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East Niagara Post: The “Strap” – Lockport's Forgotten Rail Road

In the early 1800 s, the fledgling United States had just survived another War with Britain, and had finally asserted itself on the globe as the land of the free, and the home of the brave. Britain had finally lost their colonies here in America, but they continued to be a world power through the use of sheer ingenuity. The Industrial Revolution was in full swing in Europe as the Erie Canal was completed in Lockport, in 1825.

The use of steam locomotives on rails was already being used throughout the United Kingdom as early as 1804, with Richard Trevithick s Puffing Devil providing the power. However, the first railroad in America would not be built until 1826. In Quincy, Massachusetts, rails and a single rail car were built as a means to transport granite for the erection of the Bunker Hill Monument, but this was simply a one-horse operation and the vision of creating a nationwide system was still many years off. In Lockport, there was much animosity brewing between Lyman Spalding and his mill operations, and the people who had property interests in Lockport s Lowertown. Some of those property owners were very active, politically, in NY State, and it was their political maneuvering that convinced the Erie Canal Commissioners to order that the Mill Race be closed, and all waters were to be channeled through the locks. Spalding was using those surplus waters without having the rights to do so, but in his defense, his was the only property able to utilize it at that time. This tactical shut down essentially closed all of the mill activities in the area known as Uppertown, and by so doing, essentially destroyed many of the investments that had already been made there. Hostilities grew amongst the people of Lockport, putting a divide amongst the villagers, all in a struggle to gain possession of the traffic that was so desperately needed for business. To historians, this was referred to as The Water Controversy of 1829.

In 1830, an American by the name of Peter Cooper, introduced Tom Thumb, the first steam locomotive built in the United States. In 1831, a few businessmen from Lockport petitioned the State to develop a rail road from Lockport to Kempville (present day Olcott), but were denied. Just two years later, the talk of railroading in America was still pretty quiet when Lockport s own, Washington Hunt and Asher Torrence, conceived the idea of creating a road of rails connecting Lockport with the Seventh Wonder of the World. Their concept was to find a quicker and better connection between Niagara Falls and the Grand Erie Canal, and by so doing, would bring even more travelers into their section of town.
East Niagara Post: The “Strap” – Lockport's Forgotten Rail Road

In 1835, all preliminary obstacles to the new rail road were overcome, and they hired 300 Canadian, Scotch, and Irish workmen to begin laying the 24 miles of track, each of them working from sunrise to sunset for 6 shillings a day. They built a primitive form of what were called Strap rails, which consisted of oak beams with a strap of iron, about two and a half inches wide and half an inch thick, on top. In 1836, the depot in Lockport was completed, positioned on the canal bank near the end of Chapel Street, and the Lockport & Niagara Falls Rail Road (L&NFRR) was born, the first of its kind to be incorporated in New York State.

The Lockport ticket office was located in the Lockport House Hotel and rail cars would stop directly in front. Opposite the hotel, canal side, were the docks where packet boats continued to line up as they flowed through Lockport. Washington Hunt was a lawyer who owned property directly next door, and immediately became President of the company. He had been appointed the first Judge of Niagara County at the age of 24, and would later become the Seventeenth Governor of NY State. In April of 1837, as the line opened up, the passenger cars were first pulled along the rails by horses, and the cars were simply an adaptation of the already present stagecoach. However, by years end, the Strap Rail Road would incorporate the new steam locomotives, and become one of the first steam-powered systems in the United States. Two engines were received at first, both manufactured by a company called Ketchum, Rogers and Grosvenor, in Patterson, NJ, and they weighed in at 9 tons each. One was proudly named DeWitt Clinton after the late NY State Governor, and the other, Major Jack Downing, named after a very popular fictional character of the time. They would each burn chunk wood being carried by a small trailing car, while pulling up to three passenger cars behind.

