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Shawmut fed habit of out-of-town shopping

August 2, 2012

Pictured is Pittsburg, Shawmut, & Northern Railroad No. 91, a gasoline-engined car built by Brill, at Angelica, N.Y. There were two cars like this and they were nicknamed "Hoodlebugs." Photo from the St. Marys Historical Society

Editor's note: This is the sixth part in a series of articles based on a presentation given by area historian and photographer Ray Beimel regarding the history of the Pittsburg, Shawmut, & Northern Railroad.

According to local historian Ray Beimel, the Pittsburg, Shawmut, & Northern Railroad impacted many areas of the community, and during a recent presentation at the St. Marys Senior Center he even blamed the railroad for getting St. Marys residents into the habit of going out of town to shop.
"It's the fault of the Shawmut," Beimel said. "No, seriously-- because if you worked for the Shawmut, your wife had a pass. It gave her free transportation, so when she wanted to go shopping, she didn't go down to see Sam Herr, Jack Gross, or to Murphy's or somebody. She got on the 'Hoodlebug' and went to Olean. That's where the habit got started."
'Hoodlebug' was the name used to refer to gas-electric cars that were operated by the Shawmut and were used to provide passenger service.

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