History of the Pittsburg, Shawmut & Northern Railroad
Submitted By PHGS Member: Frankie Stonemetz
Gordon L. Burdick Curator
from the Moneysaver 1988



 
 

Shawmut Country extended from the rolling his of S.W. New York State, south Into the mountainous region called the Alleghenies.. In the 1700ís, much lumber was cut. Coal miming was a major industry, also; being the cause many railroads were built during the 1870s and 188O's. Oil was the other factor. Our area was represented by different RR.s, from lumber road to trunk line, broad, standard and narrow gauge; horse car and even monorail.

The Plttsburg, Shawmut and Northern had its start in Olean. In the early 1870s, there were 2 major railroad systems in Olean vicinity - The New York, Lake Erie and Western (the Erie), and Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia (the Pennsylvania). There were many "paper" railroads with impressive names and grand visions, but because funds were lacking, they never came into existance. The narrow gauge feature only lasted about 10 years, (1880-1890) probably cheaper to build, but not stable enough.

On April 27, 1881I, when Richburg struck oil and in the fal when the fields were filled with derriks, a railroad was introduced.

Just 2 days after the oil boom, April 29, 1881, the R.R. Wellsville, Bolivar and Eldred was chartered, (from Wellsville to Little Genesee, then from Bolivar to Rchburg.) May 2, 1881, Olean Railroad was chartered to build a line from Olean to Bolivar - 18 miles. On May 10, the Friendship R.R. came into Bolivar and May 11- the Bradford, Eldred and Cuba R.R. was chartered. These were all narrow gauges. These lines were 3 feet wide and laid with 30# rail. A box car served as a first depot.Asher W. Minor, head of a bank was put in as head of all this. The main office on this new R.R. was in Friendship - also the R.R. Shops. For locomotive power, the railroad purchased a new 2-4-4 tank engine. It was named after the president of the company, "A.W. MINER". This locomotive later became the #2 on the Allegany Central Line.

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