East Niagara Post: The “Strap” – Lockport's Forgotten Rail Road

Passengers headed to Niagara Falls would board along Market Street, and then the train would begin a gradual ascent up and across the Cady Street Bridge. From there, the mechanical wonder would hiss and throw sparks as it struggled to climb up the escarpment, across Clinton Street and along Gooding. The rails were so primitive that many travelers felt uneasy, with the cars lurching from side to side and front to back, much like the ride on an older wooden rollercoaster, with the engineer remaining focused on pushing the limits of the puffing boiler.

Those early years of the Strap Rail Road were full of interesting stories, and thanks to the work of Raymond Francis Yates, in 1895, we have a first hand interview with the late Mr. Stephen Sult, a Lockport man who lived on Fayette Street, and who spent his entire adult life working with the railroads of Western New York. When the road opened, the road master position was offered up to this Mr. Sult. Sult was a jack-of-all-trades, and because they didn t feel that the road could operate in the winter, he spent the off-seasons constructing nearly all of the freight cars that were needed for the company, and built the first eight-wheel coach to be used on the rail system. Each of the two engines made two trips a day for $1 per trip – a bargain since the old stagecoach that ran to Niagara Falls charged 6 cents per mile, or a total of $1.44 for the 24 miles.

The primitive rail system was constantly in need of repair, and when problems arose, Mr. Sult explained that it was usually at an inopportune time. As an example, then President of the United States, Martin Van Buren, felt adventurous enough to take the new train, and this is Sult s recollection of the incident

One time though, we dumped out the President of the United States. He had come up on the packet boat on his way to Niagara Falls, taking the train at Lockport. About a mile this side of Suspension Bridge, a spread rail ditched the train, and the car the President sat in tumbled over on its side and the passengers were pitched together in a heap. The train was going so slow that nobody was hurt. The President crawled out without a scratch, and didn t look as if he was mad any. He helped tip the car back, climbed in, and on they went just as if nothing had happened.

There were a total of 4 different engines used by the L&NFRR with the youngest one being manufactured in 1843, in Lockport, at the Torrence Foundry and Machine Shop, located on Market Street between the Thompson Flour Mill and Exchange Street. This newest engine was called the Independence, and it was the first and only steam locomotive engine ever to be manufactured here in Lockport.

In 1847, with 3 engines working at all times, plans were in the works to extend the tracks to Rochester. Even with faith in the future of the line, bankruptcy was lingering close around the corner, and it would soon become necessary to merge with another. On August 26, 1851, the old L&NFRR was taken over by the Rochester, Lockport and Niagara Falls Rail Road, with changes in the overall route soon forthcoming. Ironically, with all the bad memories of Uppertown versus Lowertown, Hunt s original concept was starting to backfire, and his property was now going to be avoided completely, with the new line running along the escarpment and over a new canal bridge on the site of the present steel trestle. In 1851, Mr. Sult helped to take up the road that he had built just 14 years before.

Many of the Lowertown residents were thrilled at the change, many lighting bonfires in celebration that the hissing dragons would no longer be spooking their horses or creating nightmares for their children. The local press was quick to show the gratification of all those involved, finally free of the noise and sparks of the L&NFRR. However, the focus on new business was now centered on the railroad line on top of the escarpment, and those with easy access to it, and Lockport s industry had to readjust their focus. Relocating the railroad also meant relocating business, and Uppertown became the main commerce center once again.

It would only be about a year, in 1853, before the newly organized Rochester, Lockport and Niagara Falls line would sell out to the rapidly expanding NY Central and the Hudson River Railroad (NYC&HRR). Fortunately for some of the properties on Market Street, they were still in close proximity to the expanding line, and that is where the Western Block Company would soon make their own international mark.

Until next time,

+Dr. Scott Geise[1], a local businessman, has an active interest in Erie Canal and Niagara County history. His column, “Historically Relevant,” appears on the first and third Saturday of each month. Please feel free to share any historically relevant stories that you may have hidden away somewhere.

