WMRR Leads Me To Gettysburg

When I began researching Rare Images of Antietam, I found that many of the photographers who took early photos of the battlefield also took images of the Western Maryland Railroad. So I figured that if I researched the WMRR photographs, they may lead me to images of Antietam. Well, that has come true, almost. At least I have taken a step in the right direction.

After a few years of looking, and having now become truly obsessed with the Western Maryland Railroad, I have discovered that the railroad published a number of small books with a lot of information about Gettysburg. They are not about Antietam, but they are exciting, nonetheless, and they certainly point in the right direction.

This is one of the books I found at the John Frye Western Maryland Room at the new Fletcher Library in Hagerstown. Gettysburg historians are missing a great local resource if they have not made the trek down here.

The observant reader will notice that the book includes an ad for Levi Mumper, the photographer whose images, owned by Gettysburg photo-historian Sue Boardman, led me to this northern branch of the railroad, and ultimately to this find. Interestingly, I hang out at the Western maryland Room all of the time, but it was her photographs, and my following the threads they exposed, that led me to find these books, hidden in plain view on shelves I have sat next to many times.

John Frye and Elizabeth Howe, who maintian that collection, would get a giggle at my saying I "discovered" these books...er, that they have sitting on a nice temperture controlled shelf, neatly listed in their catalog. Suffice it to say, I am not Indiana Jones - they did the hard work.