Later after the Civil War, Oldtown did not benefit from the increasing railroad traffic on the B&O RR, which had laid tracks along the Virginia (now West Virgina) banks of the Potomac River. Even after the arrival Western Maryland Railway in 1904 and improved highways, Oldtown still remained pretty-much isolated from the rest of Maryland. In 1905, Monroe Kulp started the Kulp Lumber Company of Alleghany County. Kulp moved his operation from Lewisburg, PA. to Oldtown, MD. Kulp brought with him a sawmill, 4 locomotives, rail, and enough employees from Lewisburg to operate everything. Company stores, houses, and a railroad engine house were built near the sawmill. The WM had previously arrived in 1904 and Kulp constructed his lumber company nearby along the WM tracks. Kulp depended only on the Western Maryland and did not involve the C&O Canal or the B&O Railroad that the Green Ridge Railroad was forced to do. In 1906 the Kulp Railroad was built from the WM tracks to the sawmill. From the sawmill the railroad followed Lower Town Creek Rd. on the west side of Stafford Ridge to Town Creek. The Kulp railroad crossed to Maple Run and Jacobs Rd. A branch followed a tributary along Mertens Ave(Railroad Hollow) to Boyes Knob. As timber was cut the railroad constructed more branch lines to reach the timber. The Kulp Railroad like the Green Ridge Railroad was a 36' narrow guage line. Kulp's railroad would eventually be a length of 20 miles. The railroad used 4 locomotives, 2-4-2 type to haul logos to the mill at Oldtown. Here finished lumber would be transferred to the Western Maryland. Kulp RR ceased operation in 1911 mainly due to the loss of money and a recent enginehouse fire that had damaged 3 of the railroads locomotives. These locomotives were later repaired and sold off as well as all of the remaining land. A majority of the land was purchased by the Mertens and would later become part of the large Green Ridge Valley Orchards.
During the days of Western Maryland passenger train service there was a station located here near the West End of the 5566ft. Oldtown passing siding/storage track. Later, in 1924 after the C&O Canal was bankrupt and wrecked by a flood, Oldtown declined even further. The Western Maryland Railway station in Oldtown later burned after being closed. Trains only then passed by Oldtown, occasionally stopping at the siding. In 1975, the Western Maryland was abandoned and the rails were lifted. Today, The track is gone and the right-of-way is slowly changing back into a forest. I can remember this part of the WM along Oldtown when I was a small child riding with my father to Cumberland to take photos of the B&O in the early 1980's. I remember seeing the ballast on the ROW as if the rails and ties were just pulled up. The ties and safety rails on the overpass in downtown Oldtown remained as they were after abandonment until the bridge was removed in the mid-1990's to widen the road under the one-way underpass. Today Oldtown is now just a small quiet river town that sees quite a few visitors as a result of the C&O Canal and its remaining historic buildings. Maybe one day the WM Rail Trail will also be constructed through here and help transfer Oldtown back into the busy town it once was.
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There is a clear view of the tracks for a long distance on each side of the crossing. County Coroner Joseph B. Finan went to the scene of the accident yesterday afternoon and it is his opinion that the man drove on the tracks without noticing where he was or the approaching train."
He is survived by his wife and the followings sons; Monte Harman, Flintstone, Md.; Omar Harman, Murley's Branch, Md.; Owen Harman, Gray, W. Va.; Clarence Harman, Davis, W. Va.; C. H. Harman, Oldtown, and one daughter, Mrs. William Lope, Gilpin, Md.
He was a former resident of Pendleton county, W. Va. , but had lived near Oldtown in the last five years, where he was engaged in farming. Indications are that Harman, who was sitting in a chair in his wagon, drawn by a two horse team, was wearing a heavy cap pulled down over his ears on account of the cold weather. Evidently he did not hear or see the approach of the train. The team was on the track and was shoved aside by the passenger engine, Harman was thrown from his seat and his neck broken. He was not hit by the engine. One of the horses was killed. The other animal was hurled aside, escaping death. Harman's body was found a few feet away beside the dead horse. The tongue of the wagon was snapped off.
Those near the scene of the accident say there was a good view of the crossing, especially in the direction of the train. It is also thought Harman believed he could cross over in safety.
The passenger train known as No. 2 for Hagerstown and Baltimore , left Cumberland at 12:15 yesterday afternoon and was in charge of Conductor Carroll and Engineman Hollenslade. The engineman shut off and applied his brakes but could not avoid hitting the team.
County Coroner Joseph R. Finan went to the scene of the accident yesterday afternoon, and it is his opinion that the man was in a deep study and drove on the tracks with out noticing where he was or the approaching train. There is a clear view of the tracks for a long distance on each side of the crossing.
Train No. 2 left Cumberland for Baltimore at 12:15 p.m. yesterday and was running on schedule time when the accident occurred. The train was in charge of Conductor Carroll and Engineer Hallenshade both of Baltimore.
story from a railfan
I grew up in Oldtown, went to school there, and the WM was part of that
town. I remember when the red, white and black units first appeared,
running right by our house. My father was a WM operator for three years
before leaving there for the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Industries. He worked
MY, and as far west as Ohio Pyle.