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 Lignite Coal Mines
 Luxury Railcar


Arthur Gould Yates, and many of his rich friends and associates,
visited Estevan in his Personal Luxury Railcar called
 the "Virginia"
arriving after dark on Sept. 10, 1892
from Winnipeg.

Arthur Gould Yates,  ca1900
He was elected Director and President of the
Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway Company (BR&PR)
Apr 24, 1890, replacing Adrian G. Iselin Sr. a New York Financier,
whose family came from Switzerland.
When Adrian Iselin Sr. died in 1905
his wealth was estimated between 20-30 million dollars.
1909 BR&PR balance sheet contained his death notice
A Mr. Adrian Iselin Jr. was elected to replace him.
Company became part of the Baltimore and Ohio, (B & O) Railroad.
Headquarters building on corner of Main St. West
and Washington St., in Rochester, NY
The Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway
 was built as a "railroad conveyor belt"
 to haul ore, coal, and oil between its namesake cities

This Sept. 1892 train was full of very rich men. 
Most if not all Millionaires.
To be a fly on the wall on this one!
Where did it end up?

Rail Car named after Arthur Gould Yates wife "Virginia".
Reports state it had an observation area at the rear, that he liked to sit in.
In 1898 Company he was President and Director of,
Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway Company (BRPR)
had 2 "Official" Coaches,
 listed on their balance sheet
1900, same record.
4 "Official cars" in 1910 balance sheet

found this little article, dated Oct 25, 1890
which gave me a big clue, as where, and who, built the "Virginia".

Now I know the "Virginia" was built
by the Wagner Palace Car Company.
(later became Pullman Company),
located at 1770 Broadway, near Bailey Ave., in East Buffalo NY

Brief Company History
Started as the New York Central Sleeping Car Company,
 formed in 1866 by Senator Webster Wagner (1817-1882).
Webster Wagner was originally a freight agent in Palatine Bridge, NY
 with the New York Central Railroad Company.
He actually died in one of his own sleeping cars during a terrible train accident.
This company was controlled after 1868 by
 Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt.
in 1886 the Chief Executive, William Seward Webb
changed the name to Wagner Palace Car Company
named after it's deceased founder.
In 1890, Wagner Palace Car company,
was one of the largest employers in Buffalo.
Dec 31,1899 this business sold out to the Pullman Company for $36.5 million.
This East Buffalo Plant operated until 1959.
Thomas A. Bissell (1835-1902)
took charge of the operation of this plant from 1886-1895.
He was a master of Wooden Passenger car construction.

Gifted designer, of wooden car frames, he held many patents
covering vestibules and platforms etc..
He was Vice-President of the Master Car Builders Association.
Mr. Yates had the best in the business, building and designing, his dream car.
Jan 1891 a new large steam hammer was shipped to the factory.
This would have helped in the curved metal roof construction.

then I found this little tidbit

Mr. Michael Crawford
 was the man in charge of the "Virginia"
from Railway Life, Vol 5-6, page 70, 1916 issue
This was a weekly Canadian Journal
Caretaker of the car
Michael Crawford's Bio and Genealogy
Michael Crawford (Sr.) b- Sept 29, 1839, in Milltown, Cork Co., Ireland
IGI shows his death as May 31, 1923
age 61 in 1900 census, occupation RR Car Inspector
wife- Mary Crawford, nee Condini?,
b- Oct 1841 in Ireland, age 58
daughter- Delia, b- Apr 1877, in NY, age 23
daughter- Elizabeth Crawford, b- Mar 1878 in NY, age 22,
and Michael Crawford (Jr), b- Dec 1879, in NY, age 20
Michael Jr. shown as a Car Inspector as well.
Crawford family living in DuBois, Clearfield Co., PA

1880 living in Salamanca, Cattaraugus, New York,
wife Mary, b-1843, children
Michael (Sr.) shown as age 42, Saloon Keeper in Salamanca
William P. Crawford was an early settler in this area.
Even a Crawford Cemetery in the town..

a daughter Nora Spellan, nee Crawford
b- Dec 20, 1869, in Duboise, PA, d- June 12, 1935 in Chicago IL
she was a widow in 1920, living in Chicago IL, 3rd Ward,
2 children, John and Thomas Spellan

We can assume Michael Crawford, (Sr.) is the man in the article above
as he entered service in 1882 with the BR&PR
retiring in July 1914.
Sr. was a car inspector at Stanley,
a station and coal mine location, on the railroad.
Alternate titles: Brake Inspector and car checker.

