Young Lion of the West
One of the most interesting stories relating to pioneer railroading in
the Finger Lakes region is that of a small steam locomotive built by the
Rogers Locomotive Works of Patterson, N.J. in 1840 for the Auburn & Rochester
Railroad, called the "Young Lion of the West," which, coincidentally,
was the early nickname of the city of Rochester.
The Lion was built by Rogers about 1840 or '41 for the Auburn and Rochester
R. R. Co., and was first locomotive that company owned - the Columbus
being the second. The name it bore then was "Young Lion of the West,"
and under this name, though small in capacity, did excellent service on
the strap rail. As the machine was familiarly called "the Lion" by the
railroad men, and as age grew on, the title of young became inappropriate,
all was dropped of the name save Lion. When the Lion was in his glory,
John Ashley and N. C. Martin, veteran engineers, used to hold the reins
over the king of the forest. When larger locomotives superseded the Lion,
and after serving the company ten years or more, he was sold to the Watertown
and Rome Co., and used on their railroad as a repair engine. (From Rochester
Union & Advertiser, Thurs., May 20, 1858.)
"Young Lion of the West"
the first engine used on the Auburn & Rochester Railroad
Drawing presented to the Rochester Historical Society by the
New York Central Railroad. Furnished by Richard Palmer.
This story is woven together through a series of newspaper accounts.
Before getting into this, however, it seems fitting to give a bit of history
of the so-called "Auburn Road." The original segment was the Auburn &
Syracuse which was opened between those two places in 1838. The Auburn
& Rochester Railroad was completed between those two points in 1841. They
were consolidated in 1850 to form the Rochester & Syracuse Railroad Company,
which in turn became a segment of the New York Central in 1853.
The Auburn Road was a busy rail line for more than a century, and what
remains continues to be very active under the management of the Geneva-based
Finger Lakes Railway. The New York Central operated passenger trains on
the line until May 18, 1958, which was followed by a long and steady decline.
It was abandoned between Victor and Pittsford in 1960; Canandaigua to
Victor in 1978, and Pittsford to Rochester in 1982. It was operated by
Penn Central from 1967 to 1976 and by Conrail, April 1, 1976, to July
1, 1995, after being purchased by Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Ontario
Counties, and turned over to the Finger Lakes Railway, along with the
remaining segment of Lehigh Valley mainline, about 15 miles, Geneva to
The first article, from the Syracuse Courier of Feb. 25, 1881,
tracks the history of the locomotive and the early history of the railroad
in Central and Western New York. It was contributed by "A. T. B." of Rochester
Many Years Ago
The Early Days of Railroading
in Central New York
Feb. 25, 1881
"The Auburn and Rochester Railroad was chartered in 1836, and the
right of way having been obtained over the greater part of the route,
ground was broken and work begun at Slab Hollow, a place near Fisher's
Station, in 1838. The length of the road when first opened, was twenty-nine
miles, namely, from this city to Canandaigua. The total cost of construction,
including fences, depots, locomotives, cars, etc., was $1,012,783. Books
for stock subscription were opened August 2, 1836, at villages along
the line. Prompt and liberal subscriptions were taken as follows: Rochester,
$58,000; Canandaigua, $146,000; Geneva, $108,500; Seneca Falls, $122,900;
thus giving a total of $595,000. In 1836 a meeting was held in Lyons
to consider a railroad through Palmyra, Lyons, Clyde, etc., to Syracuse.
"The contract for grading the seventeen miles east of this city was
let to Messrs. Vedder, Vedder & Co. Hiram Darrow, a Seneca farmer in
Ontario, was the boss and was afterwards appointed conductor for the
road. Bartholomew Vrooman, of Canandaigua, was foreman of the track
gang. In 1840 the first locomotive arrived for the road. It was named
the "Lion," from the fact that William Failing, the veteran conductor,
while standing beside the engine in the shop, cut the picture of a lion
out of a circus bill and stuck it on the locomotive, whereupon the superintendent
had the name painted upon the engine.
"This engine was put upon the track at Cartersville, where it was landed
from a canal boat. Other locomotives for this road were the 'Ontario'
and 'Columbus,' named by William Failing, and the 'H.B. Gibson.' On
September 8, 1840, the first time table was published, trains leaving
this city at 4 A.M. and 5 P.M., and on their return leaving Canandaigua
at 6 A.M. and 7 P.M.
