through the very heart for some
where industry has long been gone
looks like any old abandoned town
it looks like any other place
forgotten and left to waste
its residents have long been chased away
steam rises from the fields
smoke-clouds skim the streets
a fire burns underneath the fallen city
this old mining community
is hotter than the planet mercury
a statuette without a face
disfigured and erased
four hundred acres all unseen
been burning since 1960
the government gave it up
paid money for all the people to move out
they took their pictures and precious things
their families, their histories
level it all, let nature reclaim this town
smoke rises from the hills
like some kind of poison spell
the mines are smoldering still
after fifty years
they’ll burn for a hundred more
hollowing a harrowing core
the coal went when the soul went
the other way down
level it all
don’t look back on Pennsylvania 61’
The old grain elevator is standing there still. The Murrieta Sentinel, the tallest building in town. Young Emma Hale took photographs of it with that box camera of hers. It’s standing there right alongside where the tracks of the California Southern Railroad once ran through town. The trains stopped running in 1935 and it really brought an end to the tourism from the Hot Springs down the road - Emma Hale worked at the springs and walked the six miles there and back every day - and then the Fountain House Hotel burned to the ground that very same year.
Things got real quiet for a real long time. Just the dry goods store - well, that’s the donut shop now - we got a filling station, a post office. My grandparents bought wood paneling from the scrap shop on Main Street for their log cabin out in the then-quiet wine country. It was calm for about fifty years here.
The great interstate system was born and a concrete ribbon was poured through the middle of town, parallel to Old Highway 395, and I-15 brought waves of new commuter families looking for a home. The horse ranches gave way to housing tracts and I found myself here, only a few years old, running through the construction rubble of the residential developments. My father would drive us down the winding back road of Washington Ave. to the only hobby shop in town.
I grew up here, safe in perfect suburban summers that tasted like hot, wet asphalt, wrapped in mild falls with Thanksgiving and Christmas and the long nights all alive with the smell of familysmoke, and every house dim and warm. I first fell in love here with a girl that moved out from Levittown, Pennsylvania. We hung wind chimes in trees in the parking lots of the monochrome retail plazas, and she wrapped her arms around me in the dry creek bed that the train tracks once ran parallel to.
Yes, in 1935 the last train rolled through town and they tore up the tracks, in 1995 my father and I were pulling trading cards from foil packs, in 2005 I was in love and was not looking back. And that old grain elevator is standing there still.
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Montana Circa 1935
Traveling by train cross-country may not be the most popular transportation option any more, but the railroad has always had a certain romantic quality. By Gustav Krollman.
From Vintage Posters, August 1st, 2012
West Wind Motel - McLean, Texas
U.S. 66 and Interstate 40
Phone HR 9-2445
Box 201 - McLean, Texas
Located in the heart of cattle, oil and ranching area of Texas.
Television - wall to wall carpet - refrigerated air - panel ray heat. Good restaurant near by.
E.J. and Grace Windom
Owners and Managers
Aroostook County picnic, ca 1910, photo by Isaac Simpson
The Milk Farm - Dixon, California
This very unusual restaurant is located 20 miles west of Sacramento on U.S. 40. The colorful, informal atmosphere, and the excellent home-style cuisine attract a daily average of 2000 satisfied customers. Kiddies love to eat under the big “Moo-Cow”