Posted on | April 24, 2014 | No Comments
I live a short distance from a major Cache Valley metropolis – if you are talking about Cache Valley in the early 1900’s…
Cache Junction is its name. Past Presidents of the United States are among the notable visitors to this valley community, and a large crowd gathered there to see the Liberty Bell as it made its way across the country by train in 1916.
On a personal note, my family history has an odd tie to Cache Junction. In 1907 a great grandfather was killed there by an unnoticed switch engine as he visited with a friend while crossing a sidetrack after getting off a train. In one account of the event it is noted that the Junction was so busy and noisy by night and day that a tragedy was inevitable.
Today, however, this part of the valley is a shadow of its former self. Where there used to be many homes and stores, banks and a post office, a school and hotels – even a baseball field and gun club, very little of the heyday of this town remains.
How did a booming community rise in this unlikely location and then fade so quickly? To sum it up: the railroad giveth, and the depression taketh away. The railroad was still a big part of the economy of Cache Junction even after the depression, but it never returned to its prominence of the 1920’s.
All of this occurred way before my time, but I am old enough to remember one piece of Cache Junction’s rich railroad history – The Beanery. It was a treat to make the short trip across the river with my family to enjoy the enormous shrimp with an equally large portion of fries, or any other item from the menu. What memories!
The railroad boom may be history, but trains are still a part of life in west Cache Valley. Several times during the day and night the lonesome whistle of a locomotive alerts all who are close enough to hear. Most of the time my schedule does not coincide with the trains that pass by a few miles from town, but every once in a while I have to yield at a crossing as they rumble on their way.
Today’s post includes a picture I made during one of those rare meetings. It was a bright sunny morning a little over a week ago, and luckily I already had my camera out of its bag in hopes I’d find something to capture on the way to the big city. Here’s the picture I made that morning:
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