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Locomotives of the Irondale, Bancroft & Ottawa
The Irondale, Bancroft & Ottawa motive power was typical of many backwoods railways of Ontario.  Second-hand 4-4-0 locomotives, typically ex-Grand Trunk power, was the order of the day with the occasional new locomotive. In all, the IB&O only had 3 locomotives before it was acquired by the Canadian Northern. 
IB&O#1 was of ex-Grand Trunk stock, although very little is known about its antecedents.  Also called the "Mary Ann" as a tribute by it's first engineer, Samuel Edward Hancock, to his wife.  It is presumed to have been built in 1855 by Birkenhead of England for the Great Western or the Grand Trunk Railway and sold to the IB&O in 1886.  Originally built as a 2-4-0 to broad guage of 5'6".  Rebuilt to a 4-4-0 type and standard guage in.  It is presumed to have been scrapped sometime between 1905 - 1910.

IB&O #1 is similar in construction to a series of locomotives built for the Great Western Railway.  Is it coincidence that GWR 4-4-0 #55 Adam Brown is similar in construction to IB&O #1?  GTR locomotive records in the Andrew Merrilees collection, however, don't indicate whether it was one of these locomotives that was sold to the IB&O - possibly through a scrap dealer. 

IB&O 4-4-0 #2 was built by Kingston Locomotive Works at Kingston, Ont in 1895 for the IB&O.   Scrapped in 1912 - 1913 when the Canadian Northern consolidated and renumbered all of the locomotives belong to the little railway lines that it had acquired in Ontario. In the photo below, IB&O#2 is at Myles Junction. (The gentleman in the big panama hat hanging on to the side of the engine resembles a Howland.  This person is seen in many of the other photos in the Howland collection at the Canada Science & Technology Museum.)

IB&O #2 was wrecked in 1902.  The IB&O quickly acquired another loco (from the insurance claim or so it is rumoured), IB&O 4-4-0#3,  from the Grand Trunk.  IB&O#3 is shown below on the turntable at Myles Junction.  IB&O #2 was repaired but only after the insurance company paid the claim and IB&O #3 was bought - or so it is rumoured. 

IB&O 4-4-0 #3  The Grand Trunk locomotive records in the Merrilees collection at the National Archives of Canada indicate that IB&O #3 was built in September 1873 by the Manchester Locomotive Company, Builder #596, 17"x 24" cylinders with 60" driving wheels, for the Grand Trunk Railway as their #155.  Renumbered in 1898 as GTR #293.  Sold to the IB&O in 1902 as their #3.  Records in the Merrilees collection show that it was scrapped around 1912 when the Canadian Northern consolidated and renumbered all of their little locomotives acquired in Ontario.  However, just because the records indicate it was scrapped, doesn't necessarily mean it was cut up.  Locomotives were often stored on a "scrap line" but subsequently sold in working order to smaller backwoods railway lines, loggers, or railway contractors.  And so IB&O #3 managed to survive this CNoR consolidation sitting on the scrap line.  In 1917 it was sold to the Key Valley Railway, a small logging line in the Parry Sound area.  
After Charles Pusey died in 1899, his son-in-law, Lucien B. Howland, took over the management of the IB&O and was the general manager at the time of the Canadian Northern takeover.  With the CNoR takeover, Howland became involved with Lauder and Spears, operators of a sawmill on Pusey Lake at Wilberforce
.  The three partners became contractors for the Schroeder Mills & Timber Co of Milwaulkee, Wisconsin.  They built a mill at Lost Channel, Ont near Depot Harbour (near Parry Sound) and  the 10 mile-long Key Valley Railway.  The Key Valley connected their mill with the CPR's Toronto - Sudbury line at Pakesley. 

Interestingly, Central Ontario Railway 4-4-0 #5, the "William Coe", was acquired from the COR in 1917 at the same time as IB&O #3.  COR #5 was built in 1882 by Rogers with their Builder #3137.  

Lauder, Spears & Howland failed to manage their expenses and their sawmill operations were taken over by Schroeder Mills & Timber Company in 1919.  
And so the quest begins.  If you have any information or photos on these locos, we'd like to hear from you.  Contact us at
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