Railway Preservation News

Ellesmere private car
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Author:  ted66 [ Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Ellesmere private car

Is anything going on with the car?

Who did it belong to when it was still a private car?

Ted Miles, who likes passenger cars

Author:  Randy Hees [ Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ellesmere private car

A short version of the history as we currently understand it...

Our Ellsmere (there were at least three cars by that name) is the 3rd... It was built in December 1899, by Wagner (possibly the last car completed by Wagner before it was acquired by Pullman)

It was built for Dr Webb, the president of Wagner (and soon to be director of Pullman)

Webb's previous private cars, Ellsmere (1st, c 1885 by a different builder, before Wagner started their own production) and Ellsmere (2nd, 1888, by Wagner, to the same floor plan as the third car) were transferred to Pullman and sold by them to others.

Our car was retained by Webb until sold to the Texas & Pacific in 1919.


Author:  Brian Norden [ Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ellesmere private car

Randy Hees wrote:
It was built for Dr Webb, the president of Wagner (and soon to be director of Pullman)
Dr. William Seward Webb was related by marriage to the Vanderbilt family. He married Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt, daughter of William Vanderbilt and granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt owned a controlling interest in the Wagner Palace Car Company. After the death of Webster Wagner, Dr. Webb a Vanderbilt son-in-law was made president.

Author:  Bartman-TN [ Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ellesmere private car

Webb was also a major stock holder and president of the Rutland Railroad for many years. From my materials used by the NRHS in the 2015 convention guide book, here are two pieces about Webb.

About 1900, William Seward Webb, son-in-law of William H. Vanderbilt, and Vanderbilt’s New York Central & Hudson River Railroad (NYC&HR) began buying Rutland stock. For the NYC&HR, the Rutland Railroad was looked upon as an extension of its line to Chatham, and as a route into northern New England. In 1902, William Webb became president of the Rutland Railroad, and by 1904, the New York Central had majority control of its stock. For those with early copies of the Official Guide, it should be noted that during this time the Rutland Railroad was listed as part of the New York Central System.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the president of the Rutland Railroad, Dr. William Seward Webb, also served as president of the Wagner Palace Car Company. His estate was at Shelburne Farms and the railroad station at Shelburne was built to serve it. The farm dates back to 1886 when Dr. Webb and his wife Lila Vanderbilt Webb began acquiring farmland on the shores of Lake Champlain to create a model agricultural estate. Nationally prominent architect Robert H. Robertson designed four major buildings: the Farm Barn, Breeding Barn, Coach Barn and Shelburne House. Even though well known for its innovative practices, hackney horse breeding enterprise, and grand family residence, the farm failed to be a success and farming operations began to shrink by 1910. In 1972, the farm was restored as a non-profit educational facility. In 2001 the property became a National Historic Landmark.


Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ellesmere private car

Four posts in, and still no one has come right out and said where this car is, or the context of the original query......

Author:  Brian Norden [ Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ellesmere private car

The Ellesmere is in the Collection of the Nevada State RR Museum, Boulder City. It was gifted to the Museum by the last private owner who had it in Las Vegas. Currently displayed in the roofed display area.

Also see:
New York City wooden body railroad car ban

All wood interior from the late 1890s era.

Author:  ted66 [ Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ellesmere private car

I should have said that the car was at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, Bioulder City.

Thanks to all who supplied the information.

Ted Miles

Author:  tomgears [ Fri Dec 30, 2022 9:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ellesmere private car

Do we know the identity of the donor who gifted it to the museum?

Author:  atsfm177 [ Fri Dec 30, 2022 5:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ellesmere private car

From the Nevada Southern's website:


Author:  Rainier Rails [ Sat Dec 31, 2022 9:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ellesmere private car

To add on, Barger lists the 2nd Ellsmere was built on 11/28/1888, with 4 bedrooms. Was designated as Plan #3088A after the Pullman merger. Was renamed in 1900 to Pilgrim (2nd) and sold in December 1901 to Ringling Bros.

Interestingly, Barger has no listing for either the 1st or 3rd Ellsmere.

Author:  fctrvlr [ Fri Dec 08, 2023 2:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ellesmere private car

Ellsmere is on display and available to view for small, private tours. We continue to maintain the car and work continues on preserving the exterior.

The car continues to provide us with new aid-bits of her history. During the days after the assassination attempt on President. Wm McKinley, VP Theodore Roosevelt rode Dr Webb's yacht Elfrida to Shelburne Farms for a short vacation. When the President's health turned for the worse, Roosevelt rode Ellsmere back to Buffalo, NY and was inaugurated President on 9/14/1901.

Frank Carroll

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