What Roundhouse?

The original 1882 Fable discusses losing an “engine house” to fire.  In contrast, the Evers use the word “roundhouse.”  Just what is a roundhouse?  Let’s take a look.

from Long Island Rail Road Turntables, by David D. Morrison

A roundhouse is an adjunct to a turntable, in the way that a garage is an adjunct to a driveway.  The difference is that a roundhouse is a curved set of service bays for many locomotives that share one driveway.  Each bay’s track can connect to a rotating length of track on a turntable.  In this photograph, the roundhouse’s “service bays” fan out from the open “moat” of the turntable pit, in which the pivoting turntable “bridge” is clearly visible.

According to David D. Morrison, Historian of the LIRR for the National Railway Historical Society, the records and artifacts of the railroad do not indicate that any turntable was ever built at Hicksville.  This makes perfect sense; the railroad had no need for a turntable there.  But even had it wanted to build one at that time, it could not have: the LIRR only mastered the requisite know-how to build its first turntable years after the mythical fire supposedly destroyed Hicksville.

Hicksville never had a turntable.  Ergo, it never had a roundhouse.  We can never know the reason(s) why Richard and Anne Evers came to believe otherwise.

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