References

  1. ^ +Dr. Scott Geise (plus.google.com)

DIAM Co. Ltd. Has $1,379,000 Position in Landstar System, Inc …

DIAM Co. Ltd. Has http://blogs.translogistics.co.uk/posts/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/a17dtimthumb.php_.jpg,379,000 Position In Landstar System, Inc ...DIAM Co. Ltd. lowered its position in shares of Landstar System, Inc. (NASDAQ:LSTR) by 23.5% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 23,335 shares of the company s stock after selling 7,159 shares during the period. DIAM Co. Ltd. owned 0.05% of Landstar System worth $1,379,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in LSTR. Cubic Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of Landstar System by 10.3% in the fourth quarter. Cubic Asset Management LLC now owns 22,420 shares of the company s stock worth $1,315,000 after buying an additional 2,095 shares in the last quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. acquired a new position in shares of Landstar System during the fourth quarter worth $2,117,000. Capital One National Association increased its position in shares of Landstar System by 5.3% in the fourth quarter. Capital One National Association now owns 82,905 shares of the company s stock worth $4,863,000 after buying an additional 4,154 shares in the last quarter. First Quadrant L P CA increased its position in shares of Landstar System by 124.7% in the fourth quarter. First Quadrant L P CA now owns 318,300 shares of the company s stock worth $18,668,000 after buying an additional 176,668 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Fisher Asset Management increased its position in shares of Landstar System by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Fisher Asset Management now owns 318,993 shares of the company s stock worth $18,709,000 after buying an additional 2,073 shares in the last quarter. Shares of Landstar System, Inc. (NASDAQ:LSTR[1]) traded up 0.59% on Friday, hitting $63.21. 381,204 shares of the stock traded hands. Landstar System, Inc. has a one year low of $53.03 and a one year high of $73.60. The company has a market cap of $2.68 billion and a PE ratio of 18.76. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $59.43 and a 200 day moving average of $61.61. Landstar System (NASDAQ:LSTR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 28th. The company reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.01. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.86 earnings per share. The company earned $848.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts expectations of $849.10 million. Landstar System s quarterly revenue was down 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Landstar System, Inc. will post $3.36 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 15th will be given a $0.08 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 10th. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.51%. A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the stock. Credit Suisse decreased their target price on shares of Landstar System from $60.00 to $56.00 in a research note on Friday, January 29th. Stifel Nicolaus reduced their price target on shares of Landstar System from $69.00 to $64.00 in a research report on Friday, January 29th. Oppenheimer reduced their price target on shares of Landstar System from $70.00 to $61.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research report on Friday, January 29th. Deutsche Bank reissued a hold rating and set a $60.00 price target (down previously from $68.00) on shares of Landstar System in a research report on Monday, January 11th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research[2] raised shares of Landstar System from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, January 9th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. Landstar System currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $63.01. Landstar System, Inc (NASDAQ:LSTR[3]) is an asset-light provider of integrated transportation management solutions. The Company offers services to its customers across multiple transportation modes, with the ability to arrange for individual shipments of freight to enterprise solutions to manage all of a customer s transportation needs.

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References

  1. ^ NASDAQ:LSTR (www.marketbeat.com)
  2. ^ Zacks Investment Research (www.zacks.com)
  3. ^ NASDAQ:LSTR (www.marketbeat.com)
  4. ^ Compare brokers at a glance in the InvestorPlace Broker Center (Click Here) (investorplace.com)
  5. ^ MarketBeat.com’s FREE daily email newsletter (www.thevistavoice.org)

