lake winni museum logo
Like Us On
Preserving the History & Heritage of Lake Winnipesaukee & Vicinity



Return to Railroads

Return to Main History


The worst freight wreck which ever happened on the White Mountain division of the Boston & Maine railroad occurred just above The Weirs about 12 30 o’clock last Saturday morning. Two men were killed almost instantly and four more of the trainmen were seriously injured, while two locomotives were demolished -and twenty or thirty freight cars and their merchandise piled up into a confused heap on the track.

The accident was said to be caused by conflicting orders issued to the crews. The north-bound train was the regular express freight and the down train was an extra with orders to pass the regular at Lakeport.

The up freight was made up of refrigerator cars loaded with perishables consigned to mountain and through points. it was id charge of Conductor W. E. Marston, and was drawn by locomotive 311, 1). W. Calkins engineer, and L. H. Lockwood. fireman. _The extra south-bound. loaded with what is known as dead freight. was drawn by the compound locomotive No. 460, Engineer E. A. Royce and Fireman A. C. Gile. W. C. Bradbury was the conductor in charge.

The trains came together, with terrific force In-% rock cut just above the pumping station at The Weirs. On one side of the track was a high batik of rocks, while on the lake side was another steep bank dropping down to the water& of Winnipesaukee. Both locomotive* were demolished by the impact, and the care attached to each were piled up in a hopeless tangle, so blocking and tearing up the roadbed that until late Saturday night the line could not be reopened to traffic.

The trains were so close to each other before-the danger was discovered that the crews had little opportunity for self- protection. Engineer Calkins jumped out into the water of the lake, but the others went down with the wreck and were only extradited from the debris by hard work. A I soon as the injured men could be gotten out, however, they were taken to The Weirs, and later were removed to the Cottage Hospital in Laconia.

Fireman, Loren L. Lockwood of Springfield, Vt., and Brakeman Joseph Greenwood of Wells River, Vt., were found dead, probably almost instantly killed. Both of these men resided in Concord, were about 25 years old, and neither of them married. The names of the injured are:George Calkins of Concord, Samuel Wallace of New Hampton, Arthur C. Giles of East Tilton and Edward A. Royce of Concord. Lockwood had several bones broken. Mr. Lockwood was the fireman on train 205, north bound, and he had been employed on the Boston & Maine railroad for about a year and a half. He has a brother, William Lockwood, who is a fireman on the Concord division. When found he was pinned down in front of the firebox of the engine of the up train. Brakeman Greenwood of the southbound train had evidently been riding on the engine, for when he was found lying by the side of the engine and one of the seats was over him.

The bodies of Greenwood and Lockwood were brought to this city and prepared for burial by Undertaker Moore, and then sent to their homes.Engineer Royce who sustained a broken arm was until recently a resident of Laconia, but now makes his home in Concord, where he has a wife and three children. He sustained a broken arm and internal injuries. Samuel Wallace of New Hampton, who was injured internally, is a brother of Miss Eliza Wallace who makes her home with Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Shannon on Church Street. All of the four injured men suffered intensely from their wounds and bruises, but it is expected that all of them will recover. Drs. Saltmarsh, Quinby, Hodgon, Goss and Harriman were summoned to the wreck and took charge of removing the injured men to the Cottage Hospital.

The scene pf the accident was visited by thousands of people on Saturday. The huge locomotives were telescoped together, while the freight cars and their contents were piled ground the spot in almost hopeless confusion. Some of the cars were reduced to kindling wood, and the ground was covered with their contents, including lumber, pulp wood, canned goods, barrels of beer, dressed beef, chickens and vegetables.
Wrecking trains were upon the scene early in the morning, but-the track was not cleared for traffic until late Saturday night, as the narrow cut around the curve where the accident took place made the process of removing wreckage a slow job. The train service was interrupted during the day, but passengers were carried around the wreck in teams and a few trains run in both directions. it to estimated that the financial lose of the accident was aggregate $75,000.

So great was the force of the collision that the locomotives were simply welded together, and then the forward cars, impelled by the momentum, jumped onto and over them in a wild game of leap frog, stripping them of all their top works and transforming them in a twinkling from powerful -machines into heaps of junk. When it was all over a car loaded with potatoes was resting on the back of the northbound engine, and in cleaning up the wreck both were pulled away together.

A gentleman who talked with Engineer Royce after he bad been taken from under the wreckage, and who, by the way, is most seriously injured, said that Mr. Royce told him that the first intimation of danger came to him in the glare from the headlight of the north-bound locomotive on the rails as he rounded the curve, and the next moment the engines were together.

Reports from the Cottage Hospital are to the effect that all four of the injured train men are now comfortable and on the read to recovery. Engineer George Calkins who jumped from his locomotive into the lake was but slightly injured and was discharged from the hospital the first of this week. Engineer Royce and Brakeman Sam. Wallace were both very serioulsy injured, nd it was seceral times reported that Mr. Royce was dead. He is however doing as well as can be expected and the physician predicts his recovery. His wife is with him.

The two engines which were mixed up in the wreck were hauled through here to Concord Sunday afternoon, still locked together by the force of the collision. The smashed freight cars and much of the merchandise wreckage was piled into a heap Sunday afternoon and burned. Considerable of the perishable freight from the wreck was secured by resisdents near the scene of the accident and by parties who came in steamers, row and sailboats.

Home | About Us | Museum | News | History | Bingo | Shop | Membership | Contact | You Can Help!

The Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society is a non-profit organization.