Submitted by scott on Mon, 10/03/2016 - 23:54

July 15, 1895: After a two hour lay over in Buffalo Twain's party proceeded to Cleveland, Ohio. The railway was either the New York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad, which went into bankruptcy in 1893, or the reorganized Erie Railroad that emerged in 1895. They arrived that afternoon and Twain went straight to bed at the Stillman.

Dunkirk was the original terminus of the New York and Erie Railroad. The terminus was relocated to Buffalo in 1852.

November 16, 1853, the Buffalo and State Line Railroad and the Erie and North East Railroad made an agreement. They would re-lay the track at the standard gauge and the Buffalo and State Line would operate the line. Passengers and freight would no longer need to change trains at Erie, Pennsylvania. This situation had provided a nice profit to Erie, particularly to freight handlers and food vendors catering to the delayed passengers. They would be cut off.

Charles Farrar Browne (April 26, 1834 – March 6, 1867) was a United States humor writer, better known under his nom de plume, Artemus Ward. He is considered to be America's first stand-up comedian. At birth, his surname was "Brown"; he added the "e" after he became famous. Ward met Mark Twain when Ward performed in Virginia City, Nevada and the two became friends.

At about 7:30 pm, December 29, 1876, the train was crossing over the Ashtabula River about 1,000 feet from the railroad station at Ashtabula, Ohio when the bridge gave way beneath it. The lead locomotive made it across the bridge, while the second locomotive and the rest of the train plunged 76 feet into the water. Some cars landed in an upright position. The wooden cars were set alight by the heating stoves and lamps and soon small, localized fires became an inferno. Of 159 passengers and crew on board that night, 92 were killed or died later from injuries. Forty-eight of the fatalities were unrecognizable or consumed in the flames. Sixty-four people were injured.