The Train Wreck of 1906
"Wreck at Mazomanie, Two freight trains in head-on collision; No lives lost, engineers and trainmen save themselves by timely jumping."
A headline in the Sauk County News announced a collision between two freight trains on June 1, 1906, just east of the Mazomanie mill. The story continued, "The way freight from Prairie du Chien being train #96 in charge of Conductor T. Kane was coming toward Madison. It was being pulled by engine #830, John Harrington, Engineer, and Adolph Merz, Fireman. The freight from Milwaukee, a fast train known as the 'Cannon Ball,' was going west. It was in charge of Conductor James Luft and Engineer James McShane. The engine was #655 with Fred Bird as Fireman."
"The trains were going along under orders, each with its customary speed and the trainmen on each believing they were on their usual different tracks. A misplaced switch, however, sent them flying toward each other on the same track. Owing to a curve in the line at that place, the dangerous circumstances were not known to the crew of either train until too late to avoid the accident. Both engineers and other trainmen were able to save their
Because the wreck occurred within the village, people quickly took advantage of the railroad's misfortune to use the wrecked cars and engines for a major photographic opportunity.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Man-Made Features • Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical date for this entry is June 1, 1906.
Location. 43° 10.477′ N, 89° 47.498′ W. Marker is in Mazomanie, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is at the intersection of Cramer Street and the railroad grade crossing, on the right when traveling south on Cramer Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 114 Cramer Street, Mazomanie WI 53560, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lynch and Walker Flouring Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); The Turntable, The Engine House, The Water Tower (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Crescent Street Factories, Mazomanie Blacksmiths, Coal Buildings (about 400 feet away); The Railroad in Mazomanie (about 500 feet away); The Mazomanie Depot (about 500 feet away); The Branch Line (about 500 feet away); The Mazomanie Downtown Historic District (about 500 feet away); The Flag on the Bluff (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mazomanie.
Also see . . . Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railway Company Brief History
Credits. This page was last revised on August 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 29, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 387 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 29, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.