"On September 10, 1840, the first train was run over the road. It was
a passenger train and was drawn by the locomotive 'Lion,' in charge
of Asa Goodale as engineer, who is still living in this city. Mr. Failing
is the oldest conductor in the United States, and can boast that an
accident never happened to a train in his charge.
"The first coaches used on this road were from the car shops at Lyons
and Utica, and came via the Erie Canal to this city. They were unloaded
at the United States Hotel and drawn to the Central depot by horses.
On October 10th, 1840, the first train carrying freight was run over
the road. It came to this city from Canandaigua. It was drawn by the
locomotive 'Ontario,' in charge of Engineer William Hart, who is still
living and acts as engineer for the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad
"On July 5, 1841, the first excursion train was run over the road.
It was drawn by the locomotive 'Ontario.' The locomotive 'Lion,' after
being used on their road for ten years or more, was sold to the Watertown
& Rome Railroad. Its boiler exploded, killing a man, May 19, 1858. The
first eight-wheeled car used on this road, and also the first one built
in this city (Rochester), was put into service about the year 1842.
It was built where the Central depot now stands, by the firm of Kerr
& Cunningham, the latter being the well known carriage builder of this
"The car was painted by George Arnold, and the first fare on this car
was collected by William Failing, conductor. The first accident on this
road occurred to the passenger train which left Canandaigua for Rochester
on May 5, 1841, drawn by the locomotive 'H. B. Gibson,' Engineer Dion
Stiles. When going over a culvert a quarter of a mile north of Railroad
Mills, the engine jumped the track and went down an embankment of twenty
feet with the engineer and fireman on board.
"The train was left on the track, owing to the breaking of the coupling
that connected the tender of the locomotive to the train. The engine
was turned upside down and completely wrecked. The engineer escaped
injury, but the fireman, was caught in the cab and fatally scalded.
The cause of the run off was the elevation of a 'snakehead' on the old
"In November, 1841, this road was opened to Auburn. The depot in this
city, a long wooden shed containing six tracks, stood on the site of
the present depot. It was in this depot that the locomotives were housed,
a turn table being just west of the depot. The present structure was
built in 1851 by C. A. Jones. The first explosion of a locomotive in
this city occurred September 12, 1859. It was the locomotive 'Ontario,'
No. 139, in charge of the late Stephen Hanford and Fireman Barcley Murray,
who is at present engineer on locomotive 455. The engine was used as
"Just west of State Street its boiler exploded. The engineer and fireman
seeing the escaping steam reversed the lever and jumped.
"The engineer, Mr. Hanford, was thrown to the ground and badly injured,
so much so that the amputation of his right leg below the knee became
necessary. He remained in the company's service for many years. The
fireman was blown by the force of the steam through the fence and into
an adjoining lot."
-- A. T. B., Rochester
The Ontario Repository, Canandaigua, N.Y.
Sept. 16, 1840
The Railroad - A train of cars (composed of the engine Young Lion and
one baggage and one passenger car) left Rochester for this place on Thursday,
Sept. 10, but did not get through, owing to some hindrances on an unfinished
part of the track. On Saturday evening the locomotive, with three cars,
came in, and left for Rochester on the following morning."
One of the most interesting first-hand accounts of an excursion train
from Rochester to Seneca Falls appeared in the:
Rochester Daily Democrat
Tues., July 14, 1841
On Saturday last, the Directors and Stockholders of the Auburn and
Rochester Railroad Company, resident in this city and the several villages
through which it passes, accompanied by the Corporations of the several
places, their ladies, and the Editors of the daily papers of this city
(ahem!) made a delightful excursion to Seneca Falls, a distance of 62
miles. The company which left this city numbered about one hundred,
and increased to nearly twice that number before it reached the point
of destination. Four superb passenger cars left this city at half past
eight o'clock, drawn by the locomotive "Young Lion of the West," which
had been very appropriately detailed for that service.
The day was beautiful—one of those which at this season of the
year frequently succeeds a heavy rain, which had been falling through
the night, and had left every thing in its freshest and loveliest garb.
The fears of a rainy day created by a cloudy morning, were dissipated
before the hour of departure, by the wind changing into the north, breaking
up the reign of the Storm King, and scattering the fleecy clouds—the
shadows flittering over the plains and hills scarcely keeping pace with
the "Young Lion" until the clear blue became predominant, and all nature
seemed to keep jubilee with us in victory which the ingenuity of man
has achieved in overcoming distance and binding together more strongly
the different portions of our continent.
