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Hidden Gems in the Northwesterner archives

We are preparing to complete the scenery in Fort Seward on the NWP in Ohio. I vaguely remembered a photo of a passenger car converted to a "cook shack" and dining room. After searching every source I could think of, I couldn't find the photo. I put son Ryan on the search. While he didn't find the photo, he did find a reference to an article about the "Fort Seward cook shack" in the fall 1992 Northwesterner. I messaged Steve Atnip about it, who forwarded my request to Gus Campana, who said it was available as a PDF for $5.00. I said please e-mail it to me, the NWPRRHS billed me through PayPal, and I received the information! 

The article detailed several versions of the passenger car cook shack, as well as the information that an old, wooden PFE reefer was used as an ice box refrigerator! There were several interesting stories about the cooks, and how they operated as well.

The article also gave a lot of information about the operation in the canyon before the coming of the diesels. Apparently there were locals operating daily in the canyon in those early days. While I was aware that MOW crews were strategically located throughout the canyon, I had no idea a commissary company, J V Moan, had the contract to supply food and cooks to provision these crews, and the train crews! There were cook shacks at Fort Seward, South Fork, and Island Mountain into the 60's!

All of this information comes from one article. The same issue details the end of interurban service on the NWP.

The NWPRRHS has done us all a great service in preserving, and making available, all of the old Northwesterner newsletters. As work progresses on the trackage in the Canyon, I an planning on trying to unearth articles about operations in the canyon in the early 1950's. I am beginning to believe that I have built in more operation opportunities on the NWP in Ohio than I imagined.

If you are interested in what "our railroad" was like in the past, consider accessing the past issues of the Northwesterner. I am sure there are more "hidden gems" waiting to be discovered.

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