As a follow-up to last week’s article on railroads in the local area, I heard back from a couple of museum members.
Per Jerry Abney: “My mother was born in 1919 and told me about the time her family lived at Livia and her mother and she would walk the railroad tracks to Livermore to help take care of grandma’s brother who had cancer. I wondered why they walked the tracks instead of the road but never asked. Maybe there may have not been a road in the twenties. Maybe the tracks were a shorter walk.”
That certainly was a long walk, no matter how you look at it!
And from Glenn Bowman, I received this response: “Thanks for that info on the trains. Trains are a huge investment, so folks were keen to only put up the funds for such a venture if there was going to be a cost benefit.
“I had no idea where Wrightsburg was. A search on map application showed it to be far up the Green from Calhoun, towards the Ohio. Present day just shows what looks to be a private residence, perhaps a farm.
“I remember the old steam locomotives pulling coal trains through Island in the mid to late 1950s. G.E. Hughes’s barber shop was right in town on the edge of the railroad track. Sometimes, we would be just lucky enough to be at the barbershop getting buzz cuts and would hear the whistle blow, indicating the approach of a train.
If I was in the barber chair, G.E. knew to pull off the sheet and allow me to escape to the outdoors, where my brother Teddy and I would run around to the back and watch the monstrous smoke-belching monster speed by! What a treat to behold for us young boys! We could feel the vibration from the train’s passage through the ground, even inside G.E.’s barber shop. My! What a memory!”
Thanks for writing in, guys! I do love to hear about the good old days in Island and elsewhere in McLean County. Times sure have changed!
Now to add some tidbits from the Owensboro Examiner of Oct. 8, 1875, in the “Our Neighbors” column: “1) Five pounds is the aggregate weight of Calhoon tomatoes; 2) The Court-house roof at Calhoon has received a new coat of paint; 3) The chill fiend is worse in McLean county than since 1859; 4) No quinine in Calhoon, and the druggists are unable to get any in Evansville or Louisville; 5) The Farmers of McLean County are cutting and hanging their tobacco, and although the crop will not be so large as was anticipated, it will be nearly an average, and of an excellent quality; 6) The Rockport Silver Cornet Band has been selected for the McLean County Fair next week. The good people of McLean county are to be congratulated on the selection of such an eminent band; and 7) A man killed a deer near Calhoon the other day, and the people over there have talked the subject up until the editor of the (McLean County) Progress thinks the fellow killed three or four.”
The “chill fiend” mentioned above may be better understood by another mention in that column: “The Muhlenberg County Fair will commence next Wednesday—chills and fever permitting.”
And in the same edition was a submission from the McLean County Progress: “A young man near Glenville, this county, while housing tobacco the other day, in attempting to go from one tear pole to another, caught the seat of his pants on a nail. He hung dangling in the air, betwixt heaven and earth, until a gentleman who was passing along the road came to his relief. Placing a box and some straw for him to fall on, the gentleman went up and cut him loose. The young man says he will never attempt suicide again.”
That young man was very fortunate that the helpful gentleman passed by!
The museum would like to send a big thank you out to Sharon Walker for donating her time and expertise to remove the much-forgotten password from one computer. Sharon is with Computer and Networking Solutions at 270 Main St. in Calhoun. Thanks, Sharon!
New items come into the Treasure House all the time, so be sure and visit regularly to find that treasure you can’t live without. The Treasure House is having a Bag Sale throughout July and August. Fill up a Treasure House bag with summer clothing, sandals and/or swimsuits and your cost is just $5 per bag. After August the fall clothing will be coming out on display.
The Museum and Treasure House are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and closed on holidays. The Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Treasure House from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We are at 540 Main St. (P.O. Box 291), Calhoun, and our number is 270-499-5033. I wish everyone a great week ahead!