Snyder Township in Blair County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Walter L. Maine Circus Train Wreck
— Tuesday, May 30, 1893 —
On this ground occured one of the greatest circus train wrecks in the history of the world.
At about 4:30 a.m., the Walter L. Main Great Circus Train ran out of control as it descended the Tyrone Mountain, shot out over the curve and wrecked at McCann's Crossing. All but the sleeping cars left the track.
Most of the crew in the derailed cars were killed. A field hospital was set up where the school now stands to care for the injured. Local residents joined in the hunt for the wild animals, all of which escaped into the countryside and mountains. A Bengal tiger, later shot, bounded over the fence at a nearby farm where Hannah Friday was milking a cow. Hannah escaped, but the tiger killed the cow. Seventy-two horses were either killed or injured in the wreck. All the animals that were not shot were finally accounted for. The snakes were never recovered.
A memorial was held at the site of the wreck. Then everyone came to Tryone where wonderful people with open arms offered their homes to the heart-broken ones of the circus. Every evening throughout the summer, in appreciation, the circus bands played concerts.
Many thanks to Kenneth Walk who donated the ground for this monument.
Erected by Oscar Dayton, Historian; Russel Snyder, Historian; Jan Dayton Handley, Narrator; Peggy Hurd, Consultant; Edgar Keys, Consultant; Snyder Township Supervisors: Eugene C. Grazier, Chairman; Clay I. Treaster, Supervisor; Thomas R. Diehl, Supervisor; Robert J. Charles, Sec'y-Treas.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals • Disasters • Railroads & Streetcars • Women.
Location. 40° 42.986′ N, 78° 12.306′ W. Marker is in Snyder Township, Pennsylvania, in Blair County. Marker is on Vanscoyoc Hollow Road 0.3 miles north of South Eagle Valley Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 108 Baughman Hollow Road, Tyrone PA 16686, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Armed Forces Memorial (approx. 3.3 miles away); War on Terror (approx. 3.3 miles away); Vietnam (approx. 3.3 miles away); Korean War (approx. 3.3 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 3.3 miles away); Civil War (approx. 3.3 miles away); Tyrone Division of the Pennsylvania System World War I Memorial (approx. 3.3 miles away); World War I Memorial (approx. 3.3 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on December 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 145 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.