B147 Milepost

B147 Milepost

The Western Maryland reached Town Creek in 1905, prior to the railroads arrival the C&O Canal passed through Town Creek. The canal had been constructed from Dam #6 at Hancock all the way to Cumberland by 1842. However the canal was not flooded with water and could not be used until of the canal's Paw Paw Tunnel. The tunnel took 14 years to complete and was finished and open by 1850. Canal boats then passed Town Creek hauling material to and from Cumberland.

In 1881, Heins and Company (a partnership of the Mertens, Peter Hein, and Thomas J. Sliger) built a sawmill along the canal near Town Creek at the C&O Canal's Darkeys Lock. Town Creek itself was used to float logs from the hills to the company's sawmill. There was great difficulty in the process of transporting the logs by creek. Water level was too low in the summer and fall as logs would get lodged along the banks causing backups. A better way of transporting the logs to the sawmill was needed. On December 11, 1882 the Green Ridge Railroad was incorporated solely for the purpose of hauling logs to the sawmill.

The Green Ridge Railroad was constructed from the Heins and Company sawmill at Darkeys Lock east to the Big Run stream. The GRRR then turned up the narrow hollow following Big Run, Deep Run, to Fifteen Mile Creek ending 13 1/2 miles from the canal near the creek. A branch ran off west 4 miles to another sawmill at Finksburg. The GRRR was constructed as a narrow gauge(36') logging railroad. The railroad operated two locomotives built by the C&P RR near Cumberland at it's Mount Savage Shops. These two locomotives were an 0-4-0 and a 0-6-0.

Eventually the GRRR would cross the Potomac River on a trestle to the B&O Railroad at Okonoko. The GRRR ran from Okonoko, to points at Hill Glen(Darkeys Lock), Alderton, Summit, Orleans Road, Sliders, Heinville, Oakwood, Mertensville (Finksburg), and Town Creek. By 1896 the railroad was a total of 26 miles long and had a passenger car for paying customers. The sawmill at Darkey's Lock was later abandoned as the sawmills were moved closer to the timber at Kinksburg. The Green Ridge Railroad was gone by 1897. some of the originalrails remained until being sold for scrap in 1930. The railroad right-of-way is now a hiking trail.

majority of above info from the book "the Land of the Living" by John Mash

Here is the concrete base for eastbound signal 147.3. This signal is just east of the bridge at Towncreek. Next photo is looking west towards Town Creek. The right-of-way is being used for a road for fisherman and hikers to reach a re-watered portion of the C&O Canal west of the aqueduct. At this location the WM had a 2443 ft. and a 770 ft. side track located here. Signal 146.6 was just east of here at the former East End of the side track. (4/26/01)

Old WM milepost B147. It was hard to spot this rusting milepost, but I serched for it with help of a WM track chart.

Went back much later in April 2003 and restored the B147 milepost. I hope people notice it and some sort of railtrail deal comes out of it faster then it currently is. The milepost looks very good. (April 2003)

A WM GP9 and a F7 take a train east passing the B147 milepost as the tracks parallel MD. Rt. 51 breifly. I took a silimal photo from the same location many many years after the train had passed and the rails were pulled. (Unknown photographer / May 3, 2015)

Looking east a few tenths of a mile east of the B147 milepost at Town Creek. The WM had some maintence buildings here along the tracks. Notice MD Rt.51 to the left of the tracks. When this photo was taken the tracks were "out of service" and most of the spikes had been pulled in preperation for lifting the rails. Notice signal 146.6 still standing in the distance to the right of the tracks just before they curve left to hug the hillside above the canal. (1976, Don Biggs photo)

Rode east from Town Creek one April day in 2003. Didn't get far and it started to rain, I had to turn back. Here I photographed the WM right-of-way looking east. Stickers and thorns block most of the trail.

The C&0 Canal has a liftlock just east of Town Creek. Arthur Bloch photographed this lock and in the photo the WM can be seen while still in service. (Unsure of date of photo, I accidently deleted this photo and its text while adding another photo)

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