Such was the rapidity of our flight, that in looking out upon the fields
and forests through which we passed, it was no fancy to imagine every
object around as in one grand whirlpool, hurrying off to be succeeded
by new circles. Scarce had we time to recover from these reveries, before
we were passing Brighton Corners, and the splendid groves and farms
which constitute the beauty and wealth of that thriving town. The lazy
motion of here and there a deeply laden canalboat, seemed in comparison
too snail-like to deserve contempt. We soon passed that comfortable
retreat, the Monroe Springs, and in a moment were halted at Pittsford,
where we received the first accession to our happy number.
Leaving Pittsford, the road passes through sand hills and over short
embankments until it crosses the canal at Cartersville, a few rods from
the Great Canal Embankment, and nine miles from Rochester. Here is a
fine spring of soft water, where the "Young Lion" slaked his thirst,
and a few more joined us. A little onward, following the western side
of the valley of the Irondequoit, we passed the "Railroad Mills," where
good flour may be made, but not yet in quantities large enough to excite
the apprehension of our millers that they will there very soon meet
with a successful rival.
The sudden change of scenery along this valley is an object of interest
to the lover of nature—scarcely noticed, however, before passed,
and Victor, with its spires and neatly painted dwellings, is in view,
at the distance of half a mile to the left. Here also the "Young Lion"
found another spring of soft water, none other being allowed him, for
fear of choking his pipes (Considering his speed and bottom, what an
argument is this for cold water men!)
The gravelly hills and ledges of rocks through which the road has been
constructed to the edge of Bloomfield, might interest a geologist, but
we had no time for such investigations, the fine farms in that town
and Farmington were soon passed, and Canandaigua in all its loveliness
was in full view. At this place we received a large delegation, and
well might her citizens feel proud of the occasion. To her capital,
enterprise and perseverance are the public mainly indebted for the projection
and speedy construction of a work which brings her within two hours
travel of this city and in the immediate vicinity of the large villages
at the east.
From this point, the road passes down the Outlet of the Canandaigua
lake to Manchester—within a few rods of Clifton Springs—between
Hildreth's old stand and Flint Creek (another watering place) a little
north of Vienna—between Oaks' old stand and the Phelps meeting
house—and thence in nearly a straight line to the north end of
Water Street, Geneva. The grading is made between these two villages
for a double-track, and some of the way the workmen were putting down
the rails. A double-track is necessary here, as well for passing the
trains between Auburn and Rochester, as for the great amount of freight
to be transported east and west on this section.
At Geneva, we found a fifth car, well filled with those who were on
the same errand as ourselves; and after hitching on and giving our inveterate
drinker a taste of the pure waters of the blue Seneca, we moved forward,
but not without casting many a longing, lingering look behind at the
beautiful village of Geneva, which it was impossible, with our other
engagements, to visit on that occasion as we should wish.
The road here snakes a short curve, taking the straightest practical
route to Waterloo, passing a little west of the jail in that village,
and in Seneca Falls, also a little west of the center of business in
that thriving place.
The Auburn and Rochester Railroad passes through one of the finest
portions of the State, and at this season of the year, when "the fruitful
fields laugh with abundance," what could be more interesting than such
a trip, so politely furnished, and participated in by those who all
appeared in the right mood to enjoy it. The cars on this road are universally
admired for the ease of their motion—being suspended on springs—and
the stillness with which they run enabling the passengers to converse
without much difficulty. The seats are remarkably easy, and a passage
through the center affords an opportunity for sociability among those
congregated in the different parts of the train. The track of the road
is comparatively smooth and even, while the Agents are prompt, attentive
and obliging, and every precaution is taken to prevent accidents.
The Depot Building on the west side of the Genesee River at Rochester,
is one of the largest and most commodious in the United States. The
bridge crossing the river a few rods above the Great Falls, is open,
affording from the cars one of the most romantic views to be found in
the world. This grade is so low that it passes by a deep cutting under
St. Paul Street.
The whole road when completed, which will be the first of November
next, with the requisite locomotives and cars, will have cost, we are
told, from one million to eleven hundred thousand dollars, and the stock
before January next must be worth from $110 to $120 a share. No one
acquainted with the amount of business to be transacted aside from the
passengers and mails, can doubt the correctness of this opinion.
We were four hours in reaching Seneca Falls, where we took dinner.
