from the summit to Snow Shoe forty feet per mile."

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Last Updated
10 August 2004

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