Shelton Capital Management Has $18,788,000 Stake in Amazon …

Shelton Capital Management Has ,788,000 Stake In Amazon ...Shelton Capital Management raised its position in Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) by 4.6% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 27,798 shares of the e-commerce giant s stock after buying an additional 1,224 shares during the period. Amazon.com makes up approximately 1.8% of Shelton Capital Management s investment portfolio, making the stock its 6th largest position. Shelton Capital Management s holdings in Amazon.com were worth $18,788,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its stake in Amazon.com by 96.2% in the fourth quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 7,454 shares of the e-commerce giant s stock valued at $5,038,000 after buying an additional 3,654 shares during the period. Somerset Group LLC raised its stake in Amazon.com by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Somerset Group LLC now owns 2,666 shares of the e-commerce giant s stock valued at $1,802,000 after buying an additional 20 shares during the period. Blue Fin Capital raised its stake in Amazon.com by 60.1% in the fourth quarter. Blue Fin Capital now owns 1,671 shares of the e-commerce giant s stock valued at $1,129,000 after buying an additional 627 shares during the period. Scott & Selber Inc. raised its stake in Amazon.com by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. Scott & Selber Inc. now owns 8,081 shares of the e-commerce giant s stock valued at $5,462,000 after buying an additional 165 shares during the period. Finally, Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its stake in Amazon.com by 9.3% in the fourth quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 305,679 shares of the e-commerce giant s stock valued at $206,606,000 after buying an additional 26,090 shares during the period. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN[1]) opened at 569.61 on Friday. Amazon.com, Inc. has a 52-week low of $365.65 and a 52-week high of $696.44. The company has a market cap of $268.20 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 455.69. The firm s 50-day moving average is $552.43 and its 200 day moving average is $586.65. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 28th. The e-commerce giant reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts consensus estimates of $1.56 by $0.56. The business had revenue of $35.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $35.99 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.45 earnings per share. The company s revenue was up 21.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Amazon.com, Inc. will post $4.60 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on AMZN shares. Vetr[2] upgraded shares of Amazon.com from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $653.68 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, November 16th. Credit Suisse raised their price target on shares of Amazon.com from $570.18 to $800.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 19th. Monness Crespi & Hardt lowered shares of Amazon.com from a buy rating to a neutral rating and raised their price target for the stock from $656.00 to $675.89 in a research note on Monday, January 4th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Sanford C. Bernstein decreased their price target on shares of Amazon.com from $800.00 to $770.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research note on Monday, February 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research[3] upgraded shares of Amazon.com from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $738.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, December 16th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, forty have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $726.29. In other news, Director Patricia Q. Stonesifer sold 6,250 shares of Amazon.com stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $577.94, for a total transaction of $3,612,125.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 19,173 shares of the company s stock, valued at approximately $11,080,843.62. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website[4]. Also, SVP Diego Piacentini sold 5,000 shares of Amazon.com stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $555.00, for a total transaction of $2,775,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here[5]. Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN[6]) is an e-commerce company. The Company sells a range of products and services through its Websites. The Company s products are offered through consumer-facing Websites, which include merchandise and content that it purchases for resale from vendors and those offered by third-party sellers.

Frustrated with your broker? Are you tired of paying high fees? Do you feel like you are getting ripped off by your stock broker? It’s time for a change. Find out which brokerage is best for your personal trading style at the InvestorPlace Broker Center. Compare brokers at a glance in the InvestorPlace Broker Center (Click Here)[7].

Receive News & Ratings for Amazon.com Inc. Daily – Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts’ ratings for Amazon.com Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com’s FREE daily email newsletter[8].

References

  1. ^ NASDAQ:AMZN (www.marketbeat.com)
  2. ^ Vetr (www.vetr.com)
  3. ^ Zacks Investment Research (www.zacks.com)
  4. ^ the SEC website (www.sec.gov)
  5. ^ here (www.sec.gov)
  6. ^ NASDAQ:AMZN (www.marketbeat.com)
  7. ^ Compare brokers at a glance in the InvestorPlace Broker Center (Click Here) (investorplace.com)
  8. ^ MarketBeat.com’s FREE daily email newsletter (www.thevistavoice.org)

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