Railroad Stories: Lived Near Old Railroad Tracks

House shook as trains rolled by on the old railroad tracks.

| Good Old Days

I was born and raised in a small town in Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula. It was Iron Ore country where my father worked in the mines for 50 years. Our house, which was about 40 feet from the old railroad tracks, would shake as the trains rolled by. Trains carrying iron ores passed every hour, every day, with both full and empty loads.

The sound of the trains was a lullaby to us as babies. Then as we grew older, my siblings and I would chant "I think it can, I thought it could, I knew it would," as the train pulled nearly a hundred cars behind it, on an upgrade. We would stand on our front porch and wave to the engineers and wait eagerly for them to wave back. Although we never actually talked to the engineers or got to meet them, we felt like they were family.

I remember the hobos who hopped the trains. They would jump off near our house and beg for food. My mother always fixed something for them, and they would sit on our porch and talk to us while they ate. They were always thankful and polite, and we were never afraid of them. In later years, they weren't allowed to hop the trains because there were too many of them, and some would cause trouble.

During my childhood days, I rode a couple of trains, and it was a thrill. How well I recall the pleasure I derived from trains, as they have always been close to me. While growing up, we always lived near the tracks, and when I got married and moved to South Dakota, we had tracks across our land. Even now, I only live three blocks from the tracks, and when I walk to town, I still like to count the cars and wave to the engineer.

God bless them.

Doris Murtha
Woonsocket, S.D.

Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019


Next: February 16-17, 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds