Original Document
Original Document
The Opening of the Nicholson Viaduct, 1915.

Lackawanna Intends Going Ahead with Improvements
Not Content With Great Accomplishment, But Still Keen To Realize Where Benefits May Be Gained, Says President Truesdale. Distinguished Body of Men At Cutoff Dedication.
More than the dedication of the Nicholson Viaduct on the new cutoff line of the Lackawanna Railroad company, fittingly described as the "eighth wonder of the world," was brought to pass in the quaint old town of Nicholson and in the presence of a distinguished body of state, city and railroad officials, congressmen, senators and newspaper publishers, Saturday.

For one thing, there were chills brought to the blood of the crowds when several boys and girls of Nicholson, as if to prove to the world that its "eighth wonder" had no great terrors for them, played tag on the three-foot parapet alongside the floor of the viaduct. They looked death in the face with every move they made and several of the most venturesome flirted with death by not more than inches, hanging over the side of the viaduct, 240 feet above the ground, as they surveyed the crowds at the bases of the monster piers. Several big strong men were just boasting to groups at the Nicholson station of having peered over the edge of the parapet when some one caught a glimpse of the youngsters sprinting along the thirty-six-inch strip, that rises four feet from the road bed. Major F. H. Schoeffel hurried the youngsters from the structure and it was carefully guarded during the remainder of the afternoon.

Pioneers present.

A second special feature was furnished by the presence of C.E. Lathrop, of Carbondale and N.T. Purdy of Dalton, Lackawanna Valley pioneers, among the dedication throng. They served to bridge the period from 1851, the first days of the Lackawanna company, to the present. Mr. Lathrop rode on the first eastbound train of the company back in the fifties and Mr. Purdy was a passenger on the first train westward. President W. H. Truesdale made the viaduct a secondary consideration after being introduced to the two pioneers. He stole away with them from governor and other guests to talk over old days of the Lackawanna, the three finding a cozy place in the station. Later in his speech, Mr. Truesdale referred to the presence of the pioneers. Mr. Lathrop is eighty-nine years of age; Mr. Purdy is seventy-nine. The former is publisher of the Carbondale Leader. Mr. Purdy is a pensioner of the Lackawanna company, having worked in the bridge building department for fifty years….

Arrival of Specials.

A rousing big feature of the day was the series of enthusiastic greetings extended to the two special trains of guests on the new line. The New York and Buffalo specials arrived in Nicholson at about the same minute. From the time that the New York special struck the cutoff line at Clarks Summit, there was a big welcome extended by the natives. The day was generally observed as a holiday up-country and whole families were out to add their share toward the brilliant success of the $12,000,000 improvement being thrown open to traffic.

There was a whole lot of pride displayed by Governor [Martin G.] Brumbaugh and President Truesdale in their addresses. The governor declared that the Nicholson viaduct is a worthy monument to the fame of Pennsylvania, as being the greatest steel and cement state in the union. President Truesdale declared that the improvement was listed by the company as an asset of the future. There were about fifty people in the Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pittston and Carbondale delegation that met at the Hotel Casey at noon Saturday for lunch.

Following the lunch, the delegation made its way to the Lackawanna station and boarded the New York special at 1 o'clock. Governor Brumbaugh had arrived over the Bloomsburg division of the company and was taken into the car with President Truesdale and other officials of the company. En route to the viaduct, President Truesdale went through the train, being introduced all around by General Superintendent E. M. Rine.

Just east of the viaduct is the lone tunnel of the new line. This is also one of the many great bits of work on the line that has been dwarfed by the magnificent viaduct. At the entrance to the viaduct there was a rush to the windows. Down in the farmland a herd of cows was grazing. They were dots in the picture. At the Nicholson station, on the west end of the viaduct there was a throng of about a thousand and there came cheers when the train was brought to a stop. Motion picture men got their machines in action and camera men lined up alongside of them as the visitors piled from the train and walked the picture line to the station. The Buffalo train discharged its passengers at about the same minute.

Alongside the station were scores of automobiles and they bore the visitors down the steep grade, under the viaduct and over the country road to the north. On the way back to Nicholson over this road the visitors got the greatest opportunity of viewing the viaduct.

Many of the visitors left the autos to better view the viaduct from the ground. Upon the return to the station, there was speechmaking on the observation platform of the president's special car. Motion picture men invited the governor and President Truesdale to the ground where they could snap them better. [A] white-haired dog now jumped into the picture and stuck with the governor until the end.

George A. Cullen, general passenger agent of the Lackawanna company, was chairman of the speech making part of the program and he came in for a large share of applause from the throng. The first speaker was Governor Brumbaugh. He declared that the viaduct had been well named the "eighth wonder of the world." "As a matter of fact the old wonders of the old world do not begin to compare in the quality of genius with this splendid piece of engineering skill that spans your valley and crowns your city." He described the viaduct as a fitting monument to Pennsylvania, the greatest cement and steel state in the union. He referred to participating in ceremonies recently in dedication of the then largest concrete structure in the state, that at Walnut Lane, Philadelphia. "You could put a dozen of Walnut Lane bridges under this monster and not notice them," he said.

Example for Better Spirit.

He declared that the Lackawanna railroad is a scientifically managed corporation that stands as an example of corporate integrity to the citizens of the country. "If all other corporations would make for more service of this character, all of us would be happier and Pennsylvania would be more advanced." On behalf of the state he then extended thanks to President Truesdale for the railroad service he has brought to Pennsylvania. "May we all take from this great work greater service for the world at large," he said in closing.

President Truesdale spoke of the early days of the Lackawanna and said that the blaze trailers then were building for the future, just as is the company today. He said he was delighted with the great spirit shown by the people during the day and he declared that the Lackawanna intends going ahead with its improvements, being never content with what its accomplishments have been but always keen to realize where benefits may be gained. "We of the Lackawanna are proud of this new line, it caused us great anxiety when we were studying its problems, but now they are all in the past and this is a happy day for all."

Mayor Fuhrman, of Buffalo, extended greetings form that city to Governor Brumbaugh and President Truesdale. Trainmaster T.J. Finerty then shouted "all aboard" and there was a rush for the trains….

Scranton (Pa.) Times
Monday, November 8, 1915

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