Winchester Railway 1-Fare Token…..Sometimes a small artifact found in an old house really gives us a rare connection to local history. This very rare brass Winchester City Railway Company token (~1890) offered one fare. Found in Georgetown, KY before construction was about to destroy it.

The “Winchester Railway, Light and Ice Company” sold it to the Central Kentucky Traction Company in 1904 so WRLI could focus on bringing “new-fangled electricity” for heat and lighting to Winchester for heat and lighting. They kept delivering ice because air conditioning or refrigerators were still not widely available, especially in KY.) Not long afterward, the first cars started showing up in Winchester.

I’m not sure if the hole was done afterwards or if it was a cancellation punch. Most of these, according to one source, were stamped “G” (why?) but this one doesn’t seem to be.

Winchester Railway Company Kentucky had this to say about it:

TC-135779; Atwood-Coffee *** Rather than the “G” counterstamp that the Atwood catalogue states all known examples have, this example has the counterstamp “J A HUGHES”. Hughes was the mayor of Winchester in the late 1890’s, making this a political piece which may also give some direction as to the identification of the “G” counterstamp on the other pieces. Could have been his political opponent in the mayoral race?

Image from – enhanced by me:

winchester railway token 2

For an in-depth discussion of the history of Kentucky Railways, make sure to read this document:  “A context of the railroad industry in Clark County and Statewide Kentucky” [PDF file] – it’s packed with great stuff, and a fantastic references section.