Typical Patapsco River winter scenery is shown here
as CSX 713 leads an eastbound coal drag. The siding stretches between
Davis Tunnel and Woodstock. According to a 1917 B&O Station list,
a previous siding here was named the "Fannie R. Frost" siding.
I could not find the origin of the name, but a reader named John says:
"My statements below are derived from 'Minerals of the Washington, D.C.
Area'; by Lawrence R. Bernstein; 1980; Dept of Natural Resources; Maryland
Geological Survey; Educational Series #5; Pages 56, 57 and 58.
"I am certain the name 'Fannie R. Frost' siding is directly related to the
name of the quarry referenced in the above citation. The name of this
'abandoned' quarry is the 'Fannie Frost Feldspar Quarry'. It is located
approximately 1/3 of a mile South of the Old Main Line inside the Patapsco
State Park property close where your photo was taken.
"I frequently visit this area and often run into Geologists (pretty sure they
are hobbyists) searching for minerals like titanite at the quarry. According
to Bernstein, It was operated in the early part of the 20th century for
feldspar. I'm curious if/how/where items like feldspar from the quarry
where loaded onto the trains."
Reader Phil Stackhouse contributed the following historical background:
"Fannie R(isteau) Frost (1865-1957) was my
great aunt, sister to my grandmother Kate Frost Stackhouse and lived on and
managed the ancestral Frost farm which was adjacent to the railroad at that
location. So the simple answer may be that the siding was simply named for
the adjacent landowner. As you probably know, besides the station stops
along the Main Line, there were any number of 'flag' stops - called that
because the train would stop only if flagged down. They were used for both
passenger service and freight. There were also regular milk stops along the
route for the morning and evening milk trains going to Baltimore. One of the
regular flag stops on this section of the road was for the Frost farm and it
may be this location that gave the siding its name.
"I am intrigued by the reference to a Fannie Frost Feldspar Quarry. I know
the location of this quarry and from family stories, believe that stone was
shipped from it on the railroad. But I've never heard it referred to by that
name. Aunt Fannie was a school teacher by profession and while very capable
of running the farm as well, I suspect that she knew little of quarrying. I
grew up in an extended family on that property that included Aunt Fannie and
one of her sisters, but never heard them mention the quarry. She died in
1957 and as I was still fairly young at the time, don't remember all the
stories. I haven't been back to the quarry for many years and was surprised
to hear from your correspondent John that others even know of its
"It might also be of interest that my grandfather Samuel Dorsey Stackhouse
and his brother William were rail agent, postmaster and storekeepers at
Woodstock from 1881 until ca. 1887. Both of them married Frost sisters that I
am sure they must have met as customers in the store. I have all of the
store records for those years as well as the rail ticket sales records for