THE PHOEBE SNOW

The name "Phoebe Snow" and "The Road of Anthracite" are synonomous with the beginning of the use of coal fire locomotives on the Lackawanna Railroad (now part of CONRAIL). Because the Lackawanna used anthracite coal, which burned cleaner, the riding public associated the Lackawanna with being a clean, well maintained railroad.

Pheobe Snow was pictured in the advertising of the 1890's and 1900's, as a young lady wearing a white dress riding trains on the "Road of Anthracite". Over the years over 50 verses were written describing the famous lady and the road she rode.

Here are a number of the verses:

Says Pheobe Snow
 About to go
  Upon a trip
   to Buffalo
    "My gown stays White
      from morn till night
       Upon the Road of Anthracite
The man in blue
 now helps her through
  and tells her when
   her train is due.
    He's so polite.
     They do things right.
      Upon the Road of Anthracite
Now Pheobe Snow
 direct can go
  from thirty-third
   to Buffalo.
    From Broadway bright
     the tubes run right
      Into the Road of Anthracite"
Now Pheobe may
 by night or day
  enjoy her book
   upon the way
    Electric Light
     dispels the night
      Upon the Road of Anthracite
The Evening flies
 till Pheobe's eyes
  grow sleepy under
   mountain skies.
    Sweet dreams all night
     are hers till light
      Dawns on the Road of 
               Anthracite
No trip is far
 where comforts are.
  An Observation 
   Lounging car
    adds new delight
     to Pheobe's flight
      Along the Road of Anthracite
This scene reveals
 a chef on wheels
  with care preparing
   Pheobe's meals.
    He, too, wears white
     from morn till night
      Upon the Road of Anthracite
On railroad trips
 no other lips
  have touched the cup
   that Pheobe sips.
    Each cup of white
     makes drinking quite
      A treat on the Road of 
       Anthracite
Miss Snow draws near
 the cab to cheer
  the level headed
   Engineer,
    Whose watchful sight
     makes safe her flight
      Upon the Road of Anthracite
Miss Snow, you see,
 was sure to be
  the object of
   much courtesy,
    for day or night
     they're all polite
      Upon the Road of Anthracite
The stars now peep
 at her asleep
  while trackmen keen
   their night watch keep
    for Pheobe's flight
     must be all right
      Upon the Road of Anthracite
Its time to go
   Where Records show
     it's cooler ten
       degrees or so
           by Fahrenheit
             each summer night
                Upon the road of Anthracite

Found on the Shohola Township, Pike County, Pa. web page about Hurricane Diane (1955)
Submitted by Carl Yacabitis - 4/2004


Adapted from "A Treasury of RAILROAD FOLKLORE" - 1953
2016 by Joseph D. Korman