And that’s about the end of the story of how Hope got its name. But to me, that’s not the real story in the last sentence of the paragraph above. The story is in the title “railroad veterinarian.” Why would a railroad at the turn of the century—Hope was incorporated in 1903—need a veterinarian?
Railroads, tramways, and trollies existed long before steam engines. The first passenger railway was the Swansea and Mumbles Railway, which operated in Wales from 1804 to 1877. It was a horse-drawn railway at first, though it was later electrified. Horses also pulled loads out of mines on rails for decades and trudged along ahead of countless trollies.
It seemed to me that once steam engines came along, railroad veterinarians would have outlived their usefulness. But, as it turns out, horses were used to move railcars in and out of yards, to pull cars up steep inclines, and to transport goods to and from the rail yard. Horses were also used to transport railroad workers and to pull maintenance equipment along the tracks. The horses used by railroads were often large, strong draft horses such as Percherons, Belgians, and Clydesdales. So, there was a need for a Dr. Hope.