Running through the woods......in what is now Elizabethtown, PA the train carrying the remains of our 16th President slowly makes its way from Harrisburg to Philadelphia in the April of 1865.
The re-enactment of the Lincoln Funeral Train at Stone Gables Estate took place on original ROW traveled by the original train, at the exact time of day, 154 years later. When David Abel and his wife Tierney acquired this property, in sleepy Elizabethtown, PA they became aware of an old railroad grade running through the property. A little historical research told them what railroad it was and they learned that back in 1865, the funeral train carrying Abraham Lincoln actually passed through their property. I'm told that Mrs. Abel actually suggested the the idea that an 1860s-era railroad be recreated on the property, to join the numerous other historic structures that she and her husband were acquiring and preserving. The Abels had become aware of David Kloke's work, including his replica of the private car "United States" and they traveled to Chicago to meet with him and discuss their ideas. As it turns out, after touring the country with his railroad equipment, Mr. Kloke was looking for a permanent home for it....and his future plans gelled perfectly with the Abel's ideas. The Abels acquired the locomotive "Leviathan" and the "United States". They also laid plans to have Mr. Kloke construct some additional passenger equipment, and what you see in this photo is that work in progress. Not 5 weeks before this re-enactment, there was no railroad here. Bring in a professional track crew and presto: 6/10ths of a mile of brand new track, just in time for the big event. As time goes on, more track will be built. The ultimate plan is for a roughly 3-mile railroad, complete with water tank, turntable and engine shed. Given how quickly things have progressed so far, all indications are that this will happen sooner, rather than later. When the folks at Stone Gables Estate decide on a plan, it gets done and based on what I've seen there....done right.