Hoodlebug Trail History

The trail follows the abandoned Indiana Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad between the Homer City area and Indiana. ‘Hoodlebug’ was the local nickname for the self-propelled passenger coach that ran on the line until 1940. Check out the Wikipedia Article on Hoodlebugs for more information. The corridor also was part of the Catawba Path, a Native American trail that extended from the Carolinas to upstate New York.

In March of 2007 the FMC plant, which was adjacent to the Hoodlebug Trail in Homer City, closed its doors for good. The FMC site was the former home to one of the Prairie State Incubator Company’s plants. The site involves some very interesting local history.

The Prairie State Incubator Company was founded in 1887. Incubators produced at the factory were used for raising chicks from eggs. By 1913 the incubator factory was reported to be the largest in the world. The railroad (now the Hoodlebug Trail) was used to ship the incubators to market. Beginning in 1937 the site was the home of the Syntron Company and later the FMC Corporation.