Gettysburg Electric Railway
|Gettysburg Electric Railway|
Adams County, Pennsylvania
1910: Gettysburg Railway Co 
|Dates of operation||1894 (circaJuly)
– 1916 November 16
|c. 1908 summer ("Howard") & winter cars|
|cars near the cemetery entrance & The Loop[specify]|
The Gettysburg Electric Railway was a borough trolley that provided summer access to Gettysburg Battlefield visitor attractions such as military engagement areas, monuments, postbellum camps, and recreation areas (e.g., Wheat-field Park and the Pfeffer baseball diamond). Despite the 1896 Supreme Court ruling under the Takings Clause against the railway, battlefield operations continued until 1916. The trolley generating plant was leased  by the Electric Light, Heat, and Power Company of Gettysburg to supply streetlights and homes until electricity was imported from Hanover.
The 94-passenger, 14-bench "Brill double-track summer cars" used the main line of 5.7 mi (9.2 km) on 10 minute intervals and were powered by a 150 ft × 100 ft (46 m × 30 m) electric plant with 150 hp (110 kW) Corliss steam engine(s) driving 500 volt Westinghouse railway generator(s). Employees included superintendent Hal J. Gintling, managers Thomas P. Turner & Harry Cunningham; crewmen Charles W Culp Jr, Mr. Grinder, William Shields, George Hughes, Norman Murray, Reuben Rupp, Walter Plank, Harry Robinson; conductors John Thomas, William G. Weaver, & Edward Weikert; and motormen Warfield Collins, Mr. Emmons, Gervus W. Myers, Arthur "Ott" Shields, & S. A. Troxell.
The Gettysburg Electric Railway Company was chartered August 4, 1891, and incorporated July 28, 1892. In January 1893 the borough of Gettysburg granted trolley right-of-way for all principal streets, and the $150,000 bond was for street operations planned for July 1, 1893. The railway eventually secured rights-of-way for a route west and north of the borough to the area of the Battle of Gettysburg, First Day; but which were never built.
Railbed construction began in April 1893, and the electric power company was chartered on June 15. Tracks were planned along The Angle's stone wall, but instead the trolley used 8,400 ft (2,600 m) of the Emmitsburg Road on which trolleys crossed the Round Top Branch (the trolley was denied right-of-way on the steam train line in both 1893 and 1913.) Beginning April 1, 1894, the trolley was extended from Wible's Woods through Tipton Station to Round Top Station (the line had 7 stops).[where?] A new trolley powerhouse of Hummelstown brownstone replaced the original which had burned down by January 22, 1895; and by October 1895 total trackage was 8.5 mi (13.7 km). The 1896 Supreme Court ruled in US v. Gett. Elec. Ry. Co. that the use of eminent domain for historic preservation "seems" to be "a public use".
|Accident descriptions in the following paragraph need to be included in the Lists of rail accidents.|
Accidents & incidents: In 1900, the trolley overhead power line broke at Wible's Woods, and a car derailed in 1901  (trolley machinery was improved in 1902 before Camp Lawton.) Events in 1903 included an attempted derailment by sabotage, a moterman struck his head against "an electric pole that was close to the track", and the "Slocum" trolley car jumped the tracks on April 27. A 1904 trolley struck Joseph Keagy, and during both 1904  and the 1908 Camp Hays, lightning storms disabled trolley operations (a Major was struck getting on a car). In 1909 the "Reynolds" car collided with an automobile, and on August 12, 1910, a car struck a mounted Camp Gobin lieutenant. Three days later the "Slocum" and 1909 closed "Sedgwick" cars collided (1 fatality) near Devil's Den where there was a siding. A heated winter car with a closed vestibule was acquired in December 1910. During the July 1913 Gettysburg reunion, 2 trolley cars collided near Devil's Den, and in September a trolley in the borough was rear-ended when a "drunken passenger" pulled the brake cable.
The last trolley car ran in November 1916 when the railway had become obsolete both with disrepair  and with increased tourists' use of automobiles on Army-improved battlefield avenues. After 1917 Army appropriations, the tracks were removed by summer crews under foreman Hugh McIlhenny; and plans for trolley extensions from Gettysburg were never completed to several cities:
- west to the Chambersburg & Caledonia trolley line  (cf. Gettysburg and Chambersburg Railway),
- north to Carlisle via the Mt. Holly and Gettysburg Street Railway Co  (Mt. Holly Trolley Co.),
- northeast to Harrisburg via the Dillsburg, York Springs and Gettysburg Street Railway, and south through Whitehall to connect both
- east to Philadelphia via the Littlestown line through Hanover (cf. Hanover and McSherrystown Street Railway) and
- south to Baltimore via Union Mills, Maryland.
