Bartonsville, VT Train Wreck, Dec 1878



BELLOWS FALLS, Vt., Dec. 11.----An accident occurred about 7 P. M. yesterday on the Rutland Division of the Central Vermont Railroad, about two miles south of Bartonsville, in which two persons were instantly killed, another was fatally , and several seriously, injured. A culvert had been undermined by the heavy rain. The express train which left Boston at 2 P. M. left this place on time, and proceeded rather cautiously, as it was feared that something might be wrong owing to the storm. The accident occurred at the first culvert south of Broadway's mills. Although the water had undermined the culvert, the rails appeared to be all right, and the first intimation of danger was the precipitation of the whole train, consisting of a locomotive, one baggage car, and one passenger car, into the gulf. The stream, though usually a small one, was swollen largely last night, and the gulf opened about 80 feet in length. The conductor was not injured. The engineer, A. L. Pratt, had his collar-bone broken, and was otherwise bruised. The fireman, Edward Davis, of Rutland, was instantly killed. "Kit" Rice, baggage-master, was probably fatally injured. Frank Kemp, of Bellows Falls, United States and Canada express messenger, was instantly killed. The baggage car turned bottom side up in the bed of the stream, and Kemp and Rice were found under the baggage and express cars. E. W. Horner, of Rutland, the road-master, had his nose broken. There were only eight passengers on the train. Mrs. Harriet Hazelton was slightly bruised; Flora Davis, her granddaughter, had a finger broken; four other persons were more or less bruised. The engine was thrown clear across the chasm, and the baggage and express cars lay on top of it in the middle of the stream. The passenger car hangs on the edge of the chasm, one-third of it hanging over. The men sent to Bartonsville to telegraph for help found much trouble in getting there, because the bridges had been washed away. A wrecking train, with surgeons, went from this place. One bridge is gone, near Bartonsville, and a railroad bridge over the river is reported going.

CONCORD, N. H., Dec. 11.---A serious accident occurred on the Montreal Railroad last evening at Sewall's Falls, about a mile and a half above East Concord, in consequence of a wash-out, caused by the heavy rains of yesterday. As the evening through train to Montreal, consisting of a smoking, baggage, and mail car combined, and passenger and Pullman cars, was passing over, the engine and tender were precipitated down an embankment about 150 feet from the road. The baggage-car struck into the side of the wash-out, and "telescoped" into the passenger car next behind. Both cars were thrown from the track, and the occupants experienced only a slight shaking. In the passenger car were 14 people, and in the smoking car 8 or 9. In the baggage car were only two persons, neither of whom was injured. Seven persons were injured: Oscar Boothell, of Lancaster, and Foster, of Littleton, were rather severely hurt, the former being cut in the head and badly cut and bruised, and the latter crushed in the lower part of his body. The engineer, Charles Hoyt, of Woodsville, and the fireman, "Jack" Lawler, of the same place, were found about 70 feet from the locomotive, the latter being nearly buried in mud. Lawler was very severely injured. His face and head were badly cut and bruised, and a leg and arm were broken. Hoyt was scalded in the face, and had his head cut. The locomotive was badly wrecked, as were the two cars.

The New York Times, New York, NY 12 Dec 1878