On our return we spent an hour at Canandaigua very pleasantly, and during
the whole excursion, every thing conspired to render it all that could
be expected, and one long to be remembered.
Auburn and Rochester Railroad
Rochester Daily Democrat
Wed., Aug. 4, 1841
A correspondent of the New York Star confirms what we said
in our notice of the excursion to Seneca Falls, respecting the superiority
of this road and the great value of its stock. As a correspondent in
our paper, lately finding fault with the managers for what he then supposed
their refusal to carry the mail, remarked that the State Loan to the
Company was based "upon the doubtful security of their road," perhaps
we ought to say that in our opinion the remark must have been inconsiderate
- at any rate we do not see what could render "the security" of the
Road "doubtful," - and if any disagree with us, we refer them to the
facts set forth in the following extract from the article in the Star:
Geneva is now a place of deposit for the quantities of coal from
the Blossburgh mines, - the transportation of which will much augment
the revenues of the railroad. Passing eastward through Waterloo, we
reached, about 11 A.M., the village of Seneca Falls, which is the
present termination of the road, and is distant 63 miles from Rochester.
The remaining part of the road to Auburn will be finished in October.
This is a good road and substantially constructed, - it is by far
the smoothest road in the State on which I have travelled. The road
from Rochester to Seneca Falls has now been in use a fortnight, and
the increase of travel is astonishing. The way travel between the
flourishing villages on the line of the road will more than equal
The daily receipts equal about $500. The fare is established twenty
percent less than that which the company can legally charge, suppose,
therefore, the cost of the 63 miles completed to be $1,000,000, which
it has not exceeded, $500 per day would be $182,000 per annum. Add
to this the sum which the Postmaster General offers for transporting
the mail, and this road, it must be perceived, yields already within
a fraction of 20 percent per annum on its cost.
When the entire road is finished, I have no doubt that the receipts
will verify original estimates of the engineer, Mr. Robert Higham,
which promised a gross income of 27 percent, and a net income of 18
percent, per annum. The stock of this company has not found its way
to the market; and this is a good symptom. I understand none can be
purchased of the country stockholders. Indeed it is at this moment
equal in value to the stock of any railroad in the country. A dividend
will be declared on the 1st of next January.
The Mails and the Railroad
Rochester Daily Democrat
Tues., Sept. 14, 1841
Our patience is in a fair way to be taxed to its utmost, by the irregularity
of the mails. The railroad controversy is settled, but the mail arrangements
must be carelessly managed.
On Saturday the train ran over a horse, by which accident it was delayed
ten hours beyond its usual time. As if that were not enough, the mail
bags upon their arrival in this city were suffered to remain upon the
ground near the depot nearly three quarters of an hour before they were
sent to the Post Office making eleven hours as good as lost to many of
our business men who were thronging the Post Office for their eastern
correspondence, while we, printers were obliged to wait all day for the
latest news. The evening train did not fare much better, having exhausted
all its wood between Seneca Falls and Canandaigua which occasioned another
We really hope that here the "chapter of accidents" will end, and that
if the mails do not arrive regularly it will not be the result of carelessness
Rochester Daily Democrat
Wed., Sept. 15, 1841
Our patience had an additional trial yesterday in another vexatious delay
of the mail. The morning train due at 6 o'clock, arrived about two and
brought no mail in consequence of having run over a cow the night before,
which prevented the train from proceeding to Seneca Falls, where the mail
was probably waiting
Rochester Daily Democrat
Mon., Nov. 11, 1841
No mail was received in this city on Saturday evening, in consequence
of the locomotive running off the track near Seneca Falls in open day
light! We understand that there was little or no injury done, although
the cars barely escaped being precipitated into a chasm of sixty feet
This accident, as well as those which have already happened on this road,
it is said, was caused by the unaccountable negligence of those who have
the management of the train. The greatest dissatisfaction prevails, both
with the traveling public and those who reside along the line, in relation
to the management of this road. If the Directors would not have another
route taken altogether, they will see to these matters in the future.
Perils by Railroad
Roman Citizen, Rome, N. Y.
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 1841
Among the many chances of disaster upon the modern avenue of communication,
we have to record a novel mishap upon the Auburn & Rochester road, which
caused the detention of the cars, for several hours, on Friday Last.
