1. The Fiske Family
2. The Bennetts
3. The Dicksons
4. The Abbey
5. Landmarks and Personalities
6. The Great Road
7. The South Side
8. Merriams and Fields
9. Sold to Riley
10. Early Automobiles
11. The Dump
 
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LANDMARKS AND PERSONALITIES

 

travelling in opposite directions could pass one another. As      trains were coming and going all day, the stationmaster had to      be on his toes. Besides selling tickets, he operated the telegraph, took orders that came over the wire for passing engineers and tended the two sets of gates — one for Church Street and one for Old Road. When the warning bell rang, he dropped whatever he was doing and hurried out to lower the gates and block off the highways before the train arrived.
   My father was always nervous at these crossings because vehicles had been caught between the descending gates. As far as  I know, however, there were never any casualties.
   It is a most frightening experience, caught on a railroad track  with a fast train bearing down on you. This happened to us once   at Kendal Green when the brakes failed on our Dodge and we ran into the gates and stalled in front of an onrushing express. "Get   out, quick," my father shouted, and nobody argued. The resil-  ience of the gates and a little pushing on our part got the auto-mobile out of the way just as the train went screeching by.
   With the passing of the steam locomotive the railroad lost     much of its personality -- no longer that series of angry puffs       and snorts from a departing locomotive, or the cheerful tone of     an approaching whistle — or the trail of smoke that hung behind   as the train raced through the countryside. While dressing in the morning I used to see just such a trail rising from the valley as      the early morning train went past. It would vanish for a while  behind a chestnut grove at the bottom of our fields, then reap-   pear only to get lost a few seconds later behind a hill on the     Paine place.
But the romantic locomotive also had its disadvantages —

 

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