Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What happened to the train?

The picture above hangs in the entrance hall of the Lawrence County Museum; I see it just about every day and it reminds me of why historic preservation is so important. It is of J Street in downtown Bedford, the same street our castle faces, at a time when the railroad was a daily presence in the life of our town.

I remember being stopped by a passing train in Bedford on lots of hot summer days before car air conditioning. My siblings and I would count the cars while the sweat ran off our faces. A hundred or more wasn't uncommon. When DH and I bought the old jail and moved back here in 2007, the train still passed once a day, and it was always fun to wave at the engineer and hear him blast the horn so loud it made our windows rattle. Cars would line up on the street out front, waiting for the train to pass. The Christmas parade that year had to stop for ten minutes to let the train roll through downtown.

When I came back from my trip in early July of this year, I noticed that the train didn't come by anymore. I don't know why; I suppose I could research it, but it doesn't really matter. What matters is that another part of our history has been lost, at least for the time being. Maybe some Bedfordians are glad to be rid of a noisy train, but I miss it.

October was really nuts--three big fundraisers to organize at the museum (take a look at for details), and both my kids were sick at some point. The kids are both healthy now, thankfully. The last of the fundraisers will be over tomorrow night; it was all fun but it will be great to be free to think about something else.

I'm looking forward to a visit from one of my sisters who lives out of town; Friday and Saturday I hope to go out with her and my mom for some girl stuff (probably antiques/crafts shopping and lunch in some cute southern Indiana town--stay tuned for a full report). I'm always on the lookout for places that serve real meringue pie, made with real eggs and browned in a real oven. If you know of any place like that within an hour and a half of Bedford, please share the information!


  1. That is a lovely story about the train in your town and the sweet memories you have of it. I can understand why you miss it. I got lost in my thoughts of my memories of my two grandmother's (one from each side, of course) that had a train track running right next to their homes! Each time I would visit either one of them I could hear the train coming from miles away and I would run out to just a few yards from the train track and wait and when the engineer could see me I would wave and he would always wave back! I would sometimes pull my hand down and up to pretened like I was blowing the whistle and they would always blow it for me! That would make me jump for joy! They would always laugh at my reaction as they rolled by! That noisy, wonderful train! I miss that, too!

  2. The first year we were here, my son and his friends liked to tape a nickel to the tracks and retrieve it after the train had smashed it. So many good train memories. Our local paper ran a story over the weekend about CSX's desire to abandon the tracks that go through our town; another casualty to the lousy economy.