Emma Sweeny

Late in the afternoon I ended up in Santa Rita Park, one of several very nice city parks in Durango.  I saw a colorful train under a canopy and assumed it was one used on the Durango-to-Silverton line (which I will be taking on Monday).  I was wrong.  This is a movie and TV star.

The Emma Sweeny appeared in the 1950 film A Ticket to Tomahawk (before my time, I was born in 1954).  This is the actual engine and coal car but a horse-drawn mock-up was used to shoot some scenes here in Durango.  That model has been acquired by a local group and is being restored and will be placed in the railroad museum.



Kind of hard to see in the picture above but note the elk antlers above the headlight in the photo below.







This engine was also used (with a different headlight and smokestack) in the opening sequence of the TV show Petticoat Junction (1963-1970).  That show I do remember….

In the show it was called the Hooterville Cannonball.  There is a town just north of Charlotte, North Carolina called Huntersville (I lived with friends in north Charlotte for 6 months in 1994 when I moved to NC from Pennsylvania).  To this day, I like to call it Hooterville.


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