Altoona in Blair County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Posy Gang
"The Pennsy wanted to make the track areas and stations look good. They gave out prizes to different sections for beauty and upkeep."
- Lou Johnston, Posy Gang member
A Hint of Nature in a Mechanical World
Among the hundreds of jobs on the Pennsylvania Railroad was a gardner foreman, whose duty was to cultivate flower beds on railroad property. The crew that did the spade work was called the Posy Gang. Mostly they planted around stations and switch towers to spruce them up for the public - like the Princeton, New Jersey station and its 1,000 pink and white rose bushes that bloomed every summer. But you could also find gardens at Horseshoe Curve and sprinkled throughout the Juniate Shops complex.
Flowers Can't Grow on Cinders
Lou Johnston, who worked on the gang when he was 16, remembers, "There would be a foot of cinders in places and we would scatter this manure. Then we would plant thousands of flowers."
Posy gangs ended with the arrival of the Great Depression, as the PRR trimmed half of its work force.
Erected by Railroaders Memorial Museum
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Environment • Horticulture & Forestry • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) series list.
Location. 40° 30.818′ N, 78° 23.967′ W. Marker is in Altoona, Pennsylvania, in Blair County. Marker is on the grounds of the Railroaders Memorial Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1300 9th Avenue, Altoona PA 16602, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Master Mechanic (a few steps from this marker); PRR Class X29L Steel Boxcar No. 2136 (a few steps from this marker); PRR Class N5 Cabin Car (or Caboose) No. 477577 (a few steps from this marker); PRR Class D78F Dining Car No. 4468 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Altoona Works (within shouting distance of this marker); Pennsylvania Railroad Shops (within shouting distance of this marker); Track Cars (within shouting distance of this marker); The Juniata Shops (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Altoona.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 20, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 579 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 20, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.