2010.12.08 Von Smith: Remembering Morenci's railroad

Written by David Green.

A few weeks ago the Observer published a story about railroads affecting Fayette and Morenci. This was accurate and factual.

I was born and raised on a farm in Fayette and lived there part of my life. The house is at the eastern village limits on East Main Street (and U.S. 20). My parents, Howard and Phila Smith, lived there almost all their lives.

The story about “Old Dolly” and the Pioneer and Fayette Railroad brought bak many memories. The “P&F” ended in front of my home. It never carried passengers...except once.

In 1942, my father learned the P&F was going out of business in a few days. Knowing the P&F staff, he got permission for he and I to ride in the locomotive on its last Saturday run to Pioneer. What a thrill for a boy! My mother drove to the end of the line in Pioneer to meet us. This experience could never be repeated.

Your newspaper stories are well done and welcomed. Keep it up.

– Von M. Smith

Hamilton Street, Berea, Ohio

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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