The Mercer & Somerset Story & The Frog War – Recording Available

The Mercer & Somerset Story & The Frog War
Presenter: John Kilbride, Railroad Historian & Author
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 @ 7 pm via Zoom

Co-sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Historical Society, The Hopewell Museum, the Hopewell Public Library, and the Pennington Public Library.


John Kilbride will present the history and legacy of the Mercer & Somerset Railroad, an obscure, rural, central New Jersey line that became famous not for its trains, but for its fate as a Pennsylvania Railroad proxy in the 1876 “Frog War.” John will cover the history of the line, its role in the Hopewell skirmish, and its decline and abandonment in 1881.

Although the M&S was abandoned more than a century and a quarter ago, John will show examples of numerous portions of its right of way through the Hopewell Valley, and several surviving structures which remain as its legacy.

Now retired from a 34-year (Amtrak) railroad career, John Kilbride is the moderator of the Camden & Amboy Railroad Historians and Railroads of Trenton Facebook groups, and has been studying the C&A since moving to New Jersey in 1979.

Kilbride remains interested in historical research and writing on railroad topics, including a just-published article on a unique passenger train for a national publication, and contributing several photos to a Midwest railroad-themed book. Presently, he has started research on a book focusing on the electrification of the Long Island Railroad, and another on N. J.’s Camden & Amboy (C&A) Railroad.

He is also involved with the “Save The (Princeton) Dinky” group, and advising local historians on specific historical aspects of both the C&A and the Pennsylvania Railroad in New Jersey.

A frequent speaker in the Tri-State area, Kilbride is able to provide programs on a variety of railroad topics, from the C&A up to more contemporary themes. He seeks to travel by train whenever possible!!!

This event is part of Hopewell Valley Heritage Week, May 23 – 31, 2021, celebrating the rich heritage of the Hopewell Valley with a full week of events. –

For more information on The Frog War: