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Fall Brook Railway logo

Resources and Additional Research

Bridge at Watkins Glen
The Watkins Glen viaduct, Syracuse, Geneva & Corning Railroad, designed and constructed by Niagara Bridge Works, Buffalo NY. Total Length, 450 feet. Height from bed of stream to rail, 155 feet. Construction cost, $22,000. Photo taken late 1870s.

The catalyst for this website was my reading of "A Biography of John Magee" - Gary M. Emerson - Crooked Lake Review - Spring, 2000. It is a nine-part, superlatively researched biography of John Magee and the early years of the Fall Brook Coal Co. and its rail system. Our profound thanks for his wonderful research.

Recently (2015) Pennsylvania State Archives requested and received a $3,845 grant from the Tom E. Dailey Foundation to fund the MG-48 Fall Brook Coal and Railway Company Records project. The project, administered in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation, supported intern Carolyn Wasser, an undergraduate history student from Kutztown University, who processed a total of 29 cartons and 489 folders of material. This material has been unseen for years and we are hopeful it will now be more accessible for research. Carolyn's blog is a charming look at her work and enthusiasm.

Records of the Fall Brook Coal Company and the Fall Brook Railway Company contained in the Pennsylvania State Archives.

"Fall Brook Coal Company" - on Wikipedia/Choess has become a definitive work on the history of the Fall Brook Coal Company and its interests.

"Fall Brook Railway" by Winfield W. Robinson - Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin #55 (May, 1941 - pp 46-57). The R&LHS is a great organization and we encourage your support.

A comprehensive history of the region and specifically a magnificent description of the Fall Brook interests, offices, personnel and scenic trackage, told as first-person narrative, can be found in the newly reprinted (OCR Ed.) Letters of Uncle Jonas Lawrence Upon a Partial Early History of Southern, Central, Western New York, and Northern and Northwestern Pennsylvania (1886, Elmira, NY)

An excellent history of the Fall Brook, titled The Future of Antrim, can be found in the of the Watkins Democrat, May 2, 1877.

Fueling the Gilded Age: Railroads, Miners and Disorder in Pennsylvania Coal Country by Andrew B. Arnold, is an amazingly researched history, showing the delicate balance between railroads, coal companies and miners, and how their negotiations - and often strikes - shaped American rail in the late 1800s.

An early history of the region may be found in An Outline History of Tioga and Bradford Counties .. (The Gazette Company, Elmira, NY, 1885)

"The Fall Brook Coal Company's Railways" by Gustave W. Erhardt - NY Central System Historical Society Newsletter, Vol VIII, #1 (1978) - pp13-18. The NYCSHS is another organization in which we encourage participation.

Dedication of Monument to John Magee, Wellsboro, PA - 12/1/1886. This document provides a history of John Magee as well as the Fall Brook Coal Company and its transportation system.

Thanks to Joyce Tice, whose website is a treasure trove of research into the history of Tioga and Bradford Counties in PA and Chemung County in NY. Coal and railroads are extensively covered.

"History of Railroads in Tioga County" - Anton Hardt, Tioga County Historical Society, 1909. Mr. Hardt was Mining Engineer at Fall Brook and Antrim; Chief Engineer of the Wellsboro & Lawrenceville; and Superintendent of the Fall Brook Coal Co.until 1890.

Tioga Central Railroad of Wellsboro, PA, now operates excursion and charter trains over trackage of the Wellsboro and Corning.

John Magee and the Southern Tier Stage Lines - James D. Folts, Jr - Crooked Lake Review - May, 1990

"The Discipline and Education of Railway Employees" by G. R. Brown - American Engineer and Railroad Journal, Volume 73, February 1899

A Descriptive Review of the Fall Brook Coal Co.'s Route and the Principal Cities and Towns along the line of the Syracuse, Geneva & Corning, R.R. - a fascinating brochure outlining towns and tourist attractions along the route including Watkins Glen, Corning, Seneca Lake, Lake Keuka, Geneva, etc. - Abridged PDF Version [13 meg PDF file] (J.A. Miller, Elmira, NY - 1892)

Inventory of the Fall Brook Railway made under the direction of John Magee at its leasing to the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company, 1899 - Digitized by GOOGLE® Books (PDF - 4.2 meg.). This is a fascinating look at all the locomotives, cars, stations, and nuts & bolts that are needed to run a railroad.

Fall Brook Borough History - meticulously researched by Joyce Tice

A seminal history of the Corning region, including railroad history, made be found in "Corning and Vicinity - 1789-1920" by Uri Mulford - self-published - Corning, NY 1922.

The Steuben County Historical Society is now housed in the original John Magee House - Bath, NY

Buffalo Coal Company, McKean and Buffalo Railroad, and Gum Boot Mine (Magee and Beach interests, c 1874)

The town of Blossburg, PA is very proud of their coal mining history and celebrates it with special events as well as wonderful photos on their website.

Jersey Shore, Pine Creek and Buffalo Railway (Wikipedia)



Artist's sketch of the S. G. & C. viaduct at Watkins
Havana Journal - 3-31-83

A 34' Fall Brook boxcar at Waterloo, NY
assigned to the Tonawanda lumber trade