Early one Wednesday morning in January 1862, a train pulled out of New Castle while a furious ice, sleet and rain storm gripped northern Delaware. The extra with 13 empty platform cars and a passenger coach was proceeding down the Delaware road, with 25-laborers for a load of wood. It rolled safely past the quiet St Georges Station in the pre-dawn darkness.
As it neared the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal the conductor, Albert Butler, stepped out onto the platform to look out for the drawbridge and apply the brakes if necessary. But there was no light about the bridge as there should have been. The draw, in order not to impede navigation on the canal was kept open, only being closed to allow trains to pass over. He applied the brakes but the discovery came too late to stop the forward motion, especially with the ice on the road making things slippery. Mr. Butler jumped to safety from his position in the back of the train, but about that time he heard the engine plunge into the canal, with car after car following behind, until all of them were piled upon each other. The scene was one of horrible confusion, a mass of iron, timber, and human beings. The engineer, Josiah Anderson was killed instantly, as well as the firemen, Edward Menam.
Friends noted that Mr. Anderson, who had worked for the P. W & B. Railroad Company since 1836, was a careful engineer. Sy, as his friends called him, seldom traveled this road so he must have momentarily lost his reckoning, not thinking that he was near the bridge, they speculated. Seven people were killed and a number were injured on that cold winter morning in Delaware so many years ago.