On a photo charter in February 2016, Christopher Brang assesses the situation while working on a stuck brake that has halted progress down the hill.
One of my goals for the year is to photograph the people involved in the operations of these historic machines more than I have in the past rather than simply focusing on the trains. Fortunately I have a couple opportunities to practice this year.
Tomorrow (unless postponed by weather) is the 2017 edition of the Antietam Memorial Illumination. I won’t be attending this year as I have other commitments, but I highly recommend anyone in the area making the trip to Sharpsburg to drive through the Battlefield. The army of volunteers places one luminary on the battlefield for each casualty. Antietam remains our bloodiest day in war with 23,110 casualties, a number that isn’t fully understood until you see it represented in candles.
Here’s one from the Archives. The Horse Pull at the Great Frederick Fair is a tradition the first Friday of the fair. While it is no longer held at the Grandstand, it is still a fun event. It is incredible seeing the excitement of the horses as they approach the sled. These workhorse breeds are impressive equine athletes.
The Klotz Throwing Company located in Western Maryland may be the last silk mill in America. The mill once employed 300 people, taking raw silk from Japan and spinning it into thread which was shipped to New England to become textiles. The mill closed in 1957 and has remained largely untouched since – one of those places where time truly stands still.
Herb Crawford purchased the mill in 1978 and continues to care for the factory to this day. Unfortunately the roof is badly deteriorated so it may be a loosing battle. Hopefully the mill will last long enough to be saved.
As I said in last Friday’s post, the Klotz Throwing Company has developed a wonderful patina and is full of wonderful photography opportunities. I enjoyed every minute spent at the mill and am looking forward to another trip this fall. Thanks again to Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America for arranging the tour and to Mr. Crawford for allowing us to visit.
Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to attend a photography workshop at the Klotz Throwing Mill, an abandoned silk mill in Maryland. Closed since 1957, the mill has developed a wonderful patina and is full of photography opportunities.
When Feld Entertainment announced they were closing the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, I hoped I would have a chance to see the RBBBX Circus Train that was used to move the performers and equipment from city to city. There were two such trains, the Red Unit and the Blue Unit, one for each of the two traveling shows. Both trains were a mile long, making them the largest passenger trains on the rails.
With the Blue Unit running 3 hours ahead of schedule May 8th on its way from Charleston WV to Long Island NY, there was little chance I would be able to catch it after work and in the daylight the next day. Mechanical issues caused an 8 hour delay in Roanoke VA, which allowed me to catch the train between Shepherdstown WV and Sharpsburg, MD. Sometimes you just get lucky, this was one of those times.
One from the archives, this time from a Lerro Productions Photo Charter at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad in October of 2013. Shot just after sunset, this scene featured a perfectly restored Mercury pickup truck, Western Maryland 734 and Mr. Helmstetter’s Barn.
The B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland is often referred to as the Cathedral of Steam, a name it lives up to and then some.
For those not familiar with the museum, it houses the finest collection of early locomotives and rolling stock in the nation. A roof collapse on Feburary 16, 2003 almost destroyed the collection. Fortunately everything damaged has been restored and returned to display.