I Need Help Finding A Book! (Or Two)

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Cannonball, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I know there is probably going to be a slim to none chance that anyone will have what I'm looking for but I figured this would be the place to ask.

    I'm looking for a book written by a man named Robert C. Brown who had worked for the CB&Q Railroad. He wrote several books about the CB&Q including one called, "The Burlington's Peavine Branch." This is the abandoned railroad close to my grandparent's place up in Iowa that I have been researching off and on. And possibly also his book called, "The Burlington's Iowa Branch Lines"

    The problem is that all his books were self published. And by self published, I mean he typeset them, printed them, bound them and shipped them himself. He is now deceased so naturally his books are out of print.

    The State Historical Society of Iowa has a few of his books. Unfortunately, they do not have either one of these two.

    I really want to find these books to learn more of the history on this abandoned line so close to home. I've been looking and looking for any info I can find but very little has made it online and I don't get home enough to talk to people about it. Maps are non-existant apparently.

    What I do know:
    It was originally called the Ft. Madison & Northwestern.
    It wa a narrow gauge line that ran from Ft. Madison, IA to Ottumwa, IA
    It was bought out by CB&Q and converted to standard gauge.
    It's nickname was the Peavine Line. (Although I've learned there were several Peavine Lines across the US about this same period.)
    The last parts of the line were abandoned sometime around 1956-57

    If anyone can give me any help at all finding either one of these two books or even both, I would greatly appreciate it!
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I'm not sure if you have something similar there, but if I go to my local library looking for a particular book, if the book is not available from my branch (they don't have any copies of it locally), they do a computer search of all libraries in the province. (I believe that this is a feature at all provincial libraries: they just type in the pertinent info, and hit the appropriate button.) If a copy is available somewhere within the province, they arrange to have it sent to the local branch, and notify me when it shows up. The fact that you're now out-of-state may make this more difficult, as most copies of that book would most likely be in Iowa.

  3. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I may contact a few of the libraries around that area anyway. The Burlington Route Historical Society has referenced a few of his books on their website and listed the libraries where they came from. I may get ahold of those listed and see if they have copies of any of his other books.
  4. GN.2-6-8-0

    GN.2-6-8-0 Member

    Also be sure to check with local and state University library's as they carry many historical volumes in their stacks.
  5. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

  6. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

  7. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    Your point? :)
  8. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    This is the website I originally found the book.
    However when you go to THIS PAGE it tells you that he passed in 2003 and his books are no longer available.
  9. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    You know I'm just kidding.
    I wouldn't have found the link by myself.
  10. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    If there is a railroad society or museum in your state, they often have access to books like those.

    The Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden maintains a research library on its grounds, with research librarians on duty to assist.

    Beyond that, the NMRA has a very close relationship with the Kalmbach Historical Library, and I wouldn't be surprised if they had a copy of these.
  11. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    His point is that the original poster wasn't interested in doing the work for himself so there is a business opportunity there.
  12. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Sorry but in this case the original poster (myself) did do the work himself before coming here. If it had been that simple I wouldn't have asked.

    Next contestant please.
  13. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    One of the best benefits of our forum (in any of its incarnations) is the way members help each other in finding and sharing information. Sometimes our own searches provide information, sometimes other members have a better idea of how to search or have links or experience they are familiar with. I suggest that if anyone isn't interested in providing information for another member they simply let it be because there are many other members who will likley be willing to take on the project. As for being paid to find info...the job is called Research Librarian and my wife does it well after earning her Masters Degree in Information and Library Science. :)
  14. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I will suggest contacting Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette magazine. They have several very knowledgable authors who write articles for them. There is also a magizine called Short and Narrow Rails that is based in the midwest. Good Luck.
  15. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Thanks Jim.
    I'll check those out.
  16. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    sorry check the next one
  17. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    Ok after some legwork it appears that these were not produced in any great numbers. People like you that were interested in a local railroad purchased most of these at train shows. There may be a rare case of a LHS that might have a few of these in stock but that would be the exception.

