Midnight Train Through Milner's Switch

19th February 2013

It's surprising how much history can be found in our own back door. A sudden interest in trains and old train depots a few weeks ago started me thinking and I remembered things my mom and dad said years ago when I was young. I remembered them telling about walking the railroad when they were first married (walking was their only means of transportation for a while). They would walk from Elora, Tn. which is just a few miles from where we now live, to Flintville, Tn. and sometimes on to Kelso, just a few miles down the track. Each small town had a train depot.

I recalled them talking about Milner's switch, near Elora, and a railroad trestle. Then I remembered a story that was popular when my husband and I were in high school. THE FLINTVILLE LIGHT!

Story was, a railroad worker was killed one night on the tracks and on a dark night a bright light would appear on the tracks. It was seen by many from Flintville village to Milner's switch. The light would procede down the track and come close to those watching, then just disappear. No explanation was ever found for the mysterious light.

The tracks are gone now, but not the memories. Now and again we still hear someone mention "the light".

Sometimes memory takes me back in time and I like to visit the places my parents talked about, it seem to make me feel closer to them now that they are no longer here. While out "prowling" a couple weeks ago, we drove just up the road to Elora and discovered there is still a Milner's Switch road. The road came to a dead end on a lovely little farm and a kind man named Mr. Dennison was out cutting bushes. We asked him about the "switch" and where the train used to be. He said "your car is sittin' where the depot and track use to be. WOW! right under my nose all these years.

Not much left now, an old barn and tennant house that sat beside the tracks and a pile of old railroad ties. Mr. Dennison pointed out the old trail where the trestle use to be. It brought back lots of memories of my mom and dad and how life must have been for them. We shouldn't let old memories die, we need to go back and remember every now and then.

The first photo at the top of page is my rendition of how it may have been on a dark night on the railroad. A little merging of photos and some "additions" here and there.

As we were leaving down the driveway I told my husband, I hope when springtime comes we can come back late one afternoon and walk down the trail where the train trestle use to be. Who knows, we just might see the "light". His reply to me was...