Schaghticoke, NY Train Wreck, Aug 1859


A Bridge on the Northern Railroad Gives Way.




Statement of a Passenger.

ALBANY, Aug. 3. -- A terrible accident occurred on the Northern Railroad, Near Schagticoke [sic], last night. The down train, due in Albany at 7:25 P. M., while passing over the bridge which spans the Tomhannock, was precipitated into the creek below, a distance of twenty to twenty-five feet. The water was about six or eight feet deep. Over thirteen persons are reported to have been killed. The following are the names, as far as they are known, of the killed and injured.
Killed. -- MRS. SCHUYLER, of Albany; MRS. COOLEY, (wife of conductor,) Albany; CHARLES BERTHELON, brakeman, Albany; CHARLES PLIMPTON, mail agent, Vermont; DAVID RUSSELL, express messenger, Albany; PATRICK CONNOLLY, trackman, Greenbush.
The wounded are G. S. COOLEY, conductor, of Albany, badly; THOMAS McCARUCK, newsboy right leg broken and otherwise injured; MICHAEL FLANNERY, Troy, passenger, head cut, chest bruised, and supposed internally injured.
The engineer and fireman escaped with slight bruises.
The accident took place about one mile from the village of Schagticoke, The moment the train struck the bridge the structure gave way. The locomotive, however, got across and became detached from the tender; the latter went down, and the baggage and two passenger cars followed. The first passenger car went down on the tender, and the second passenger car ran into and keeled it over. Most of the dead and wounded have been brought to this city.

TROY, N. Y., August 3. -- Nine dead bodies had been taken out of the creek up to 11 o'clock last evening, and twenty persons were wounded, while it was thought that more dead bodies were under the wreck. The following are additional names of injured:
JOHN HESSORT, of Quebec, badly; ARTHUR FORBES, of Bytown, Ontario county, not badly; CHARLES PERTY, of Claremont, N. H.; G. R. PRENTICE, of New York city; J. C. PAYNE, of Dayton, Ohio; W. S. HARRIS, of Whitewater, Wis.; THOMAS TALBOT, of New York city, and W. J. A. FULLER, of New York city.

SCHAGTICOKE, N. Y., August 3. -- The 6 o'clock down train of the Albany and Canada Railroad broke through the Tomhannock bridge one mile from the village of Shagticoke [sic].
I cannot say how many are killed or wounded, except that I have not seen a single man that has escaped injury. The water is about three feel deep at the place where I was taken out, and the river has a rocky bed. The man beneath me was drowned. The man on top of me has his leg broken.
I seemed to have escaped without any broken limb, although I have received a severe contusion on the back of my head, and I fear my left shoulder is dislocated. Although I have some abrasions of the skin, in various places, and my system lamed considerably, yet I hope to come round all right in a few days. I am comfortably cared for at the Schagticoke Hotel. I have been wholly unable to ascertain the names of any persons killed or wounded, but I saw a frightful number of bloody heads about me in the bed of the river. The bridge is a single span of about one hundred feet, at the height of twenty-five or thirty feet above the river. A train has brought up the killed and wounded to this place. I dictate this despatch[sic] in my bed.

Philadelphia Press Pennsylvania 1859-08-04


schaghticoke train wreck

Does any one know if it was on the Fitchburg railroad that passes south west through Melrose and troy or the one that heads west and passes through Mechanicsville and then heads south along the Hudson?

a reply would be very much appreciated and i also live less than a mile from both and have been extensively researching the area for the past 5 years.

PS: both rail roads cross the Tomhannock creek approximately 1.20 mile from the south tip of schaghticoke

photo of 1859 Schaghticoke train wreck at link above