Moving ... by rail.

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by LoudMusic, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    My grandmother was born in 1911. That makes her 96 years old this year, June I believe. Tonight I heard a story about her family moving before she was a teenager. They did it by rail in four box cars. "FOUR!?!" was my first thought, but you have to keep in mind that box cars were a bit smaller back then, and they had this issue of farm animals to deal with. They were also a family of nine if memory serves me. In the early 1900s there were very few paved roads, and they definitely didn't reach the farmlands of northern Texas. But the rail did, and it had a station in nearly every small town. So the family belongings, everything from furniture to goats, was hauled to the station and loaded on the train. At their destination on the other end of the train ride waited the brother of my future grandfather (though no one knew this until several years later) to taxi the women of the family to their new home. The men stayed behind and herded the cattle down Main Street and hauled the heavy stuff on wagons.

    Does anyone move by train anymore? Seems to me big trucks and highways take care of all that business these days. I bet the trucks don't even piggyback the long hauls across the country. Does mail travel by rail anymore? What about consumer level shipping? I think we talked in another thread about seeing UPS and FedEx piggybacking the rails. What about cattle? Or do they just do local slaughters and ship the bits and pieces in reefers?

    Just thought someone else might find the story interesting - felt like sharing.
  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Very interesting. Makes me think about how much times have changed since way back. To be honest, what we call the "poverty level" today would be a life of luxury for many folks back in the early 1900s.
  3. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    A few family tales...

    Many, many moons ago, my great great grandmother brought her children out west as far as she could by train where they met my great great grandfather who had started the journey much earlier by wagon with all of their possesions. She could not afford train fare for all of her children and hid my great grandmother under her bustle whenever she had to avoid the conductor. Later, they homesteaded down by Douglas, AZ and when the men were away, the Charicauha indians would come down to the house and take whatever they wanted. When my great great grandmother looked out the window and saw them coming down the ridge, she would gather all the children and they would hide under the floorboards of the house until the indians had taken what they wanted and left.
    Another time, she was out in the yard doing some chores (my great great grandfather had been killed by then) and a man rode into her yard (by horseback) in very poor shape. It seems he had been all shot up. Well, she took him in, nursed him back to health and came to find out later that it was Billy the kid and he had been wounded in a bank robbery. From then on, she always had extra cattle show up in her pastures. The wild wild west has changed a little since those days.
  4. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Your guess is right. Stock cars are gone now.
  5. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    I think that might be better than my grandmother (same as the train story) working at a furniture store. A couple came in, looked around, asked for a brown paper sack, then left. A few minutes later the police came in asking if anyone had come through there recently - apparently the bank across the street had recently been robbed, by Bonnie and Clyde.

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