My friend, Ron
Rice, invited me on a guided tour of the canal and railroad inside Waterloo
Village, NJ. The guide was Joe Macasek, an expert not to be missed,
said Ron. Of course I jumped on it and went along. I also met up with
Ron's friend, Bob Bodenstien.
Joe gave a good
tour. He told about the history of Waterloo Village and how the Sussex
Mine Railroad entered the village from the north and ran between the
Methodist Church and the adjacent house to an ore dock trestle work.
After we crossed
the rickety bridge to the incline plane, Joe asked me if I had ever
seen the 'frog' in the woods. I answered 'no' and asked about it. He
said there was what he called a frog from a railroad switch track in
the woods near where the ore dock used to be.
We all went in
and found it a few feet from the path under some leaves. Ron diligently
removed the leaves so I could photograph it and get a few measurements
before we moved on. Ron also scurried down the embankment and found
a length of rail.
The tour then went
up the incline plane to the Sussex Railroad Bridge abutments (1,
I recently read that the railroad engines used to scare the horses going
up the incline plane and that a guard rail had to be installed along
the tote road here to keep them from falling onto the plane.
After the tour,
we (Ron, Bob and I) ate our lunch and made our way back into the village.
We scrambled over the embankment bordering route 80 to try and discern
the railbed there. The mound of dirt one sees is too broad to be the
Sussex railroad, but on the southern edge I found cinders and a few
ties. We think that for whatever reason, this area was used as a fill
dump when they constructed the highway. The property map I have shows
the Route 80 right of way cuts in towards Waterloo Village here like
We walked the railbed
from the incline plane to the abutments
of the missing bridge over the Muscanetcong. On the way back, we located
(barely) the ice house siding and followed it to the remains of the
Mountain Ice Company's ice houses.
What we found is
reminiscent of Stonehenge. The woods opened up to the remains of a two
made of ceramic pipe, cinderblock and concrete. (additional pictures
we found many concrete foundations. These ice houses must have been
Before our day
ran out we adjourned to the other side of Rt. 80 to explore the Waterloo
station site. Ron noticed a 'foundation' in line with what I termed
the holding track, adjacent to the turntable pit. I think this may be
an ash pit for the locomotives. (However, I neglected to take a picture.
Wait till fall.)
We walked down
the Old Main westbound ROW to the stone embankment and the station foundations
beyond. There are 2 holes here and I wonder if they weren't his/her
We climbed up to
the remains of the eastbound platform, it's concrete and the only remnants
of the steps leading up to it are a few stones arranged like steps at
the very bottom. While I'm sure it's VERY unlikely, I wish I could have
archeologists look at this site. Who knows what they might find? Maybe
Joe Quackenbush's wrench!
Here's the Lowenthal
map that Ron
drew on during our exploration.