#9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
35 messages Options
12
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

#9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Mike Trent
Administrator
About a month ago, I found an Overland #9 to replace my original which was sold on consignment in about 1987. I bought it, and have spent the last four weeks working it over and have finally got it in serviceable condition. Like many of these aging brass models, it probably came out of someone's closet collection, and although it had been painted, it had never been run on a layout.

I fixed what I thought was an unfinished paint job which probably wouldn't have ever looked quite right, and added and or replaced some parts which were either missing or incorrect. As I neared the final stages, I thought about how I had intended to finish my original and did just that. In 1986, when these models were produced, Todd Hackett and I had spent time making a trip to Hill City, SD to photograph and measure the engine to help with fleshing out details to increase accuracy now evident in pictures and also provide dimensional information to compare with the folio sheets.

This was during the time that we were privileged to have spent time with old Doug Schnarbush, and one of his stories laid the foundation of an interesting bit of information I could include in my #9.

Doug told of how his next door neighbor in Como was Curley Colligan, who held Seniority of all Engineers on the West End, and who held the Passenger run to Leadville. To hear Doug tell of this, old Curley was a cantankerous guy to fire for, as he habitually would run the engine by jerking around the throttle instead of using the Johnson Bar to control the stroke of the valves, which created a smoother ride, but also gave the firemen an easier job to work the fire. Doug said that Curley knew exactly how to increase the throttle to the point the coal would start dancing around on the grates, increasing the draft to the point that he could actually pull heat right out of the firebox. If his fireman complained, he learned right away not to complain again, because Curley would answer him by increasing the degree of difficulty at his pleasure. He treated all of the firemen the same, and every one of them knew that if they caught Curley's run, it would be a long day. Curley was always amused by this, and referred to it as "Hanging his (fireman's) hide on the coal gate". And he did it at least once every trip.

One of my favorite figures by Artista is a farmer holding a hoe, raising his floppy hat and wiping his brow. I have used that figure  inside cabs in various positions visible through the cab window, but had never used it as a worn out soul out on the deck. I wanted to save that for #9. And, now I have. Attached are two photos of #9, one as lead helper on a freight with #75, and the other, as a black and white side view of what one may have seen on #9 as the engine went by on a typical day, the fireman backed against the coal gate, wondering how he might make it to Leadville, let alone back home to Como tomorrow. While his engineer sits, elbows on the armrest, looking away, as if completely oblivious and unaware of his fireman's plight behind him. Just another hide hung on his coal gate.

 

     
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Bill Uffelman
Thanks for sharing the photos and the story - all Great!

Bill Uffelman 


On Thu, Jan 17, 2019 at 8:03 PM, Mike Trent [via C&Sng Discussion Forum]
About a month ago, I found an Overland #9 to replace my original which was sold on consignment in about 1987. I bought it, and have spent the last four weeks working it over and have finally got it in serviceable condition. Like many of these aging brass models, it probably came out of someone's closet collection, and although it had been painted, it had never been run on a layout.

I fixed what I thought was an unfinished paint job which probably wouldn't have ever looked quite right, and added and or replaced some parts which were either missing or incorrect. As I neared the final stages, I thought about how I had intended to finish my original and did just that. In 1986, when these models were produced, Todd Hackett and I had spent time making a trip to Hill City, SD to photograph and measure the engine to help with fleshing out details to increase accuracy now evident in pictures and also provide dimensional information to compare with the folio sheets.

This was during the time that we were privileged to have spent time with old Doug Schnarbush, and one of his stories laid the foundation of an interesting bit of information I could include in my #9.

Doug told of how his next door neighbor in Como was Curley Colligan, who held Seniority of all Engineers on the West End, and who held the Passenger run to Leadville. To hear Doug tell of this, old Curley was a cantankerous guy to fire for, as he habitually would run the engine by jerking around the throttle instead of using the Johnson Bar to control the stroke of the valves, which created a smoother ride, but also gave the firemen an easier job to work the fire. Doug said that Curley knew exactly how to increase the throttle to the point the coal would start dancing around on the grates, increasing the draft to the point that he could actually pull heat right out of the firebox. If his fireman complained, he learned right away not to complain again, because Curley would answer him by increasing the degree of difficulty at his pleasure. He treated all of the firemen the same, and every one of them knew that if they caught Curley's run, it would be a long day. Curley was always amused by this, and referred to it as "Hanging his (fireman's) hide on the coal gate". And he did it at least once every trip.

