(Excerpted and condensed from articles appearing in the Warren Mail, "Local Matters" section from November 5, 1870 through October 21, 1871)

            The arrival of the Dunkirk, Warren, and Pittsburgh Railroad was a matter of great excitement to the citizens of Warren County.  The excerpts which follow are the unfolding story of a new railroad coming to town.  Imagine the excitement as boys and girls rushed to see the line being laid, and the "fight" the railroad representatives and the local citizens had concerning where to put the tracks.

November 5, 1870
Everyone notes the rapid progress being made on the D.W. & P.R.R. and the line will soon reach the limits of the Borough. When will the announcement be made as to the route it will take through the village? Popular feeling is divided on the subject as to where it ought to go.  Some prefer the High Street Route (now Fourth Avenue) and others, the route around the base of the hill.

June 3, 1871
In this state of the case, it hardly seems possible that our citizens will sit still and let the road go the whole length of one of the best streets in the town (Fourth Avenue), when it can so easily be avoided. Of course, it might scatter the cows, which nightly and daily congregate in that pleasant highway. But this won't pay for the danger to several hundred school children and other pedestrians, who have to cross the tracks several times a day. Really, we don't see how we can afford to make High Street a rattling, whistling, smoking, bell ringing, dangerous railroad track.

July 23, 1871
            The editors of the “Warren Mail" went up to see the progress of the railroad. They reported that the locomotive #1 and the two passenger coaches were made in Willmington, Delaware and "look fine." They were impressed with the railroad and stations but felt compelled to add, "In less than 30 days these trains will be disturbing the composure of 7 o'clock slumberers on High Street in Warren."

August 12, 1871
            Next week, the cars will probably run to Warren and we can say good-bye to the Old Jamestown Stage...Wednesday night the track layers were at Judge Hiller's Farm near the Narrows. By Saturday, it will be at the Borough line. The workers live in cars, which move up behind as fast as the rails are laid.  At the Narrows, the track winds next to the Conewango Creek and is lower than the wagon road. A high board fence has been erected between them. This has already been plastered with bills of Hazeltine, Orr & Co., and other advertisers.  It will be first rate for a circus.

August 19, 1871
There has been nothing but railroad talk in Warren all week long and elsewhere in the county too. Last Saturday, the track reached the Borough line. On Monday, they began on East Street and turned round the corner into High Street and connected with the P. & E. on Wednesday. On Wednesday morning, a construction train with 24 cars, some of them heavily laden with iron, swung the corner down High Street for the first time. At first, the line down High Street was run close to the sidewalk on the south side. The residents did not like that at all, and an injunction was granted by Judge Wetmore to prevent the one sided business.
Finally, it was decided to take the railroad down the middle of the street.  The railroad intends to make a good gravel road on each side of the tracks for the public.  Of course, all this made considerable talk and stirred up some ill feeling, but all was settled legally and without too much difficulty.  We had NO railroad fight in Warren as has been reported elsewhere.  This spoils a first rate item for us--but we have our laugh at our neighbors who heard the ever growing erroneous reports--and came in to "see the fight."
Crowds of people went again and again to look at the 100 or more men digging, shoveling gravel, hauling ties, carrying rails and spiking them down, and doing everything necessary to make a first class railroad.  Joe Waikerman, the engineer, was quite a hero with the boys, whom he allowed to ride on his big locomotive.

October 21, 1871
The oil trains are running lively on the D.W. & P.R.R.  To see one with thirty or forty cars go round the curve from High Street and wheeling up the valley is something new and looks like business.


Courtesy of the Warren County Historical Society