Railroad - Tuscarora Valley - General

Tuscarora Valley Railroad
Click On Image To Enlarge

This shows the route of the Tuscarora Valley Railroad along with extensions that were never completed. (From George Pierson, Tommy Varnerís Red Rooster: A History of the Tuscarora Valley RR (Mifflintown, PA: JCHS, 1995), p. 19.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/19/09 - Image Year: 1910

View Additional Photos and Comments

In the Fall of 1891 procurement was begun for the right-of-way for a narrow gauge (3 feet) railroad to run between Milford Township (near Port Royal) and East Waterford. Grading commenced in the late summer of 1892 between these two points. (The section of Milford Township will eventually be annexed by and become part of the borough of Port Royal.) The workers reached East Waterford by February 1893. Eventually the line stretched as far south as Blairs Mills in Huntingdon County, giving it a full length of 27 miles.

The three-foot narrow-gauge road was named the Tuscarora Valley Railroad, but local folks usually just referred to it as the "TV". For nearly forty years it transported passengers, commodities and mail up and down the Tuscarora Valley between the terminus points of Port Royal and Blairs Mills.

The TVRR interchanged with PRR in Port Royal, which made the town a hub of commercial activity for the Tuscarora Valley. Several early attempts were made to expand from Blairs Mills and to link up with other nearby three-footers such as the East Broad Top Railroad or the Newport & Shermans Valley Railroad. Nothing ever transpired and Blairs Mills remained the TVRR's other terminus until 1934 when the road was finally abandoned due to the Great Depression and competition from trucks and automobiles.

A very interesting and informative history has been written about the Tuscarora Valley Railroad by Professor George N. Pierson. His book is titled "Tommy Varner's Red Rooster: A History of the Tuscarora Valley Railroad" and was published by the Juniata County Historical Society, Mifflintown, PA in 1995.

Professor Pierson has graciously provided many of the pictures of the "TV" that are found on this web site.

