Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Site Of Lower Station Today

Looking south on the former trolley line toward Mountain Park.

This is about where the loading platform was located.

Part of the incline railway bed looking east toward the Lower Station site.

Looking north towards the old Northampton trolley barn and the Mt. Tom Quarry.

The incline railway bed and car barn area.

You can see the incline railway bed through the trees, the railway along with the third summit house was sold for scrap in the early forties, the road is now used by WGGB for it's transmitters on top of the mountain.

Lower Station- The Trolley Road Today

Here is the rock cut just before Lower Station, notice the road is much wider due to the blasting of the basalt ledges of Little Mount Tom on the opposite side which was part of the construction for  the Ski Area Road, also notice the Whiting Street Reservoir cannot be seen due to the tree growth.

The rock wall bed which supported the original trolley line is still visible, the road was buried during the constuction of the Ski Area Road.

The rock bed from a different angle.

The start of the trolley bed north of the Mt. Park pavilion.

Mt.Tom Railroad - A Ride To Lower Station

The trolley line from Mt. Park to Lower Station originated at the pavillion at Mt. Park, notice the beautiful view of the Whiting Street Reservoir in the background. The rock cut was widened in the early sixties for the road to the Mt. Tom Ski Area.

Trolley cars arriving at Lower Station from Mountain Park, as one can see in the peak years of operation in the early 1900s, there were several cars that travelled between Mt. Park and Lower Station to bring passengers to and fro.

By the end of the trolley line in the 1930s, the so-called "One Man Band" operation was installed where one operator would take the Highlands-Mt. Park trolley from downtown to Mt. Park, then he would leave that trolley unattended and board the trolley to Lower Station, he would then leave that trolley unattended to operate either the Elizur Holyoke or the Rowland Thomas to the Summit House atop Mt. Tom.

On his way up the incline railway, he would pass his "opposite" who was on his way to drop off passengers at Mt. Park and to pick up passengers downtown, once atop the summit he would wait for his "opposite to make the return trip (which was around 30 minutes) and to start the cycle all over again.

Here's a picture of Lower Station from the early 1900s, pictured is one of the trolley operators
and (maybe) his gal, (if anyone has any info on the two people pictured, please let me know)
The picture looks as though it was taken early in the morning before the start of another day of the Mt. Tom Railroad transporting people to the Mt. Tom Summit House. If one looks closely one can see either the Elizur Holyoke or the Rowland Thomas cable cars in the car barn. (photo from the Robert Schwobe Collection)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Memories Of The Mt. Tom Ski Area

Here are some more wonderful memories of the Mt. Tom Ski Area.
Pictured are the news tabloids which were actually promo brochures cleverly named Mt. Tom Ski Chatter that the ski area published "occasionally" and show what was happening on the mountain during the 1966 & 1967 seasons.

A special thank you once again to CB for sharing these memories with us.



Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Visit To The Mountain Park Junk Yard

Here are a few pictures and a video link of the Mountain Park Junk Yard which is located in the woods between Route 91 and Route 5 north of Cedar Knob.

Mountain Park used this site up until the late fifties when construction of Route 91 cut this area off from the rest of the park. So the the junked cars and trucks are isolated to rust away.

In addition to the junked autos, there are all kinds of discarded items ranging from bottles to light bulbs to paint cans and machinery.

Between this area and Route 91 was the rail bed for the trolley line service that ran from Mountain Park thru Smith's Ferry onto Northampton. 

The beginning of this rail bed ran from what is now the road that runs by the large boulder east of the blue pavilion and used to cross over the current ski area road near the old ski area kiosk style sign (the one that is now painted brown), the rail bed continued across what is now Route 91 and headed north to Northampton.

The best way to visit the junk yard is to park at the Dinosaur Footprints parking area on Route 5, from there cross to the west side of Route 5 and walk north a few hundred feet till you see the brook on your left (it's behind the guard rail), enter the woods to the right side of the brook and travel west through the woods, the junk yard is a few yards from Route 91. (A special thank you to local historian Robert Schwobe for his input to this post)

To view the video of the Billy Goat's recent visit to the Mt. Park Junk Yard, click on link below: 

The door reads "Mountain Park Holyoke, Mass."
A fuel efficient no cylinder!!!
Is it my imagination? or is this 1953 Chevrolet smiling for the camera!!!
Rust Never Sleeps!!!
Would you know how to get to Route 91 from here???
After 56 years, the paint job on this 1953 Chevrolet is holding up well!!!
Reverse parking is in effect, park by the even trees of the forest!
Spacious interior!!!
Triple A member in good standing!!!
It's amazing!!! There's still some chrome on this car!!!
I don't think that tire will pass inspection!!!
A 1952 Chevrolet No Back!!!
Peering into the past...
No user serviceable parts inside...

Anyone in the mood for restoring a 1940 Chevrolet truck?
On the outside...
Looking in
There's an oddness to this! Nature and the remnants of man co-existing!
Push It, Pull It, Tow It... PLEASE!!!
Assorted junk!!!
Oil Change?... Are you kidding?
No Deposit, No Return