An Era Fades into Memories

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Title Saga of the Sanpitch Vol 25
Subject Pioneers
Description Stories and poems about early Southern Utah Pioneers
Publisher Snow College
Date 1993
Type Text
Format image/jpeg
Language eng
Rights Management Snow College
Holding Institution Snow College
ARK ark:/87278/s6nz85tx
Setname snowc_sts
Date Created 2005-03-01
Date Modified 2005-03-01
ID 324626
Reference URL

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Title An Era Fades into Memories
Description The passenger/mail train passed through Milbum at 5:0Oa.m. daily on its southbound route and returned again at 5:00p.m. heading for points north. One could almost set his clock as it whistled at the crossings. Figuring out the maneuvers of the freight trains was a bit more challenging. As the track came into Mil burn it made a wide semi-circle, skirting the foothills to begin its ascent over Hilltop. Often the heavy laden freight would have difficulty in making this steep grade and a helper engine was sent down from Thistle to assist. 1 learned to identify the sounds of those "lone engines" as they turned around at the Y south of Milbum. In my mind I can still hear the short whistle blasts, the starting up and slopping of the engines, then finally the slow, steady, laborious chugging of the combined engines as they mastered the grade. In wet and snowy weather, it was common to hear the engines spin out on the slick tracks. I could hear the engine rev up rapidly, then fade out as the engineer relaxed the power on the drivers. The tracks then had to be sanded and new attempts made at getting die heavy load moving again. Finally, after numerous tries the steady chug would resume, then slowly increase in speed indicating success. Eventually the sounds would all fade away in the distance. Seeing this in the mind's eye was nearly as entertaining as if it had been seen first hand, and entertainment was vital to a small boy growing up in isolated Milbum those days when television was unheard of, radio was rare, and automobiles were few. When I reached school age and was permitted to venture a few miles from home to visit a friend who lived near the tracks, I experienced those close-up thrills previously mentioned. A popular sport was to place nails, pieces of wire, or if we felt real rich, a penny on the rail. Then after the train had passed, we would rush in to retrieve the strange-shaped treasures created in the flattened metal. To add thrill and chill to the event, we might sit under a railroad bridge and, amid the clatter and roar, watch the train passing overhead. In late summer when grass and weeds were tall and dry, it was quite common to see fires starting along the tracks after a heavy loaded freight had gone by. The powerful puffing of the engine blew cinders into the air with the smoke, and many were still alive when they fell to the ground. If the train crew saw the fires in time, they would stop and put them out, but the local farmers 56
Format image/jpeg
Identifier 068_An Era Fades into Memories.jpg
Source Saga of the Sanpitch Vol 25
Setname snowc_sts
Date Created 2005-02-19
Date Modified 2005-02-19
ID 324536
Reference URL