Rushville Republican

Columns

January 14, 2014

Remember when snow was fun?

(Continued)

At the time there was no signals at the railroad track, they had a small wooden hut and a live (usually retired) railroad man there. In good weather or bad, he would get out of the hut summer or winter and hold a sign stating STOP in red letters on a yellow background. The drivers always did stop when the signalman was out and holding his sign.

That little hut had a coal stove in it. And of course the trains of the time were coal fired and were much more frequent that today. The trains were shorter too, but at the time we did not care as long as it came through rapidly. The signalman would flag down the local that twice daily would come through town and switch cars around that were destined for Rushville. They would fill his coal bucket and he would keep his hut warm during the time he was there. They were on duty only during the day and only for about 8 or 9 hours.

The gentleman who was there during winter months would allow the youngsters who got cold sledding on the hill to stop in and warm up. One even had hot chocolate for the youngsters; he was a very popular man during the winter. They would also make us stop sledding when trains were coming through which I would think someone would try to sled in front of a train going through so it was good he was there and did make us behave.

We had a wonderful time during daylight hours, the only time we were allowed by our parents to sled on this hill. This went on for several years then the city decided to leave Perkins open even with snow on the hill. This was not a universally accepted idea we young people did not care for it.

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