Photos & Additional Comments

Add a Photo/Commnent
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/22/13 - Image Year: 1891
The Port Royal Times of April 16, 1891 carried this article. It mentioned that two routes were being surveyed and that capital stock of $150,000 was approved for the project. (Article submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/2/13 - Image Year: 1920
TVRR ROUTE: This map shows the route of the Tuscarora Valley Railroad from Port Royal to Pleasant View. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/24/09 - Image Year: 1931
1931 TVRR SCHEDULE: This schedule shows that the company was using trucks to supplement their train schedule. The trains would take the morning and late afternoon runs while trucks would cover the middle of the day. A one way train run took about two hours to complete. (From George Pierson, Tommy Varnerís Red Rooster: A History of the Tuscarora Valley RR (Mifflintown, PA: JCHS, 1995), p. 72.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/17/09 - Image Year: 1930
Map of Port Royal c.1930, from George Pierson, Tommy Varnerís Red Rooster: A History of the Tuscarora Valley RR (Mifflintown, PA: JCHS, 1995), p. 20. To the left is the wye track, the Breyers Creamery building, and the cross-platform transfer from the TVRR to the Pennsylvania RR. To the right is the PRR station and freight house, with a siding of the TVRR terminating behind the PRR freight house and the main line curving west parallel to Milford St.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/19/09 - Image Year: 1900
Small Railroads Schedule - The Tuscarora Valley Railroad is highlighted in purple. TEXT: TUSCARORA VALLEY RAILROAD; J. C MOORHEAD, SUPERINTENDENT, PORT ROYAL, PA. Trains leave Blairs Mills 7:25 am & 1:45 pm arriving Port Royal (27 miles) 9:25 am & 3:45 pm. Returning, leave Port Royal 10:20 am & 5:06 pm, arriving Blairs Mills 12:20 noon & 7:05 pm. Daily except Sunday. Connection with Pennsylvania R. R. February, 1900, Eastern time.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/22/13 - Image Year: 1909
TVRR TICKET: of June 1, 1909 with two stations punched: PORT ROYAL and PERULACK. (Submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/23/13 - Image Year: 1909
TVRR TICKET: June 1, 1909 Ticket No. 78 from Book 1347, Single Trip going West from Port Royal to Perulack. (Submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by ray on 1/4/17 - Image Year: 1926
TVRR TICKET: July 3, 1926 from Port Royal to Perulack.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/4/12 - Image Year: 1896
This article was published in the Port Royal Times October 29, 1896 and it describes a ride aboard the TVRR through the Tuscarora Valley. The article was written by a correspondent of the Altoona Morning Tribune who had attended the Airy View Academy. (Submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by ray on 1/28/12 - Image Year: 1906
1906 CHANGE IN SCHEDULE (Submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by ray on 1/28/12 - Image Year: 1912
TVRR FAIR RATES as published in the August 22, 1912 edition of the Port Royal Times.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/17/09 - Image Year: 1895
Thomas S. Moorhead (1853-1906) was the founder, promoter and first President of the Tuscarora Valley RR. Born in Milton, PA, he made a fortune in the phosphate industry. He and others purchased the Ross Farm between Perulack and Waterloo because of its deposits of limestone. Moorhead needed a means to transport the limestone up the valley to the PRR and thus the Tuscarora Valley Railroad was conceived and built. (Photo submitted by Professor George N. Pierson)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/17/11 - Image Year: 1891
A Tuscarora Valley Railroad Stock Certificate issued to T. S. Moorhead. The certificate was signed by T. S. Moorhead as President and W. C. Pomeroy as Treasurer of the corporation. Although the certificate says that each share has a par value of $50, these shares were issued in the amount of $1,000 for 1,000 shares. The certificate was likely issued at the time of the founding of the company in 1891.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/22/13 - Image Year: 1895
BOND CERTIFICATE REPRESENTING $1,000 FACE VALUE. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by ray on 3/22/13 - Image Year: 1917
BOND COUPON: Bonds issued after Hower and Blair purchased the company. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 4/26/12 - Image Year: 1895
TV TAILROAD PASS: The front and back of a TVRR Pass issued in the name of Hertzler and signed by T. S. Moorhead, Pres. (Pass photo contributed by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by melony.graham on 3/24/13 - Image Year: 1894
NEW ENGINE AND TENDER: Likely purchased by TVRR in the Spring of 1894. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/17/09 - Image Year: 1915
HENRY CLAY HOWER was the son of Jacob and Harriet (Arbogast) Hower. He was born 2 Nov 1858 and died 2 Jul 1944. He was married to Sarah J. Cleck. Clay and his brother began in the wholesale lumber business in 1885 and relied heavily on the TVRR to transport lumber up and down the valley. When it seemed that the TVRR was headed for receivership in 1913-14, Clay Hower and J. M. Blair purchased the railroad outright in January 1915. (Photo from D B Hower Jr., submitted by George N. Pierson.)
Contributed by ray on 3/22/13 - Image Year: 1915
J. M. BLAIR: When it seemed that the TVRR was headed for receivership in 1913-14, Clay Hower and J. M. Blair purchased the railroad outright in January 1915.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/17/09 - Image Year: 1920
TUSCARORA VALLEY RAILROAD OFFICE - The Tuscarora Valley RR office in Port Royal on the site now occupied by the Friendship Fire Co. This photo was given to George Pierson by the Dwight B. Hower Jr. of Port Royal. Mr. Hower's father (Dwight B. Hower Sr.) is the young man on the left in this photo and there is a good possibility that the other person is Clay Hower, Dwight Senior's father c. 1920. (Photo submitted by Professor George N. Pierson)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/19/09 - Image Year: 2009
An HO scale model of the Tuscarora Valley RR office building on George Piersonís Tuscarora Valley RR model railroad layout. Photo by George Pierson. (Photo submitted by Professor George N. Pierson.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/28/13 - Image Year: 1897
Port Royal Times announcement of TVRR special train from Port Royal to Schmittle's Park on Thursday, August 19th, 1897. (Submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by ray on 11/17/09 - Image Year: 1909
This postcard was cancelled on board the TVRRís Railway Post Office car on Feb. 5, 1909 on the afternoon northbound run from Blairs Mills to Port Royal, PA. The wording around the top of the postmark reads ďPort Royal & Blairs MillsĒ and names the route being served by this RPO line. Mail was picked up and sorted on the TVRR RPO car from 1901 until 1911. Pouch mail was also hauled in other years but was not sorted or cancelled. (From the George Pierson collection. Submitted by G. Pierson.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 10/20/10 - Image Year: 1913
An envelope dated 24 Dec 1913 from the office of the railroad to an attorney in Mifflintown.
Contributed by helenknkk on 2/13/10 - Image Year: 1902
"T.V. train below tank, Spruce Hill, 1902" (This is how the picture is marked. It was taken by Stewart Milliken, likely near the J. D. Milliken farm where he grew up)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 1/1/11 - Image Year: 1917
This is Tuscarora Valley RR third #3 (the third engine to bear this number on the TVRR). She was completed by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia in June of 1916 (construction #43570) and was one of only two engines built new for the TVRR. She has a 4-4-0 wheel arrangement and 44" tall drivers. This is a classic shot of the TVRR - a mixed train (freight and passengers). The engine lasted until the end of the railroad in 1934, when it was likely sold as scrap.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/2/13 - Image Year: 1935
ABANDONED PASSENGER CAR: Has seen better days. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by donholton on 2/26/10 - Image Year: 1918
The TVRR roars south through the farm of E. Ross (1887-1973) and Elizabeth (Ritzman) Weimer (1892-1978) in Turbett Twp. In the foreground are (most likely) Mary Jane Weimer Holton (1913-1987) and her younger sister, Martha E. Weimer Lindenberger (1916-2010). See next two photos for other day views.
Contributed by donholton on 2/26/10 - Image Year: 2005
The TVRR bed through the farm that formerly belonged to E. Ross and Elizabeth (Ritzman) Weimer in Turbett Twp. The farm is now owned by someone else. Ross and Elizabeth are both deceased.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/24/13 - Image Year: 1900
TVRR CREW at Work Shed (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/24/13 - Image Year: 1920
WORK CREW: Cleaning up after a wreck. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 2/28/13 - Image Year: 1929
TVRR TRACKS ALONG MILFORD STREET This 1929 aerial view of Milford Street shows the Tuscarora Valley RR tracks running along the north side of the street until they branch northward at Fourth Street. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)



Website design by
JLConsulting Web Services