One of my favorite figures by Artista is a farmer holding a hoe, raising his floppy hat and wiping his brow. I have used that figure  inside cabs in various positions visible through the cab window, but had never used it as a worn out soul out on the deck. I wanted to save that for #9. And, now I have. Attached are two photos of #9, one as lead helper on a freight with #75, and the other, as a black and white side view of what one may have seen on #9 as the engine went by on a typical day, the fireman backed against the coal gate, wondering how he might make it to Leadville, let alone back home to Como tomorrow. While his engineer sits, elbows on the armrest, looking away, as if completely oblivious and unaware of his fireman's plight behind him. Just another hide hung on his coal gate.

 

     


If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the discussion below:
http://c-sng-discussion-forum.41377.n7.nabble.com/9-in-Dickey-and-a-Tale-from-the-Past-tp13191.html
To start a new topic under C&Sng Discussion Forum, email [hidden email]
To unsubscribe from C&Sng Discussion Forum, click here.
NAML
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Mike Trent
Administrator
Thanks, Bill. Glad you enjoyed them.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Jeff Young
Well done, Mike!  Love seeing pictures of your layout.


Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Mike Trent
Administrator
Thanks, Jeff. Recognize the coal in #9's bunker? Thanks for that, too.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

ComoDepot
Mike, where did they live in Como? Are the houses still here.

Fascinating story, thanks for posting.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Mike Trent
Administrator
Thanks.

I was never really quite clear on the exact location. The way Doug described it, it was "the street just up from the Roundhouse", just a block or so. I've looked for something obvious from that description, but here is a bit more, that I didn't include last night.

Curley Colligan drove an old Model T Ford, and he kept it in an old shed that Doug said was probably used to house maybe a couple of horses in older times. Curley used it as a garage, and always wanted to drive down the hill to the roundhouse where he parked it until he got back. Doug thought he was crazy for doing so because it was so close. So despite even Winter conditions, and Curley being a terrible driver anyway, it was something he did almost all the time. On one occasion when Doug had gotten home, he heard Curley's car out in the alley, or passage, behind their houses, hopelessly stuck in the snow. Thinking he might be able to do the old guy a favor (which might be returned some day, he thought) by helping him out. So he got his coat and gloves on and went out to spend an hour or so getting him unstuck, and home safely. The next time he was called for Curley's run, he went thinking he'd be able to have an easier time of it, and make an impression on the other guys, since they were not only neighbors, but he had helped him out when he needed him. Almost like friends, maybe....

But his expectations went sadly unfulfilled, as Curley did what he always did, jerking the throttle and needlessly pulling cinders, and Doug's fire into the flues and out the stack. One thing I've wondered about boring flues at Dickey was if the Passenger engine had time to do it. The turnaround for the run to Dillon was only 20 minutes, so I can't think they had time for anything more than water and coal. The way Curley ran the engine, cinders choking the flues could only have made things worse.

Let us know if you think you might have an idea that the houses might still be there.

   
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Jim Courtney
In reply to this post by Mike Trent
Beautiful locomotives, Mike.

Tell me about your paint choices for your black and silver locomotive colors -- Scalecoat?? Straight from the bottle or mixed??

They certainly photograph well!
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

ComoDepot
In reply to this post by Mike Trent
Well it couple a couple of places, I have a few place I can check, especially if they owned the property rather than rented.

Sounds like it was up the west end of 7th Street past the Town Hall, there were other Railroaders in that area, Andersons being the most obvious.

And yes walking would have been easier and quicker.

So the Roundhouse had an Employee Car Park!
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Mike Trent
Administrator
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
Thanks, Jim. #75 was painted in a dark gray primer that was very close to Floquil Grimy Black. I painted my #73 a couple of years before Testors discontinued that line. I wanted my #75 to be close to that one. For the smokebox and firebox on #73, I tried  a mix of 75% Scalecoat Graphite and Oil mixed with 25% Engine Black. I thought that was too dark, so I mixed a second batch using about half of that 25% and it looked a lot better. I can't say if it was 10% or 15% Engine Black, but it was in that range. Probably closer to 10%, as I didn't want it to go too dark. I still have both of the bottles I mixed. One is marked 25%/75%, the other is just marked #73. That was what I used for #9's smokebox. It was oversprayed with Testors "Lusterless" lacquer finish.

#9's cab and tender were painted with Testor's flat black, oversprayed with Testors Semi-Gloss, except for the cab roof.