Mahoning Valley Railroad, went from Stanley, Clearfield co., PA, 
located at latitude 41.057 and longitude -78.791
to the now Ghost town of Helvetia, Brady Township, Clearfield Co., PA
Helvetia," the Swiss name for Switzerland, named by the Iselins.
Looks like Michael might have lived through a bad accident
"ca Apr 17, 1907 Alfred G. Draucker, a flagman, was killed,
 and Michael Crawford, a car inspector,
was probably fatally injured in a rear end collision
 on the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad. 
A freight train and a pusher came together"
1920 Michael Jr. was still living in McKean PA, age 40,
married now to Elizabeth nee?
they had a son Michael Crawford, b-1919, age 1
the 3rd Michael, born in Mckean PA
IGI shows his death as May 31, 1923
father- Daniel Crawford, mother- Nora Kennedy
no sign of him in 1920 census though.

snippet from 1943 article
Railroad magazine, vol 34

This car was probably heated by Steam,
and its Interior lamps lit with Pintsch gas,

invented by Julius Pintsch, in Berlin,
this was a compressed gas, made from distilled Naptha.
This gas replaced oil lamps, used before this on the train cars.
Extremely volatile, many fires were fuelled by this gas.
Storage tanks were mounted under the carriage
and refilled on the outside.
The "Virginia" car will be Wagner/Pullman numbered
 somewhere between car #3,000 and #3150
and BRPR #100 possibly, the first Office car.
10ft wide, by approx 38? ft. long, estimate from picture only.
"Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh RY" painted along the top edge of the roof,
and the name "Virginia" painted on the side, in the middle of the car.
It is very faint in the photo, but it is there 100% for sure.

Then Sept 16, 2010, I found a photograph,
not only from which I can see the car's physical look,
that I can actually use, on the site, to show what it looked like.
if I read their copyright laws correctly, I can do this with
a link to the original photos which is below
McCord Museum of Canadian History, "Virginia" original Photo -dated 1892

The "Virginia" at Montreal Quebec
A.G. Yates and friends shown.

McCord Museum of Canadian History, "Virginia" original Photo -dated 1892
Taken in Montreal Quebec
Along the outside wall above the windows
"Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh RY" is written
Icicles are hiding the letters, as this is a winter picture.
The name "Virginia" can be seen barely on the side.
taken in 1892, this would have been shortly after the Estevan trip.
Did some of the ladies stay in Winnipeg,
while the men travelled to Estevan.
Wouldn't doubt it was the same trip.  same year for sure.
14-15 windows on the side
3 axles on each end
Hoping the build drawings will show the rest.
note- African American Porter, and Cook on the observation car deck
and I would bet they were on board in Estevan.
Is Mr. Crawford shown?  will never know I guess.

Arthur Gould Yates, standing, bushy horseshoe moustache
2nd from right, with a stovepipe hat.

Another photo from their site, the inside of the "Virginia",
showing Arthur and his friends travelling in style.

Inside the "Virginia" View Original photo- from McCord Museum"

Click to view Original Museum photo in large size
or click link above to view it on their web site.
I thank the McCord Museum, for allowing the use of these on external sites
and encourage everyone to check their site out.

Photographer of both pictures- William Notman and Son
probably taken by William McFarlane Notman, (1857-1913)
both taken in Montreal Quebec

my version above, after some lightening photo work, to show the details in the car
taken in the dining room, looking toward Berth, Kitchen end.
Looking at the drawing below this shows the table has been moved.
the sideboard is seen on the right rear.
Mahogany wood interior here.

note- there is gas lighting, not able to identify the maker yet.
As you can see, luxurious materials, curtains, and tablecloth.
Beautiful woodwork, mirrors (note reflection in one on right of man in doorway)

Arthur Gould Yates standing to the left of the door,
with a newspaper in the rack beside him.
Easily identified with his bushy horseshoe moustache.

