Engines #3, #4, and #5


Engine #3 next to the engine barn* on Fennell Street. According to Richard F. Palmer in "A Railroad called Skaneateles," the photograph dates from the late 1930s. The engine was scrapped in September 1942--sold to Abe Cooper, a junk dealer in Syracuse.
Engine #4. Location unknown--probably at the junction. Circa September 1935.
Engine #5 in front of the engine barn* on Fennell Street. Circa September 1935.

Any kid who grew up, as I did, on Fennell Street in the 1930s and the 1940s will remember engines #4 and #5 as those in use, while #3 was in storage in the engine house. The passenger and baggage cars were stored outside on a siding at the east side of the barn. They were not locked, and we often trespassed in those cars to play.

During my time, Ed Chappell was engineer, and Lester Murphy was brakeman. Heroes to us kids, they never won any points with my mother when they chose washday to push coal gondolas past our house up into the trestle behind Maine & Hunt, spewing black smoke all over the newly washed clothes hanging on the line in our back yard. I am sure she had words with them more than once and probably even turned to Ed's wife, Mabel, for sympathy (and leverage).

Although for someone who is younger the later diesel engines may represent "the old days," for me the diesels hold no romance. This is it!

*We always called the engine barn "the round house" even though it was not. We never called the structure "engine house." That name was reserved for the building which housed the fire engines at the corner of Jordan and Fennell Street. I chuckle when I think of some innocent reading a notice in an old Skaneateles Free Press that the ladies' auxiliary was to hold a potluck dinner in the meeting rooms above the engine house. That person might be very seriously misled. There wasn't much in the upper reaches of the engine barn except for black soot, perpetual gloom, and a lot of pigeons.