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Crescent Mining Company, Locomotives (1882-1900)

This page was last updated on May 1, 2011.

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Overview

(Based in part on research done by George Pitchard.)

The tramway of the Crescent Mining Company was 30-inch narrow gauge.

Crescent Mining Company apparently did not initially own the tramway, but did own the right-of-way; trackage was owned and hauling was done by contract, by Dyer & White, who initially owned the first Shay locomotive, and were also the builders of the tramway in 1884.

The Park Record of April 4, 1885 carried an item noting that Frank H. Dyer, of Dyer & White, visited the New Orleans exhibition in early 1885, where Lima had a Shay locomotive (construction number 126) on exhibit; and that he later went through Lima, and "while in Lima, Ohio, he selected an engine for the Crescent Tramway..." (Park Record, April 4, 1885)

When No. 130 arrived in Park City on Monday, May 25, 1885, it was accompanied by "Mr. Shay, the gentleman who came from Lima, Ohio, to put the Crescent engine in working order, ..." (Park Record, May 30, 1885)

Presumably, Ephraim Shay himself delivered what appears to have been, by a couple of years, the first Shay locomotive delivered anywhere in, or west of, the Rocky Mountain area. (The next "western" Shay appears to be Gilpin Tram No. 181 (later No. 1), in about August 1887.)

In April 1886, Dyer noted that his contract with Crescent Mining Company, for haulage, had yet 2-1/2 years to run; but the Park Record of November 5, 1887 noted that "F. H. Dyer has sold the Crescent Tramway and its equipment to the company. This, it is understood, is in accordance with the original contract, just expired,..." the same paper, in its issue of December 31, 1887, in talking of "The Crescent's Exhibit" in 1887, comments that "Much of this year's revenue has been used to pay for the machinery and purchase the tramway from F. H. Dyer, according to contract."

Further, in the Park Record of October 13, 1888, a report of the annual meeting of Crescent Mining Company, held on October 10, 1888, noted that President L. H. Withey, in his report for the year ending October 1, 1888, says, "Since the last report (i.e., October 1, 1887), the directors purchased the interest of the contractor in the narrow gauge railroad between Park City and the mine,..."

The first engine changed ownership from Dyer & White to Crescent Mining Company in October 1887. When (or even if) it was renumbered to No. 1 is unclear; it was still "Maud Withey, No. 130" in January 1891. (Park Record, January 24, 1891) As the new engine was No. 2 at arrival in April 1891, one might suppose that old "Maud" was made No. 1 at about the same time, i.e., in April 1891.

The Silver Panic of 1893 caused the shutdown of the Crescent mine by July 1, 1893 (and still shut down at the end of October), and there was no use for the tramway in hauling ores from the mine. But the tramway was opened, with difficulty, in December 1893 to take coal and supplies to the mine. Engine No. 2 was used at this time, though it needed a set of wheels from the old engine to make it serviceable.

Neither mine nor tramway operated in 1894. In 1895 and 1896, the mine and tramway were used to some extent, but newspaper accounts do not make clear if locomotives were used (owing to poor condition of the track). In 1897, mine and tramway were operated, and in about August 1897, the mine was sold to Wasatch Mining Company, including the tramway, of course. Considerable ore was hauled over the tramway in 1898, but again, no specific mention of locomotive use is made.

In 1899, there is no indication that the tramway was in use.

"The two tram engines of the Crescent company were on Thursday [May 17, 1900] loaded on Union Pacific cars by T. M. Stringer and started on their journey to Palestine, Texas, where they are to be used in the lumber camps of that district." "J. G. Bywater and Bart Smoot were in the Park Thursday on business connected with the shipping of the Crescent engines." (Park Record, May 19, 1900)

Locomotives

Road
Number
Previous
Number
Builder Type Builder
Number
Builder
Date
Date To
Crescent
Note
Crescent no. 1 130 Lima 2-Truck Shay 130 14 May 1885 25 May 1885 1
Crescent no. 2   Lima 2-Truck Shay 339 7 Apr 1891 19 Apr 1891 2

General Notes:

a. Crescent Mining number 1 operated as number 130 from 1885 to about April 1891; named "Maud Withey" after the daughter of Lewis H. Withey, president of the Crescent Mining Company.
b. Crescent Mining number 2 was named "Prospector"; arrived in Park City on Sunday evening, April 19, 1891, and was unloaded on the 20th (Park Record, April 25, 1891); first run was on May 11, 1891; actual use of the new locomotive may have been delayed, the Park Record of July 11, 1891 reported that "one or two" curves had to be "widened" to allow No. 2 to pass over the road.
c. Individual locomotive specifications:
  Road
Number
Lima
Class
Cylinders Drivers Engine Weight Tractive Effort
  Crescent no. 1 Class A (2) 9x8 inches 26-1/2 inches 26,000 pounds 7,800 pounds
  Crescent no. 2 Class B (3) 9x8 inches 26 inches 37,800 pounds  

Notes:

1. Crescent Mining number 1 was sold on May 17, 1900 to George M. Dilley & Son (Dealer), Palestine, Texas; converted to 36" gauge; sold in 1917 to Newell Brothers Lumber Co., Braucher, West Virginia. (source at ShayLocomotives.com)
2. Crescent Mining number 2 was sold on May 17, 1900 to George M. Dilley & Son (Dealer), Palestine, Texas; converted to 36" gauge; sold in June 1902 to Kirby Lumber Co. number 31, Mobile, Texas; converted to standard gauge in about 1913 and sold to Kirby Lumber Co. number 31, Steep Creek, Texas; sold in about 1917 to Desha Lumber Co., Lake Providence, Louisiana. (source at ShayLocomotives.com)

Lima "drawing card index" file

No. 130 (later No. 1):

Locomotive No. 130   Plan No. (blank)
Built for: Dyer & White
Road No.: (blank); name: (blank)
Shipped to: Park City, Utah Date shipped: May 14, 1885
Gauge of track: (blank); Gauge of locomotive: 29"
Style of locomotive: Shay patent Cylinders: 2 - 9x8"
Wheels, diameter: 26-1/2" Total empty weight: 26,000 lbs.
Working pressure: (blank) Fuel: (blank) Tank capacity: (blank)

No. 2:

Locomotive No. 339   Plan No. 339
Built for: Crescent Mining Co., Park City, Utah
Road No.: 2 Name: (blank)
Shipped to: (blank) Date shipped: April 7, 1891
Gauge of track: 30"; Gauge of locomotive: 29-1/4"
Style of locomotive: Shay Patent Cylinders: 3 - 9x8"
Wheels, diameter: 26" Total empty weight: 37,800 lbs.
Working pressure: (blank) Fuel: (blank) Tank capacity: 825 gallons water

The Lima drawing card index for construction number 339 also notes that the gauge was changed to 56-1/2 inches, but gives no indication as to the date of that change.

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