Newberry Library, Chicago IL, has the Pullman Archives,
which contain all the Wagner Palace records as well, from 1866-1940.
Folder 11, even has floor plans available in it.
Sent an inquiry Sept 11, 2010 and received my reply,
Oct 5, 2010, and they couldn't find any info on the car.
Oh well, better luck next time!

Now my last question, Where is it?  or what happened to it?
If you know, please let me know.
any more photos of the car?  please send them to me.
I can guarantee I will add them here, with full credits to you.

Today Nov 25, 2010 my email was full of some nice
memorabilia from a Mr. Todd Blide, a historian of the BR&P.
One item he sent was the plans of the "Virginia"
shown as Official Car no 102, built Jan 1891
by Wagner Palace Car Company

These plans were drawn up in 1920's when the railroad was sold
and therefore the interior layout might not be 100% for 1891.
But the windows and exterior would be very close.
We can see the car was 60ft long, 9ft 10" wide, by 13 ft 11 in high.
3 axles on each end.
stamped "out of service 2-7-38", and "destroyed"
which explains why we can't find it today.
Mr. Yates favourite part of the car, the observation deck, 12ft x 6"
made from quarter sawn Oak.  Imagine the views!
The state room complete with his own tub.
Middle part of the car, made from mahogany,
the kitchen area cherry.
I believe the inside picture above, was taken in the dining room
looking towards the kitchen area.
with the table moved to the side.
Sleeps 10, plus the stateroom.
Upper and lower berth in kitchen area,
would have been for the cook and butler.
so 8 guests could sleep in the car, besides Mr. and Mrs. Yates.
Oct 1915 they added electric lights.
Lighting system in 1920's supplied by the
Safety Car Heating and Lighting Company, organized in 1887,
Located at 2 Rector St., New York.
also New Haven Conn. is another address for the company.
Presidents at one time or another,
R. M. Dixon, Walter L. Conwell (ca1934), Charles W. T. Stuart (1951)
Henry R. Stetson (1951, after Stuart who died) Harold F. Keneen (ca1955)
It was a public traded company.
1956 name changed to Safety Industries Inc.
Arthur W. Soper was the founder, and first President until 1901.
b- July 16, 1838, Rome NY, son of Albert and Esther Soper.
d- Dec 1, 1901 at his home, 150 Central Park South, NY
He started the Pintsch Compressing company and this SCHL Co.,
with major partners George M. Pullman, and Sidney Dillon, and other minor ones,
such as Sen. Thomas C. Platt, Edward J. Berwind, George F. Baker Jr.,
W. A. Read, A. B. Hepburn, and Dr. P. B. Wyckoff.
They sold systems to the CPR and railroads throughout NA.
They built plants at Moose Jaw, Winnipeg and Vancouver,
bringing their plant total to 56, by Dec 1907.
The company made lighting, dynamos, steam couplers
and heating systems for railway cars.
They sold Pintsch Equipment and fittings.
It seems in 1959 Trans-Lite Inc. took over their business.
In the drawing you can see the Generator was driven by a flat belt
from one of the axles on the truck.
Philip Diehl, b- January 28, 1847 – d- April 7, 1913,
 invented the 9" Exhaust fan used.
George Westinghouse invented the Railway Air Brake they used.

These Railcars were the citation jets for Executives in their day
Plush, Regal, Opulent, Luxurious Rail cars.
Full of Exotic Woods, Brass, Gold, and other fine materials.
Presidents of the USA travelled in these cars.
Any business man that was wealthy at the time
had his own private rail car.

check out A. G. Yates web page
Arthur Gould Yates

 No Reproduction in Whole, or in Part, may be made
 without the express Written Permission
 of Doug Gent

Page created by Doug Gent 2016
Created Oct 2, 2010
Revised Apr 23, 2012

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