An eastbound NYS&W freight approaches the diamond at Warbasse Junction in March of 1949. The photographer is standing on the DL&W's Sussex branch, looking north with the Warbasse Jct. Road grade crossing to his back. Photo by Robert F. Collins M iss Emma Warbasse of the well-known Warbasse homestead farm near Branchville Junction, tells us that as a little girl she remembers seeing the "John I. Blair" on the woodyard siding at the Junction. Wood for all the Sussex Railroad engines was in those days supplied from the sawmill and woodyard at Branchville Junction. Miss Warbasse, who has managed the homestead farm and its dairy herd in a most able manner, since the death of her father, Samuel Warbasse over 20 years ago, has always taken a keen interest in the railroad. The original Warbasse farm, in the family since 1800, comprised 235 acres, but was reduced by 65 acres when parts of it were sold to the Sussex Railroad for its Branchville line in 1868, and for its Franklin line about the same time. Acreage was also sold to the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad which built through the farm around 1882 on its way to Stroudsburg, Pa. Thus the Warbasse farm was a real railroad center for many decades, and back around the era of the First World War, as many as 30 trains a day would pass through the property. Railroading was then in its heyday, with lots of passengers riding the rails of the Lackawanna system, which absorbed the old Sussex Railroad back in the eighties. Branchville then had about six passenger trains each way daily, with the 3 Franklin line having as many more, while the Susquehanna ran four passenger trains daily each way between New York and Stroudsburg. In addition, there were many freight, ore and limestone trains over the pikes, all passing through the Warbasse farm. The Branchville Junction and Warbasse stations, both located on what was formerly Warbasse farm land, did a thriving business, and for many years there were at Warbasse station a store, post office, coal yard and a creamery. Where the Susquehanna crossed the Lackawanna's Franklin branch, there was a signal tower, employing two men, to control the trains on each line. This also was on the edge of the Warbasse farm. In the big blizzard of 1888, several trains were stalled on this farm for several days and about 24 railroaders, comprising the crews of the snowbound trains, were fed bounteously in the commodious and hospitable Warbasse homestead. There was plenty of fuel at the Branchville junction wood and coal yard, so steam was kept up in the engines until rescue crews arrived to shovel out the stalled trains. The crews did not mind their enforced imprisonment on the Warbasse farm because of the tasty meals they enjoyed. In those days, Miss Warbasse recalls, farm folk did not get to the town stores very often and the farmhouses were well stocked with provisions of all kinds, often enough to last for several weeks. The only food item they ran out of, as Miss (Continued on page 4)

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