Monday, August 11, 2008

Old Steam

The Quincy & Torch Lake #1 steam engine
The Quincy & Torch Lake Railroad #1: The Thomas F. Mason
Fan of steam engines? You can order a print of this photo!

It turns out that this year holds many anniversaries for the Quincy Mining Company: the company was founded 160 years ago, the #2 shaft-rockhouse which sits up on the Hancock hillside like the tower of Saruman was built 100 years ago, and it's also the 50th anniversary of the Quincy Mine Hoist Association.

Saturday, I attended one of a series of presentations about the history of Quincy -- about Quincy's private railroad, the Quincy & Torch Lake. A rather large horde of history buffs met up at the mine and took a guided tour around the mine site, along the old railroad, and back to see some of the old engines.

This engine is the Q&TL's first engine, named after Quincy's manager. It sits on display on a little bit of track behind the giant #2 hoist house. The Mine Hoist Association is slowly preserving it (not exactly restoring it). Can you imagine what it must have been like to see this beast of a steam engine chugging along the top of Mont Ripley, hauling loads of mine rock down to the mill at Mason? I'm starting to understand how people can get so obsessed with old railroads!

And yes, the lens flare is intentional. I could have just walked around to the other side for the photo...


Anonymous said...

Looks like we were both at the same event and didn't even know it. The tour was pretty good, but it was a bit more general then I would of liked. But that's understandable, given not everyone there writes a daily blog on the subject. Best part was finding out what that rock lined hole in the ground was (the scale), and the handout they provided was very good.

DC said...

Oops! I would say "I was the guy with the big camera," but that was definitely not unique among that group. Perhaps "I was the *younger* guy with the big camera." There was quite a horde of folks out that day!

I was glad to find out about the scale as well. The random stories were fun too (kids buying a used car and joy-riding down that fill), but otherwise it wasn't all that detailed. I did have fun wandering around taking photos afterwards, though.