Sunday, October 19, 2014

C.P.R No. 1: Countess of Dufferin

Another unannotated photo from the William Henry Wood collection; however, this one has clues that make it a little easier to place than the rest. The lettering on the loco tells that it's C.P.R No. 1, Countess of Dufferin. Wikipedia has a full account of the loco's history, but this snippet explains how this American 4-4-0 wound up in Canada,

The Countess of Dufferin was the first steam locomotive to operate in the Canadian prairie provinces and is named after Hariot Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, Countess of Dufferin (later Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava), the wife of the Earl of Dufferin, a Governor General of Canada. The locomotive was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works (builder's plate No. 2660) and delivered to Northern Pacific Railway as No. 21 in 1872. It was used in Minnesota and the Dakota Territory until 1877 when it was sold for $9,700 to Joseph Whitehead, a contractor for Canadian Pacific Railway. The locomotive, along with six flatcars and a caboose, was loaded onto barges at Fisher's Landing, Minnesota, and propelled by the SS Selkirk, they were shipped down the Red River to St. Boniface, now an electoral district of Winnipeg, Manitoba, arriving October 9, 1877, at a cost of $440.
[Mr. Bill Paterson sits atop the loco. From photos, Mr. Paterson was a tall man - likely well over six feet - so you can get an idea of the scale of the machine. From the Winnipeg Railway Museum notes below, these photos were likely shot in the forecourt between the railway depot and the Royal Alexandra Hotel in Winnipeg. Other indications in the collection suggest that these photos were taken in 1944.]

The Winnipeg Railway Museum explains what happened to the loco when its service years were over,

The reassembled locomotive [JDL: turns out it was "found by accident in 1909 disassembled in the yards of the Columbia River Lumber Company" - follow the museum link for the full story] was placed in Sir William Whyte Park across from the CPR depot on Higgins Ave. in 1910, later to be dressed up with flower planters, etc., until 1944. She was then moved across the street to a small forecourt between the Depot and the Royal Alexandra Hotel.

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