    The good news is that the site gives you just about the only real source to at least view these books. While I’m not sure because they could not give me a definite answer they may be able to photocopy them for a charge.

    There are some other locations that do have copies such as libraries and historical societies but that list is a little harder to put together.

    [FONT=&quot]There are several other web sites that do give some brief information along with maps that include their Iowa lines. Sorry I though I book marked it so you will have to look for it. There was also a pamphlet out called the Burlington Bulletins. I’m not sure if these will interest you but here is the link. [/FONT]Burlington Bulletins

    [FONT=&quot]In addition the University of Iowa has some good things both on the web and in their library. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]As luck would have it I found the map. Just click on the map to enlarge it.[/FONT]

    Iowa Pathways » Artifacts

    [FONT=&quot]Now there was a smile after my first post. That meant I was trying to be funny.[/FONT]
  18. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    On March 1, 1882 the first train arrived in Birmingham on the newly completed Ft. Madison & Northwestern Railroad line, which was a narrow-gauge rail that at one time extended from Ft. Madison to Ottumwa. This small line was purchased by the Chicaco, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. By the time it changed to standard track in 1891, the route had become known as the "Peavine."
    Several stations immediately popped up along the Peavine. The village of Zanesville came into being about 3 miles southwest of the present village of Stockport. From 1882 to 1901, a post office was established there under the official name McVeigh, so soon the settlement adopted that name. A general store and lumber yard operated until about 1900 in McVeigh.
    Likewise, a small cluster of houses existed around a depot at Longview, located 2.5 miles northwest of Stockport. Meanwhile, Stockport was only a tiny, cross-roads settlement in 1881, and didn’t yet exist as a town.
    The State of Iowa is said to have offered a $500.00 cash bonus should the railroad reach the settlement (that became Stockport) by January 1, 1882. When it appeared that railroad workers would be unable to meet the deadline, neighborhood men turned out to lay ties and rails so that this sum of cash could be collected. The cross-roads community of Stockport did not yet have a depot, therefore it did not grow.
    At this same location, proprietors laid out the grid of a town in 1887, opened a school in 1889, and erected a hotel. After Longview Station was moved to Stockport in 1890, Longview disappeared as Stockport thrived. Stockport finally incorporated as a town in 1902. Following this act, the rival village of McVeigh also declined and vanished.
    Stockport’s growth centered around a tile factory that operated from 1900 to 1920. The industry manufactured drainage tile, hollow brick and building brick, as the population of Stockport steadily climbed to more than 400 by the 1920s.
    Tracks to Libertyville and Batavia were abandoned during the 1940s, and in 1955 the line stopped going into Birmingham. However, the Peavine continued to serve Stockport on a daily basis until the late 1970s. Soon after the Burlington Northern Railroad purchased the CB&Q, any rail lines that were deemed unprofitable or that competed with mainline operations were quickly taken out of service. Around 1978, several efforts were made in vain to keep this tiny rail spur from being completely abandoned, but the cost of continued operation could not be justified. As an engine rumbled into Stockport for a final visit early in 1980, this run on the little Peavine ended a chapter of history that had brought the Stockport area almost a full century of service.
    Of the three villages that the Peavine built in close proximity, only Stockport survived. Now that it has outlasted the railroad, the present population is holding steady at about 250, while the old depot has been restored as a "Peavine Railroad Museum."
  19. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    The great Peavine train wreck.

    Attached Files:

  20. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    hhhmmmm....... Those Burlington Bulletins might be interesting reading even if they don't have the stuff I'm looking for in particular. Thanks for that link.

    I've found a couple of maps since I posted this but hadn't seen that one yet.
    Looks like there were lines coming out of both Ft Madison and Keokuk that merged together. That a new one as well.

    You had a smiley after yours. I was getting the impression a few people were assuming that I wasn't doing any of the legwork on this however. that's what got me upset more than your post.

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