An excerpt from the book "The History of Weatherly, Pennsylvania", by historian John "Jack" Koehler:
The Lehigh Valley Railroad began construction of a large stone building adjoining the railroad roundhouse. It was completed in 1869 and measured in size 150' x 200'. Under its single roof could be found four departments; machine shop, foundry, boiler and blacksmith shops. The new building was built for the construction and repair of railroad locomotives. A total of 78 engines were built and many hundreds were overhauled and repaired in these shops.
Under Weatherly's master mechanic, Philip Hoffecker, a new design in engine building was developed in 1872. A fleet of 4-8-0 type engines (nicknamed "dirt burners") were built and the new design engine was readily adopted by most of the other railroads across the country. Hoffecker designed and built 70 locomotives before retiring due to poor health in 1890. Only eight other engines were built after he retired.
Shortly afterwards, the Lehigh Valley began a program of consolidation of its railroad shops and closed the Weatherly engine shops in June 1894. The building, containing 32,000 square feet of floor space, was put up for sale. On February 10, 1913, the Weatherly Iron & Steel Co. purchased the building for $10,000. The shops once employed 425 men.
...Weatherly Pennsylvania...my late wife was from nearby Tamaqua...my cardiologist from Hazelton...and I have worked with people from the mining towns and dined in a restaurant in Nesquehoning...and come to have a heartfelt connection to the "upstate" and its people...I always found them warm and welcoming...(although, as anaside, my wifes great-grandmother, as a child, was taken captive by the Mollly Maguires for witnessing a murder and later released unharmed)...an era of strong passions and strong people...they shall not soon be forgotten...
...your photos seem to conjure up scenes of hardened workers busily seeing to their tasks carrying the heavy tools needed by railroaders...visions of the past that will live forever in your work...
The guestbook is empty.
© Matthew Malkiewicz - Lost Tracks of Time