Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site in Cambria County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
On this hillside archeologists have found evidence of stonecutting that was almost certainly related to the building of the Allegheny Portage Railroad. There is no formal quarry pit, but broken stone is abundant, and many sandstone outcrops reveal drill marks where blocks were removed.
Stone was a workable and durable building material for the railroad's culverts, bridges, viaducts, and engine house foundations, and for the stone sleepers on which track was laid. When quarries were nearby like this one, stone was relatively inexpensive.
The stone cutters and masons - most of them Irish immigrants - worked as much as 10-12 hours a day for about 50 cents. The precision and permanence of their work may be seen in the Skew Arch Bridge, the Lemon House, and other railroad-related structures in this area.
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Drill marks are visible on the stone outcrop at your feet, and at many other places on this hillside. The stonecuter drilled a series of holes with a hand-held star drill to insure the break would be straight.
On level sections of the railroad, rails were fastened to stone blocks called sleepers. Sleepers are still visible today along level sections of the railroad trace.
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is along the trail leading from the Visitor Center to Engine House No. 6. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 Federal Park Road, Gallitzin PA 16641, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Summit Level Historic Area (within shouting distance of this marker); Skew Arch Bridge Trail (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Engine House No. 6 (about 300 feet away); Inclined Plane No. 6 (about 400 feet away); Allegheny Portage Railroad (about 400 feet away); Stephen Tyng Mather (about 600 feet away); Levels (about 600 feet away); The Lemon House (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site.
Also see . . .
1. Allegheny Portage National Historic Site. (Submitted on March 20, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Developing Transportation Technology Lesson Plan. (Submitted on March 20, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Man-Made Features • Railroads & Streetcars • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 20, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 429 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 20, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 7, 8. submitted on March 22, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.