Branching Off to the Bushkill

by Mark Wismer

After C.K. William Fuel was a silk mill, then the bridge crossing the creek. Easton Iron & Metal was next, followed by Renike Rope Works. Past Hummel Lumber was a powerhouse for Lafayette College that received coal, where there is now a large electrical substation there sending power up the cliff to the college.

The line continued through Union Fuel, behind Collins & Maxwell to the former C K Williams plant at 500 Bushkill. The City bought the closed site, and it is now their garages, etc. I remember the old buildings, which the city started replacing in the early 70’s. The building that housed the highway dept. (where my father worked) was originally the shipping department and the branch ended at the end of the dock at a bumper. This building was the center of the complex so the line curved, parallel to the creek. There was a dam at the rear of the complex that used to feed a mill race supplying water power to the complex.

My father explained that the Bushkill Branch had team tracks near the station. There’s a shot of the station at Bushkill Street in Greenburg’s & Fischer’s “The Lehigh Valley Railroad East of Mauch Chunk” on page 54. My father also mentioned that box cars loaded with “Transogram toys” and appliances for Staley TV were spotted here with other cars. He also mentioned there were two other coal trestles here with one “located across from the old lumber yard.” Was the lumber yard Hummel Lumber?  J.E added: Mark was a friend of mine and we grew up less than a block from each other. I believe his reference to Transogram Toys was misinterpreted. Transogram was not on the E&N but was directly rail served on the Southside Industrial Branch. They probably received raw materials and definitely shipped out finished product in boxcars. Likewise, his reference to Stahley TV & Appliance probably refers to boxcars being unloaded on the team tracks in LV’s Easton yard, not on the E&N, since Stahley was located only about two blocks from the Easton station and yard.