My dad’s family spent quite a few years living in the small town of Holyoke, Minnesota. The area is wooded and very beautiful, with the train tracks bordering the edge of town. As boys, my dad and my Uncle Bill were always fascinated by the trains. I think that is probably very normal for all boys, and especially this living in a small town. The trains become the highlight of the day. My husband, Bob loved to go out and count the cars on the train when his family was living in the small town of Point of Rocks, Wyoming. I’m sure Dad and Uncle Bill did the same thing.
They knew the trains like a lot of guys know cars. Uncle Bill tells us in his family history that the first train is an early 1900’s 1500 Series Locomotive, and the second one is a 1910 1200 Series Locomotive that was used on passenger trains. I can imagine that they spent as much time talking to the employees of the railway as they did looking at the trains. Their curiosity was peeked and they wanted to know everything about those trains. Their dad worked for the Great Northern Railway too, so they were allowed to ride the trains to get to and from school…so any stories about how they walked 10 miles, in the snow, and it was uphill both ways, are probably a little bit of a stretch.
Uncle Bill actually got a job with the railroad one time but he didn’t keep it very long. He thought it was pretty boring work, and since I have had a few boring jobs myself, I can empathize with his thoughts on the matter. Maybe, if he had been doing work that was similar to what his dad did, he would have liked it better. While railroad work was not what they wanted to do, that did not dim their interest in the trains, but then, what else was there for two young boys to do in the small town of Holyoke, Minnesota. I never thought of them as small town boys, but maybe they were.