SMITHVILLE CONSERVANCY
 
Home
Membership
Events
Photo Gallery
History
About Us
Tours
FAQs
Local Attractions
Contact Us
Directions
 
 
 

Bicycle Railway Map

Click here for a map showing the terminus of the Bicycle Railway in Mount Holly

 

Murder and the Bicycle Railroad

Was Lizzie Peak murdered while riding home from the Great Mount Holly Fair on the bicycle railroad? The fair and the bicycle railroad are part of the story of the murder, but not necessarily the way the legend has it!
Click here to learn more...
 

The terminus of the Bicycle Railroad in Mount Holly was at Pine Street, adjacent to the Relief Fire Company near the corner of Mill Street.

BICYCLE RAILWAY MURAL PLANNED FOR MOUNT HOLLY

Click here for Courier Post on-line article announcing Mural project

The Mount Holly and Smithville

Bicycle Railway - 1892-1898

H.B. Smith, who died in 1887, is often erroneously credited with having invented the Bicycle Railway. However, it wasn't until 5 years after his death that inventor Arthur Hotchkis received his patent for the unique experimental transportation system and approached the Smith Machine Company to manufacture his new device.

The monorail would run almost two miles from the area near the dam, at the west end of the horse sheds near the Company Store, in an almost straight line, crossing the Rancocas Creek 10 times until arriving at Pine Street, Mount Holly in a lot on the north side of the Relief Fire Company.

It took a bit longer than planned to constuct, but was ready for the Mount Holly Fair in September of 1892. Monthly commuter tickets sold for $2.00.

The Railway was exhibited at the 1893 Columbian Worlds Fair in Chicago and was very popular in the beginning. However, within only about 5 years ridership declined and the railway fell into disrepair.

Workers prepare the rail for the monorail into Mt. Holly during the summer of 1892. It opened in mid-September in time for the Mt. Holly Fair. The record speed on the railway was 4 and one-half minutes for the 1.8 mile ride to Pine St., Mt. Holly. The average trip took six to seven minutes. The demise of the railway came in July, 1898