(Re:    Col. Clare R. Rogers: Clare Rogers was born in Perry NY, son of Roy & Alice Rand Rogers, in 1931. He died in Maryland in 1994 according to the Veterans website. Very little biographical information has been found about him, but, he was very interested in researching the Narrow Gauge Railroads of Allegany County NY, along with others. He was instrumental in publishing much information about the little railroads that carried the loads at peak times and then consolidated with larger railroads and disappeared, such as the BE&C RR. /Ron Taylor.)

From: American Narrow Gauge Railroads



          By means of this narrow gauge the Erie served the oil field at Bolivar and Richburg in Allegany County, New York, and penetrated the McKean County oil field via a connection to the Bradford, Bordell & Kinzua’s affiliate, the Rew City & Eldred, at Eldred, Pennsylvania. The Bradford, Eldred & Cuba was incorporated in New York on May 11, 1881, by a group that included five directors of the Erie. The southernmost 9.36 miles, between Ceres, New York, and Eldred, were separately incorporated in Pennsylvania as the Bradford, Richburg & Cuba Railroad. Similarly, the 18 miles from Little Genesee to Wellsville were incorporated as the Wellsville, Bolivar & Eldred Railroad. A branch of two miles off the WB&E from Bolivar to Richburg was owned by the BE&C itself. About 30 miles of the railroad were put in service in 1881 and the remainder in 1882. As completed, the railroad was about 54 miles. The physical plant was poor even by narrow gauge standards, with no masonry on bridge abutments and a curve of 30(degrees). The line mainly followed the Allegheny River. A through passenger train was run from Wellsville on the Erie main line to Bradford jointly with the BB&K.

          The oil boom at Richburg and Bolivar collapsed particularly abruptly in 1882, causing the railroad to be profitable only for its first two years, and chronically in the red beginning in 1883. The Erie guaranteed the line’s bonds on March 12, 1883, but this was not enough to prevent default in January 1885. T. C. Platt of the Addison & Northern Pennsylvania was appointed receiver on February 4. After 1884 the northernmost 19.4 miles, from Little Genesee to Cuba (where the line had a second connection with the Erie main line, and a junction with the Erie’s narrow gauge Tonawanda Valley & Cuba), were closed in the winter months. By court order on September 24, 1888, this trackage was abandoned; the Bolivar-Richburg branch had been shut down in 1885. The railroad, which had been operated with six locomotives at its peak, was down to two by 1891. The operation was shut down by court order on January 14, 1893, and the property sold under foreclosure on January 25. The railroad was removed, and about 2.6 miles of the right-of-way at Bolivar were used for the Pittsburg, Shawmut & Northern main line.

REFERENCE: Allen, “The Railroads of McKean County, Pa.,” pp. 64-85