RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 18 . . David . . 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 18 . . . David. 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 18 . . . DAVID . . . Part 6
John Small and George Billmeyer knew that excursions on the newly opened narrow gauge railroad between York and Baltimore were going to be very popular; the spectacular scenery along the route was picturesque, not to mention the many attractions of Baltimore. They decided to build an elaborate private narrow gauge passenger car, to award exemplary Billmeyer & Small employees and their families with excursions over this route.
The passenger car was built with features and paint schemes that were the favorites of David E. Small; after all, the name painted on the side of the car was “David E. Small.” Initially, the car was a demonstrator for customers, however with the start of the excursion season in June, it was used by Billmeyer & Small employees most days of the week.
Dan was one of the selected employees during the third week of these excursions. He asked his girlfriend, Becky, to accompany him. There was plenty of room for the 17-passengers, this day, on the “David E. Small” private car; two single employees with their dates, and three married employees with their families.
The private car was attached to the end of the public excursion train for the round trip of 160-miles. The train left York at 6:30 a.m., stopped at Delta at 9:00 a.m. and arrived at Baltimore at 11:30 a.m. Billmeyer & Small arranged for breakfast items to be brought on board at Delta.
Becky was another girl that Emma Billmeyer introduced to Dan following his final breakup with Lisa. Dan found Becky a breath of fresh air. Emma insisted that they were meant for each other. Dan was beginning to believe Emma was right.
Dan took Becky to a fancy restaurant in Baltimore; then they went window-shopping prior to boarding the return train at 4:00 p.m. The 6:30 p.m. stop at Delta was met with a light-supper, again supplied by Billmeyer & Small. The excursion ended with the train pulling into York at 9:00 p.m.
These excursions were not without their early troubles. The timing of the handoff in Delta between the Maryland Central Railroad and the York & Peach Bottom Railway did not always go as planned. The York & Peach Bottom Railway would usually wait if the Maryland Central Railroad arrived late at Delta, however that was often not the case, the other way around; in which case the excursion’s feature became a 9-1/2 hour layover in Delta.
Another popular public excursion, from York, sprung up later in the summer. A grand pavilion, with refreshments of all kinds, had been build next to the Rocks of Deer Creek in northern Maryland; about 8-miles south of Delta. The Maryland Central Railroad billed the sight as grand and romantic, where an outcropping of rocks towered many hundred feet above the level of the surrounding country.
There were nicely kept trails along Deer Creek, through the woods and around The Rocks. Benches lined both sides of the creek banks to sit, talk and people watch. That became an often-repeated excursion for Dan and Becky during the summer and fall of 1884.
Go to Chapter 19, Part 1