In crossing the new railroad bridge across Cayuga lake, the train was
brought to a dead 'halt' in consequence of a vessel having got aground
while passing under the drawbridge on that link of railroad bridge; all
hands on board the train had to turn out, dark and cold as it was; and
after many hours spent in helping to unload the heavy freighted vessel,
she was got afloat and moved off so as to allow the draw bridge to fall
into its usual track—and the train, with its grumbling passengers,
to go on, after a detention of eight hours, under very vexatious circumstances.
Editorial Grievances in the Traveling Line
Seneca Observer, Waterloo, N. Y.
Wed., Jan. 13, 1848
On Tuesday last, business called us to Utica, which was to be transacted,
if done at all, that day. Disregarding the admonitions of experience in
railroad traveling, we started on Tuesday morning in the train which leaves
here at 1:30 a. m. When within a half mile of Seneca Falls, the train
stopped and soon after the Collector announced to the passengers, the
engineer had passed two water stations without replenishing the boiler
with water, and that it was impossible to go a step farther.
Seeing it could have made matters no worse, there was a general and profound
statement of regret that the boiler had not bursted, and carried the Engineer
where he ought to have gone. As it was, a new engine was procured from
Cayuga Bridge, and we started from our resting place about daylight, and
arrived at Auburn a little after 8 o'clock.
The train had left Auburn, and to inquiries as to the probability of
getting forward, the gentlemen connected with the railroad there, with
their characteristic regard for truth, informed us that the passengers
would be sent on as soon as the passenger train arrived from the east,
and would get to Utica before dark.
Very foolishly confiding in these assertions, we did not return home
in the morning train. Hour after hour passed, and there being no signs
of moving, we abandoned the idea of going East, and spent the day in surveying
the beauties of Auburn, among which was the magnificent stone building
which adjoins the Depot is very prominent.*
We were forcibly struck with the idea that it was an excellent place
to keep railroad engineers in, who did not know enough to take care of
their own lives, and the lives and property of others. We were likewise
surprised, with such a monitor constantly before them, the railroad officers
there cultivate truth so little.
On our return home in the evening, the Collector, probably thinking he
had no moral right to do it, did not ask us for pay; and as we thought
the same, we did not offer him any. We are glad to find that the Company
has such a conscientious officer in their service.
*Auburn State Prison
The Demise of the "Lion"
New York Reformer, Watertown, N.Y.
Thurs., May 20, 1858
Another Man Killed
The engineer and fireman of the small depot engine "Lion," were out near
Cape Vincent last Saturday fighting a fire which was threatening to do
damage, and just as the fireman stepped to his place to "fire up," the
boiler head burst out, and literally blew his body to atoms. His name
was Peter Runk, lived at the Cape, and leaves a wife and eight children.
He was very industrious, a sober man, aged about 40. The engineer, not
being on the engine, was uninjured.
The Lion Locomotive
Rochester Union & Advertiser
Thurs., May 20, 1858
We copied yesterday from a Utica paper a report of the explosion of the
locomotive Lion, on the Watertown & Rome Railroad, by which a man was
blown into fragments. The engine which has thus terminated its career
in a tragical way, once belonged in this city, and is perhaps as well
known to the railroad men as any other in Western New York. The Lion was
built by Rogers about 1840 or '41 for the Auburn and Rochester R. R. Co.,
and was first locomotive that company owned—the Columbus being the
The name it bore then was "Young Lion of the West," and under this name,
though small in capacity, did excellent service on the strap rail. As
the machine was familiarly called the Lion by the railroad men, and as
age grew on, the title of young became inappropriate, all was dropped
of the name save Lion. When the Lion was in his glory, John Ashley and
N.C. Martin, veteran engineers, used to hold the reins over the king of
the forest. When larger locomotives superseded the Lion, and after serving
the company ten years or more, he was sold to the Watertown and Rome Co.,
and used on their railroad as a repair engine. In this capacity he has
been sacrificed, and with him a human life.
The Lion Locomotive
Utica Morning Herald
Saturday, May 22, 1858
The Locomotive "Lion," which terminated its existence in a tragic manner
the other day on the Watertown & Rome Railroad, had quite a history and
was well known to railroad men. It was built by Norris about 1840 or 1841
for the Auburn & Rochester Railroad, and was the second locomotive the
The name it then had was "Young Lion of the West," and although small
in capacity it did excellent service on the strap rail. As the machine
was familiarly called the "Lion" by the enginemen, the title of "Young"
became inappropriate, and was dropped of the name save "Lion." When larger
locomotives superceded it, and after serving the company 10 years or more,
the "Lion" was sold to the Watertown & Rome Company and was used on their
road as a repairer engine. In this capacity it terminated by an explosion,
costing a human life.
