Re: Feed Mills

Earl Tuson

Don Valentine asked about:

I'm not just certain of when the changeover from box
cars to covered hoppers occurred for this inbound grain, however, and
wonder if someone can shed some light on that issue.
Regarding such things in New England, I would encourage you to take up a dialog with Dwight Smith regarding this.

�� The other issue here is grain arriving in Canadian cars. It occurs
to me that they could not be reloaded for delivery of the processed
product, i.e. grain in 100 lb. bags, to the final destination. Is
this correct?
Dwight had the foresight to, among other things, save the last two months of interchange records for the Suncook Valley Railroad prior to its abandonment in December of 1952. Included in that traffic was a fair amount of inbound feed (primarily for the extensive poultry operations in the valley.) The primary sources included H.K.Webster (which Don already mentioned; they sold Blue Seal feeds) as well as Merrimack Farmers Exchange (Bow Junction, NH,) St. Albans Grain Company (which offered the Wirthmore brand milled in the namesake town in VT,) and Eastern States Farmers Exchange (Buffalo, NY.) (A fair amount of artifacts from these companies have now been saved from the corners of my barns and my attic. Like Bill Welch with his produce labels, I am accumulating feed bags and such, some of which actually traveled on the SunVal.) Below is a list of the cars orginated from these four locations:

Date Car No. Contents From Shipper
12/8 SAL 4232 Feed Black Rock, NY ESFX
11/24 MP 32665 Feed Buffalo, NY ESFX
11/11 PRR 90785 Feed Buffalo, NY ESFX
11/8 ACL 24113 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/19 BM 71399 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/26 BS 6589 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/13 CN 484497 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/12 CN 526501 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/7 CP 225388 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/26 CP 227746 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/20 DLW 52068 Grain Concord, NH MFX
12/10 DM 3090 Grain Concord, NH MFX
12/4 NKP 16499 Grain Concord, NH MFX
12/3 NYC 135931 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/5 PRR 571427 Grain Concord, NH MFX
12/11 SOU 12499 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/15 CN 480668 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/15 CN 485909 Grain Richford, VT HKW
12/15 CP 222756 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/12 CP 222966 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/26 CP 240268 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/5 CP 256493 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/19 CP 258141 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/8 CP 258690 Grain Richford, VT HKW
12/4 CP 260307 Grain Richford, VT HKW
12/10 FWD 7554 Grain Richford, VT HKW
12/6 GBW 832 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/22 IC 31414 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/1 MP 31486 Grain Richford, VT HKW
12/12 PRR 603949 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/28 SAL 25128 Grain Richford, VT HKW
12/3 SP 103549 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/26 CN 474696 Grain St. Albans, VT Wirth
11/19 CP 257626 Grain St. Albans, VT Wirth
11/12 NKP 27343 Grain St. Albans, VT Wirth
11/5 UP 100291 Grain St. Albans, VT Wirth

This list includes 36 shipments from the four mills. While none of the ESFX feed was shipped in Canadian cars, much of that grain may have been of US origin anyhow. Of the 13 MFX carloads, 4 were shipped from Bow onto the SunVal in Canadian road cars. The location of the MFX facility placed it well to conceivably receive traffic from any of the main western interchanges (CP, CV, D&H, NH, or NYC.) HKW shipped 16 carloads onto the shortline, and with its proximity to the international border, it comes as little surprise that 9 of those cars were Canadian. Wirthmore feeds came in 2 each of American road and Canadian road cars; I can only speculate here, but I belive they could have come directly from Canada or via the Rutland.

All in all, I think this argues that Canadian cars were regulary reloaded at the three northern New England mills. From my understanding from Dwight, that was in fact part of the point with milling-in-transit- it was not quite considered a stop in the cars journey to the final consignee.

Lastly, it would leave something out if I failed to mention 6 other inbound grain carloadings:

12/6 B&O 285471 Grain Coshocton, OH unk
11/26 C&O 291153 Corn Chicago, IL unk
11/4 CNW 85882 Corn Newville, PA unk
12/10 CP 183800 Oats Goderich, ON unk
11/25 CP 250119 Grain Peterboro, ON unk
12/8 CP 260881 Bran Peterboro, ON unk

Note the correspondence between country of origin and car ownership.

These cars were all destined for Fowler Brothers grain mill, a small local affair located right behind the Suncook depot. A longtime customer of the road, Fowler Bros occasionally received blended feeds from some of the other feed mills, but more often purchased grain directly. They also shipped to destinations elsewhere on the SV.

I hope that helps,
Earl Tuson

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