I believe the boiler was painted with Scalecoat Loco Black, which is a gloss finish paint already. Then he it oversprayed with a super high gloss topcoat. I toned it down, a lot, with the Lusterless finish and it was much better after that. I had to repaint the cab and tender to reletter them. The super gloss finish the first painter used altered the color tone of the Thinfilm decals and I couldn't stand that. They went from white to sort of a feeble parchment color.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Mike Trent
Administrator
In reply to this post by ComoDepot
Colligan died in Como in 1941, he probably did own his house. Doug Schnarbush moved his family to Denver after a very short time with Cooley Bros. He went to work for Gates, and retired from there. I don't think he owned the house they lived in in Como, but he may have. He was born in Jefferson in 1900.

Attached is a picture of Colligan's headstone at Mt. Olivet, where many C&S railroaders are buried. It may be of some help.



Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Robert McFarland
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
Would "Echoes of Como" have anything? Or any material in the Park County Archives?
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Robert McFarland
Referring to Curley or others houses.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

ComoDepot
In reply to this post by Robert McFarland
Echoes of Como sort of covered the stories of the people who were up here in the 1970's and their families, obviously at that time there were still people with pretty close Railroad connections.

Starting in the 1960's there was a Como Reunion Day and at that time hundreds would turn up, now 10 or 15. So a collection of stories, history accuracy varies, I would not rely on it by itself. Strikes me as that it was not put together as a serious history book, not its focus.

A few years later there was a Historic District application started, each property had an entry. Each property was photographed, well a few are missing,  Where past occupants are known they were mentioned, seems like some historical data came from County records and I know they are suspect. Some of the information is contradictory, and the person who put it together has long since passed away.

According to this there was still the remains of the Railroad cistern at the north end of town, sadly no photo.

I know the names from this forum but do not recollect them being mentioned elsewhere.

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

ComoDepot
This post was updated on .
The Andersons put up there cars for the winter, drained the radiators etc which sort of makes sense. I can not imagine clearing roads in winter was a high priority.

Gertrude left Como when she finished High School so presumably c 1934, not sure what the common age was back then.

Anyway I have asked to see if she she remembers them.

One question the came to mind, was there a reason Curly was a Engineer just on Passengers trains, was there a difference in how runs were allocated, and why?


Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Mike Trent
Administrator
This post was updated on .
Actually, they had to drain water every day they used their cars in Winter conditions. Brownie had a sedan, and drove three or four enginemen every morning they had a call at Leadville. Then they returned by car the first time they didn't have another Como run the next day. It usually took two carloads to get the guys to Leadville, and they always left home between 4 and 5AM. Doug usually rode with Brownie or Bon Osier.

Doug thought Curley didn't add water between his place and the roundhouse.

The advantage of the passenger run was that it was actually a scheduled train. He left for Leadville around noon when the train came in from Denver, and returned home to Como mid afternoon the following day. He had to run three round trips a week, unless he laid off. Not bad at all, compared to having to get out of bed at 4AM to make a 7AM call in Leadville. Plus having to drive home from Leadville at the end of the cycle. Remember, Charlie Williamson was the only West End Engineman who lived in Leadville.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Mike Trent
Administrator
In reply to this post by ComoDepot
Doug was born in 1900, so he was 31 years younger than Curley, and probably around 15-20 years younger than Brownie and Bon. Doug worked the Extra Board in Como, meaning he was called as needed, between 1927 and 1937, at abandonment. Doug told me he learned of the birth of one of his daughters upon arrival of a Rotary trip he was firing for in Breckenridge about 2AM at the station. So his kids were younger than Brownie's. But they did all spend time together on occasion. Both families went up to the Boreas wreck site with a picnic lunch in the early summer of 1936 before #73 was recovered. Doug had been firing that engine when it and #75 were wrecked in January of that year. Brownie had his camera, and took pictures, according to Doug. I wouldn't doubt they all lived in the same area.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

ComoDepot
Sounds to me like you have enough for a book!

Makes sense that a senior engineer would go for the scheduled service.

Wonder how they managed driving to Leadville in the winter, I think I may have said this before, I was out on US 285 between here and Jefferson yesterday, it was nasty and this is with a paved surface and regular plowing. I had to go down a dirt road and walked the last half mile because the wind blow snow drifts were too deep for me to drive through.

At this time it would have been Hwy 8, a narrow dirt road. There must have been occasions when they could not make it.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Mike Trent
Administrator
He said that there were very few times they couldn't get through. They usually had two cars, and work was scarce. So as many of them as they were, they dug and pushed and pulled the cars as needed. The return trip wasn't as desperate since they could wait till the following morning.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: #9 in Dickey, and a Tale from the Past

Charles McMillan
In reply to this post by Mike Trent
How exactly would you get from Como to Leadville in the 1930 time frame. Could someone show or tell us the route using a current highway map. Thanks .

Charles McMillan
12