While doing some family research last week, I came across something called a “frog war”. What’s a frog war? I’ve done some “frog” stories, one called “The Battle of the Frogs” and one about an old horned toad named Rip, but this one isn’t about an amphibious creature or a lizard. This one had to do with railroad lines.
Hopewell Frog War
In the late eighteenth and into the early nineteenth century, the fledgling new American government began building a series of turnpikes, toll roads and canals to facilitate transportation of goods, as well as westward expansion. A Revolutionary War veteran, lawyer and politician by the name of John Stevens III experimented with steam in the early 1800’s and was the first to construct a steam-powered locomotive in the United States, testing it on a track which ran around his Hoboken, New Jersey estate.
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