Follow the Rail
The old farmhouse house I grew up on was well over 150 years old when I was living in it. The community around it was just as old but had not weathered as well as the farm. It was not uncommon to walk in the woods and discover the remains of a home. An old storage silo or some other sign that a place you had to hike 20 min to get to and there was no sign anyone had been there in 50 years was once a thriving place and someones home.
Most of them are just interesting places. By that, I mean that you know they are there and that some story exists, but none is ever told. Every now and then I was able to track down a great grandkid of the original owners and they would be lucky to even know their grandparents even had a house back in the area much less to know where it was or anything about it. It's an entire swath of history that in two generations was erased.
Along the creek between the neighbor's hayfield and ours right at the perfect location that the only time anyone ever saw it was making hay once a year was three pillars that used to hold up railroad track over the creek. I used to see the railroad crossing on the main road (542) before it was removed but the tracks between there and tank farm, about 10 miles, had long since been taken up to the point that the only sign there was ever any tracks are the pillars.
For the most part, I always considered the area train free. Then one summer night I woke to a distant train whistle. Some summer nights I could hear a long way, but a train whistle was strange given it was all diesel trains on the rail now. The whistle and the distant chug was way out of place. I lay there listening to the strange sound thinking how out of place it was. When the whistle sounded again by the end of the hayfield I decided I need to find out what was going on.
Quick as a snap and quiet as a mouse I was out of the house and heading downhill to the field. As I turned down the road to cross the crick I was shocked to see a man in black standing in the middle of the road. Ye called out to me "Hey Buddy, Wheres the station?" I looked at him shocked. "Um, I don't know of a station." I said back not likely loud enough for him to hear. Then I head a whistle again down the road and back towards the pillars. I turned for a second and when I turned back he was gone. So was the train sounds.
I did walk to the end of the road and looked around at the field. Nothing was out of place. I didn't go stomping through the high grass until morning but nothing was out of place when I did. I spent a little time asking around about where the old station once was, but I couldn't find anyone who still remembered. It seems the hills around it still remember but they aren't telling.