* Apparently there was a lapse of memory on the part of whoever the
newspaper had interviewed. The "Lion" was the first locomotive on the
Auburn & Rochester and was built by Rogers in Sept., 1840, (C/N 23)
12x18"x54". The second locomotive, also a 4-2-0, was the "Ontario,"
built by Norris in 1840, not the "Lion" as stated in the article. Norris
also built in 1840 for the A&R the "Columbus," and the "Henry B. Gibson."
According to a roster of locomotives dated Sept. 30, 1856, the "Lion"
or No. 12, went into service on the Watertown & Rome in June, 1852.
Its weight is given as 13 tons with 10-inch bore cylinders, 48" drivers;
7-ton tender, 1,000 gallons water capacity; had run 6,327 miles during
the year, and was reported in "Good" condition.
The History of Ontario County, N.Y., (Phila., 1876) p. 57, also
erroneously states the "Lion" was built by Norris. "A 'pony engine,' named
the 'Young Lion,' built at the Norris shops, was the first locomotive
placed on the road. It was brought on a canal-boat to Cartersville, as
were the second and third engines, the 'Ontario,' run by William Hart,
and the 'Columbus,' by Mr. Newell."
Another secondary source regarding the "Lion" is a somewhat embellished
and fanciful tale from Edward Hungerford's The Story of the Rome,
Watertown and Ogdensburgh Railroad (Robert McBride & Co., New York
1922), pp. 43-44, which gives another source of origin:
It had started operations with four tiny second-hand locomotives which
it had garnered chiefly from New England—the Lion, the
Roxbury, the Commodore and the Chicopee.
Of these the Lion was probably the oldest, certainly the smallest.
It had been built by none other than the redoubtable George Stephenson,
himself, in England, some ten or fifteen years before it came into Northern
New York. It was an eight-wheeled engine, of but fourteen tons in weight.
So very small was it in fact that it was of very little practical use…
Louis L. Grant, of Rome, who was one of the road's first repair-shop
foremen, finally took off the light side-rods between the driver—the
Lion was inside connected, after the inevitable British fashion, and
had a V-hook gear and a variable cut-off—and gained an appreciable
tractive power for the little engine.
But, at the best, she was hardly a practical locomotive even for 1851.
And soon after the completion of the road to Cape Vincent she was relegated
to the round-house there and stored against an emergency. That emergency
came three or four years after the opening of the line. A horseman had
ridden in haste to the Cape from Rosiere—then known as LaBranche's
Crossing—with news of possible disaster.
"The wood-pile's all afire at the Crossing," he shouted. "Ef the road
is goin' to have any fuel this winter you'd better be hustling down there."
Richard Starsmeare was on duty at the roundhouse. He hurriedly summoned
the renowned Casey Eldredge, then and for many years afterwards a famed
engineer of the Rome road, and Peter Runk, the extra fireman there. Together
they got out the little Lion and made her fast to a flat-car upon which
had been put four or five barrels filled with water to extinguish the
conflagration. It would have been a serious matter indeed to the road
to have had that wood-pile destroyed. It was one of the chief sources
of fuel supply of the new railroad. The Lion, with its tiny fire-fighting
crew, went post-haste to LaBranche's. But when it had arrived the farmers
roundabout already had managed to extinguish the flames... . Case Eldredge
reached for his watch. "Gee," said he, "we shall have to be getting out
of this. The Steamboat Express will be upon our heels. Peter, get the
fire up again."
Peter got the fire up. He opened the old firebox door and thrust an armful
of pine into it. The blaze started up with a roar. And then the men who
were on the engine found themselves lying on their backs on the grass
beside the railroad....
They plowed the Lion out of the fields around LaBranche's for
the next two years. Her safety-valve was turned out of the ground by a
farmer's boy a good two miles from the railroad. Starsmeare got it and
carried it in his tool-box for years thereafter—he quickly rose
to the post of engineer and in the days of the Civil War ran a locomotive
upon the United States Military Railroad from Washington south through
Alexandria to Orange Court House.
So perished the Lion. The little Roxbury's fate was
more prosaic. With the flanges upon her driving-wheels ground down and
her frame set upon brick piers she became the first power-house of the
Rome shops. The Commodore and the Chicopee were larger engines.
With their names changed they entered the road's permanent engine fleet.