|Intersections & Curves||Coordinates|
|Baltimore Pike @ Evergreen Cem.|
|curve east of Taneytown Road|
|south curve on Taneytown Rd|
|original GNMP gate||800 ft (240 m) along PA 134|
|"back gate", National Cemetery|
|curve NE of Zeigler's Grove|
|curve N of the Brian House|
|Emmitsburg Rd "Y of the trolly"|
|parallel trolley tracks|
|Round Top Branch|
|Spangler switch (tract 17)||a curve was near the Spangler lane|
|Peach Orchard curve||@ Emmitsburg & Wheatfield roads|
|curve S from Wheatfield Road|
|Wm Wible's "Wheat-field Park"||25 acres (0.10 km2)|
|curve near 118th PA monument|
|De Trobriand Avenue|
|Tipton Station walkway|
|Wheatfield Rd crossing @ Round Top|
|terminus behind Round Top Station|
The trolley barn ("track car house") at the SE corner of Washington St and the steamtrain tracks was taken over by the Surefoot Heel and Rubber Co. in 1920. A pedestrian bridge was later constructed[when?] across Rose Run on the trolley rail trail between Brooke and De Trobriand avenues. Remnants of the trolley system were registered as historic district contributing structures of the Gettysburg Battlefield Historic District on January 23, 2004; and sections of the railbed remain discernable in modern overhead images.
- "Electric Railway" (Google News Archive). The Star and Sentinel. April 3, 1894. Retrieved 2011-07-15. "Workmen are now digging holes for poles along the track of the Round Top branch of the Reading railroad from Round Top to the Emmitsburg road, with a view to the use of its rail as part of the trolley railway. The use of that track as a steam railroad--the purpose for which it was built and for which it secured its right of way--is practically abandoned, and it is turned over to a different use. … rear of the warehouse at Round Top station."
- "Electric Railway" & "An Ordinance" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler. August 4, 1891. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "Gettysburg Railway Receivers" (Google News Archive). The Philadelphia Record. September 22, 1895. Retrieved 2011-04-17. "owing to sundry misfortunes and the embarrassment brought about by litigation, the company has become insolvent and has a floating indebtedness of upward of $10,000, which it is wholly unable at present to pay."
- "Gettysburg Compiler - Jun 14, 1898". Retrieved 2014-01-06.
- "Electric Road Sold" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler. June 15, 1897. Retrieved 2011-03-05.
- "$60,000 Buys Trolley Road" (Google News Archive). Adams County News. September 18, 1909. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
- "Local Miscellany: Short Paragraphs of Happenings in and About Town" (Google News Archive). The Star and Sentinel. May 9, 1906. Retrieved 2011-07-15. "General Manager Turner, of the Electric Railway Company, started the running of the trolley cars Saturday." (1991 Gettysburg Times)
- Weaver, William G (January 24, 1966). "Reminiscences Of Gettysburg" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Times. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
- "Hoffer Sells Out" (Google News Archive). The Star and Sentinel. January 22, 1895. Retrieved 2011-02-24. "Lease from year to year from the Gettysburg and Harrisburg Railroad Company of “Little Round Top Park” at a rent of $25 a year."
- "Local Miscellany", "That Trolley Line" & "Base Ball Park" (Google News Archive). The Star and Sentinel. July 24, 1894. Retrieved 2011-05-09. NOTE: A baseball diamond was across the Emmitsburg Rd from the Codori farm on a former parade ground  that had been used by postbellum Gettysburg Battlefield camps after the American Civil War.
- "The Electric Line on the Battlefield" & "The Electric Light Charter" (Google News Archive). The Star and Sentinel. June 20, 1893. Retrieved 2011-03-02. "The trolley people propose to build a station just where Hancock was wounded."
- Weaver, William G (March 28, 1966). "Reminiscences Of Gettysburg" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Times. Retrieved 2011-05-09. "My motorman, myself, a colored man and a colored woman were the only people in the closed car while the open car was loaded. I was told at the time that the woman [sic] died at the R.R. station that evening and the body taken back to Baltimore that night." NOTE: Awful Trolley Collision (below) identifies the August 15, 1910, fatality was a man, "Nicholas Berkheimer", who lived on the Taneytown Rd.
- "Trustee's Sale of the Gettysburg Transit Company" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Times. August 18, 1909. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "Gettysburg, Her Past and Future" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler. March 26, 1901. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
- Stewart, Dr Henry (May 27, 1946). "The Electric Railway" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Times; Reminiscences of 70 Years in Gettysburg. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
- "We Have Another Park" (Google News Archive). The Star and Sentinel. July 2, 1902. p. 3. col. 5. Retrieved 2011-02-06. "The Electric Railway Company, under the superintendency of H. J. Gintling, is busily engaged preparing for encampment week, and the work of putting in new machinery is progressing rapidly." (p. 3. col. 1)
- "Camp Happenings" & "Awful Trolley Collision" (Google News Archive & pdf version). Gettysburg Compiler. August 17, 1910. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "Round About Town" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler. April 29, 1903. Retrieved 2011-05-09. "The Case of the United States against the Pfeffer Heirs in the matter of land sought to be condemned will be called for trial."
