Tuesday, March 5, 2019



From the IMDb:
When Kate unexpectedly sees Homer Bedloe in Hooterville, she knows trouble is in store. Because of the continual problems he has faced trying to scrap the Cannonball, Bedloe states he has given up on that idea. Instead, he plans on selling the Cannonball - a seemingly one-of-a-kind antique locomotive - and he has a buyer on hand. He is millionaire retired train man and antique train aficionado, Phillip Waterhouse. Waterhouse, who comes with his personal secretary Cassidy, is an old, ornery and snobbish man who generally gets what he wants. Bedloe plans on giving Waterhouse a test run on the train. Instead, Kate manages to be Waterhouse's fellow passenger, leaving Bedloe behind in Hooterville. With Charley and Floyd's help, Kate hopes she can convince Waterhouse that the train is in such disrepair that it's not worth buying. But by the time they arrive at the Shady Rest, Kate learns Waterhouse's true motivation in wanting to buy the train, which was not as she expected. She hopes that with the family's help, she can get through to Waterhouse the necessity of the train to the valley, which may not be an easy task seeing that Waterhouse is not the type of man to listen to anyone's opinion except his own.  

Bedloe had pitched the Cannonball as being an 1891 Rogers train.  Mr. Waterhouse was an expert on old trains so there would have been no fooling him if it hadn’t been an 1891 Rogers.  So within the show’s reality, it was an 1891 Rogers, no matter what it really was here in the Trueniverse.

From Wikipedia:
Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works was a 19th-century manufacturer of railroad steam locomotives based in Paterson, in Passaic County, New Jersey, in the United States. It built more than six thousand steam locomotives for railroads around the world. Most railroads in 19th-century United States rostered at least one Rogers-built locomotive. The company's most famous product was a locomotive named The General, built in December 1855, which was one of the principals of the Great Locomotive Chase of the American Civil War.  (O’Bservation: This was dramatized in the classic Buster Keaton masterpiece, “The General”.)

The company was founded by Thomas Rogers in an 1832 partnership with Morris Ketchum and Jasper Grosvenor as Rogers, Ketchum and Grosvenor. Rogers remained president until his death in 1856 when his son, Jacob S. Rogers, took the position and reorganized the company as Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works. The younger Rogers led the company until he retired in 1893. Robert S. Hughes then became president and reorganized the company as Rogers Locomotive Company, which he led until his death in 1900.

Today, several Rogers-built locomotives exist in railroad museums around the world, and the plant's erecting shop is preserved as the Thomas Rogers Building; it is the current location of the Paterson Museum, whose mission is to preserve and display Paterson's industrial history.

Rogers built their first 2-6-0, which is sometimes referred to as the first 2-6-0 built in the United States, in 1863 for the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Company.  The company continued manufacturing both locomotives and textile machinery for nearly another 20 years.

For the exterior scenes of Petticoat Junction, including those in the iconic opening scene, Sierra Railroad #3 portrayed the Hooterville Cannonball. The shots were filmed in Jamestown California in 1963 and then again in the summer of 1965 when the show went to color. 

It has also appeared in television series beyond ‘Petticoat Junction’, including ‘Little House on the Prairie’, ‘Death Valley Days’, ‘Lassie’, ‘The Lone Ranger’, ‘Gunsmoke’, ‘Bonanza’, ‘The Big Valley’, ‘Rawhide’, and ‘The A-Team’.  In addition to its tenure as the Cannonball, the same train was used as the rolling headquarters and home of Jim West in the hit series ‘The Wild Wild West’.

Today, Sierra #3 is housed by Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown, California. The Cannonball and the Water Tower are proudly on display today, in Jamestown for train enthusiasts and Petticoat Junction fans to visit. A side note, Jamestown actually has a residential street named Petticoat Junction Drive.


This is a “Two for Tuesday” post and part two will be coming up shortly…


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