RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 13 . . PeachBottom . . Part 6
RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. This is Part 6 of Chapter 13 . . . PeachBottom. A new part will be posted every Thursday. Recent chapters stand alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 13 . . . PEACHBOTTOM . . . Part 6
Dan saw a nice place along East Philadelphia Street was up for sale. It only took one look inside for him to make the decision to buy it.
Dan had always saved a large portion of his earnings, however he still needed a substantial loan to purchase the property. He used Charles Billmeyer as a reference for the loan.
When the bank contacted Charles, it was the first he learned that Dan was thinking about moving out. Later that day, Charles reassured Dan that he was welcome to stay as long as he wanted, since there was plenty of room in the large Billmeyer house.
Dan thanked Charles for everything he had done for him, however thought the time was right to get a place of his own. Charles insisted, “If that is the case, let me personally loan you the money for you to buy your place.”
Charles and Dan reminisced about a framed note from Howard Fleming that hung on the wall of Charles’ study. Charles Billmeyer showed Fleming around the York Car Works the previous year as Howard gathered information for a book he was writing about Narrow Gauge Railways in America.
Dan was putting some final touches to the exterior paint as Charles took Howard through a just completed passenger car. The note described that very car; the “Eureka.” Dan admired the stories that Fleming told at dinner with the family that evening and was looking forward to his book.
Charles took the note off the wall, scribbled a personal message to Dan across the top and told him, “It seems every time you’re in here; you take a look at this note. Here, I want you to have it.”
Dan knew how much Charles took pride in what Howard Fleming wrote:
Dear Mr. Charles Billmeyer,
Thank you for the hospitality showed to me during my visit last week. Here is a sneak peek at an item that will be in my book. This will be one page in my chapter about narrow gauge passenger cars. Messrs. Billmeyer & Smalls built for the Eureka and Palisade Railroad Company in Nevada a car named “Eureka.”
It is a first-class car, which for strength, beauty and comfort is not surpassed by any passenger car manufactured in this country. This car has a length of thirty-five feet in the body and forty-one feet out to out, and is seven feet in width, with a comfortable carrying capacity of thirty-six passengers; it weighs about 17,000 pounds, but could be built lighter without lessening much of its strength by the use of canvass instead of tin roofing, and by reducing the sizes of the irons and timbers used in its construction, though it is deemed by the builders of the “Eureka” far more important to guard against possible contingencies, than to save a few thousand pounds in the weight of the car.
The trucks are built of the best material and are after the most approved plans, securing to them strength and stiffness, and to the car the steadiness and easy motion always so desirable to travelers. The body of the car, which in design is similar to the first-class coaches used on the Pennsylvania Railroad, is a model of strength and beauty, and is evidence of the superior artistic, as well as mechanical skill of its builders.
Its frame work is of the best Southern Yellow Pine, braced and strengthened and put together in such manner as to secure the most perfect protection against accidents and at the same time give symmetry and grace to the appearance of the car when finished.
The finest quality of poplar is used on the outside, while the richest and best varieties of hard wood, such as cherry, walnut and ash, are used with well selected profusion on the inside, and with its cushions of scarlet and green, and its hooks and lamps, and knobs, hinges, etc., of silver mounting give it the appearance of some fairy boudoir rather than a temporary convenience for the traveling public.
The coloring is all very fine, and though not gaudy, it is yet bound to attract and please the dullest lover of the beautiful.
A patent heating stove ornaments, and is at the same time of sufficient capacity to make the car comfortable in the coldest weather.
The Messrs. Billmeyer and Smalls in the “Eureka” have thus added to their reputation of long standing as among the best freight car builders in the United States, the title of first-class narrow gauge passenger coach builders.
Dan instantly knew the exact place of honor location where this letter would hang in his new home.
Go to Chapter 14 Part 1