- "Out of the Past: 100 Years Ago" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Times; Out of the Past. July 17, 2001. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
- "Six Hurt When Cars Collide" (Google News Archive). New Oxford Item. August 18, 1910. Retrieved 2011-07-15. "Miss Ida Jones and Mrs. Annie Martin, colored excursionists, sprained ankles and ugly bruises. The accident occurred on the sharp curve between Devil's Den and the Plum Run bridge. … Berkheiser, who was standing on the front platform of the summer car was thrown some distance against a rock and rendered unconscious."
- "Seriously Hurt in Auto Crash" (Google News Archives). Gettyesubrg Times. July 6, 1909. Retrieved 2011-07-15. "the large touring car ... struck the "Reynolds" trolley car at the crossing near the Den."
- "Attempt to Wreck Trolley" (Google News Archives). New Oxford Item. May 22, 1903. Retrieved 2011-03-03. "S. A. Troxell, a moterman [sic] on the electric railway … head struck an electric pole that was close to the track. … extending the Hanover & McSherrystown Electric Railway to Conewago Chapel" (column 2)
- Adelman, Garry E; Smith, Timothy H (1997). Devil's Den: A History and Guide. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Thomas Publications. p. 84. ISBN 1-57747-017-6.
- "Pennsylvania". The Street Railway Review. January 1893. Retrieved 2011-03-02. "Gettysburg … Council has granted the right of way over all of the principal streets … to the Electric Railway Company which will build a line over the battlefield."
- Gettysburg National Military Park Commission. "An Introduction to the Annual Reports of the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission to the Secretary of War". The Gettysburg Commission Reports. Gettysburg, PA: War Department.
- "The Trolley Road" (Google News Archives). The Star and Sentinel. June 13, 1893. Retrieved 2011-03-03. "The Reading's Round Top Branch, taken with the power of eminent domain"
- "Railroad Blocks Trolley Plans" & "Medals for the Gettysburg Men" (Google News Archives). Adams County News. February 8, 1913. Retrieved 2011-01-22. (Gettysburg Times, Feb 1)
- Weeks, Jim (2003). Gettysburg: Memory, Market, and an American Shrine (Google Books). p. 76. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
- United States v. Gettysburg Electric Ry. Co., 160 U.S. 668 (1896).
- "Three Killed at Camp Hays" (Google News Archive). New Oxford Item. July 30, 1908. Retrieved 2011-07-15. "Yesterday afternoon Major C. C. Wiley, surgeon general of the Second Brigade, was severely shocked when about to board a trolley car. The lightning struck near by and he was thrown to the ground unconscious."
- "Adams County News - Dec 17, 1910". Retrieved 2014-01-06.
- "In The Big Camp" (Google News Archive). New Oxford Item. July 3, 1913. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "Adams County News - Sep 13, 1913". Retrieved 2014-01-06.
- "Gettysburg vs. Transit Co." & "Trolley Franchise Asked" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler. Retrieved 2011-05-09.
- "Special Meeting of Council" (Google News Archive). Out of the Past: Fifty [sic] Years Ago. July 28, 1968. Retrieved 2011-07-16. "Local Miscellany: ... One of the trolley cars jumped the track near the Rogers house during the heavy storm of Thursday night which delayed traffic at a critical time. ... proposition from the Mt. Holly Trolley Co. in regards to entering Gettysburg... Following composed the committee: Calvin Gilbert,... The construction of the road to begin on or before Oct. 1, 1908." NOTE The "1908" year indicates the events were Sixty years ago, as does the original 1908 Star and Sentinel article.
- "Littlestown Trolley" (Google News Archive). New Oxford Item. August 6, 1908. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- Julius Bien & Co. Lith. (1904). Map of the Battle Field of Gettysburg (Map). Cartography by Gettysburg National Park Commission (Nicholson, John P; Cope, Emmor; Hammond, Schuyler A). New York.
- "Took Work to make Camp Quay" (Google News Archive). Gettyssburg Compiler. July 27, 1904. Retrieved 2011-03-02. "…the railroads siding which the Reading Railroad fixed up in good shape, better than any time heretofore… Opposite the Y of the trolly is located the Third Brigade … extending until they practically join the town in the Tawney field on Washington Street."
- "List of Classified Structures". NPS.gov. by "structure number":
RR02: "Electric Trolley Bed". Retrieved 2011-03-02. "[rail] trail along Plum Run at Devils Den, runs N through Rose Farm & stops near The Loop. … Pair of cut stone block abutments over Rose Run, 5' high, 25' long & approx 10' apart."
MN807: "Tipton Boundary Marker". Retrieved 2011-03-02. "approximately, 7"x7"x1'. Inscribed "T" on top of marker. … rough granite with a "T" inscribed on the top. … at a corner of Tipton land purchased in March 1892 as part of the Tipton Park and photographic studio."
NPS02: "Old Slaughter Pen Path and Steps". Retrieved 2011-03-04. "used by [trolley] passengers … Path and steps are now used as a Park trail. … Path runs N/S from Plum Run to Sickles Avenue."
- "Old "Trolley Barn" Will Be Removed Soon" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Times. April 30, 1965. Retrieved 2011-07-15.