Gone but not forgotten is the majestic old pedestrian/railroad bridge that stood as the gateway into Foxburg from 1921 to 2008.
Visitors coming into Foxburg are very curious about the history of our beloved railroad bridge and its demise. They ask where it was actually located and if cars really traveled on the roadway on the bridge with trains crossing above.
Foxburg Borough Council in wanting to promote and encourage the interest in Foxburg’s early railroad and oil history and realizing the historic importance of the old railroad bridge to our community as well as town visitors contracted with Dana Logue of Logue Memorials in Sligo Pa to design a bench to commemorate the notable bridge.
The beautiful black marble bench was placed by Logue Memorials on the east bank of the Allegheny River in Foxburg in May, 2020 in very close proximity to where the bridge was located. Dr. Arthur Steffee, who now owns this property, graciously gave Borough Council permission to locate the bench at this particular spot.
The bench (pictur4ed above) depicts an image of the old railroad bridge with the B&O crossing above. Once the picture was chosen for the bench, Foxburg Council called upon its town historian, Chris Flemming, to help them with an inscription to accompany the picture.
Chris chose a quote from a book written in 1907 by one of Foxburg’s most iconic characters: Alfred W. Smiley. Smiley’s book “A Few Scraps, Oily and Otherwise” provided a perfect piece of Foxburg history to be placed with the bridge and train on our beautiful bench.
As you view the bench, the following quote from Alfred Smiley’s book is very prominently displayed: “Scores of congressmen, generals, colonels and captains, as well as thousands of common people and small fry, came and went. The town was full of big-hearted, jolly oil men, brokers, dealers, shippers, producers, pipe-liners and all that class of oildom folk that help keep an oil town spry, congregated at Foxburg in the early 1870’s.” Alfred W Smiley
Not only does this chosen quote seem to “fit the bill” for our purpose but also to serve as a reminder of a noteworthy former citizen.
Alfred W. Smiley was a three-time State Representative who in his younger years had played a part in the first successful oil pipeline at Pithole in 1865. He came to Foxburg as Superintendent of the Mutual Pipeline in 1872 and would remain a resident until his death in 1927.
Foxburg Borough Council would like to thank Dana Logue and Logue Memorials in Sligo, Pa for assisting us in our efforts in planning and making the bench a beautiful addition to our little community and also thank Dr. Arthur Steffee for allowing us to place the bench in such a special location.