|The modern day "Duffy's Cut". A portion of the rail line near Philadelphia, PA passing through Malvern where 57 Irish rail workers died suddenly in 1832.|
Philip Duffy was hired to dig out a stretch of the Philadelphia to Columbia railroad just west of Philadelphia known as mile 59. This became known as Duffy's Cut. It was rough terrain and he hired a band of Irishmen to layout the mile long piece of road bed. The roadbed was eventually completed, but at a terrible price. One day all 57 men were found to be dead or dying. Some believe that a possible cholera outbreak may have killed the men. Given the terrible nature of the disease, it is thought that some may have even been buried alive or some murdered in an attempt to stay the outbreak. The only person to have tended to the men was the company blacksmith assisted by some local nuns. He did what he could for the men, and then hastily buried them in a ditch along the rail line, without a marker, ceremony, or given religious rights.
|For years, many believe this was a mass grave containing Irish railroad workers who died suddenly. Recently it was discovered that some were buried in a fill on the railway which in now the SEPTA Philadelphia Main Line. Photo credit: public commons on wikipedia.org|
Stories over the years reveal that many have seen what looked like men dressed in 19th century clothing dancing around in the wooded area next to the rail line where it is thought they were buried. Others have seen strange glowing lights floating near the area. Stories date back to shortly after the men were buried. Reports of "glowing men" dancing in the woods spread about the area. There was talk among the local folks of the ghostly green and blue Irishmen literally dancing on their graves.
|A SEPTA commuter train passes through Duffy's Cut on the Philadelphia Main Line. This ravine is where 57 Irish railway workers were hastily buried in a mass grave in 1832 after being wiped out by a cholera epidemic.|
After an archeological dig in recent years, evidence suggests that some of the men may definitely have been murdered to stop the outbreak. Skeletons of the men showed signs of blunt force trauma to the head.
|Looking south upon the hillside, a SEPTA train passes through a section of "Duffy's Cut" along the Philadelphia Main Line.|
A historical marker at the location of King Street and Sugartown Road in Malvern, PA indicates the general location of where this tragedy took place. A stone monument dedicated to the fifty-seven men still stands on the spot marking the area where some these men lost their lives and were buried. Others remain unfound in their unmarked graves. Some of the remains found were relocated to a cemetery and given a proper burial. May they rest in peace.
|A historical marker now stands near the site where 57 Irish rail workers lost their lives and were buried in anonymity in a mass grave. Their ghost are said to be seen dancing through the wooded area where they were buried.|