Another Railroad Hike Under Sunny, But Cold, November Skies.
I decided to again hike along some local railroad tracks. This time I decided to walk a stretch of tracks I haven’t been before, on the south western side of the city of Hazleton. I parked nears the active railroad line that crosses Buttonwood street and headed south and west.
This was the old Lehigh Valley railroad line that ran into McAdoo and points south. I walked by the businesses located in the “Heights” section of Hazleton. Looking back east into Hazleton I could see the steeples of St. Gabriel’s church, the first Catholic Church in Hazleton. I imagined how many a miner walked these very tracks, after a long day underground in the surrounding mines, or on the way to attend church on a Sunday, and had this same view.
Heading west, I came to the ruins of a long abandoned bridge of the old THE DELAWARE, SUSQUEHANNA – SCHUYLKILL R. R.. This was part of the belt railroad that was built in 1890 by Coxe Bros. & Co., and was near what was then known as Roan Junction. (You can click on the red highlighted words to link to more info on these topics) This railroad connected the many coal mines of the Coxe brother from Sheppton, to Tomhicken and Drifton. One railroad once passed near my home and I walked it’s old right of way many times as it ran along the south side of the Black Creek below Stony Mountain.
The rails proceeded west and split, one heading more west, crossing route 309 and eventually heading to Oneida and Sheppton. The other headed south and crossed the site of the old village of Yorktown.
As I headed south I also walked by the very old village of Beaver Brook. My grandfather on my mom’s side was born here. This was one of the first towns in the area and I walked into the patch town to visit the old Civil War cemetery. U was disappointed to find it was now enclosed by a fence and the gates were locked.
Some of the strip mines were narrow strewn with large boulders and now overgrown with large trees. These were some of the first strip mines in the area. They were dug with real “steam” shovels operated with steam from coal fired engines.
I walked almost to the town of McAdoo, the town my mom was born and raised and where I spent my first two years on this planet. I could hear the bells from the churches in town. And some of my first memories where the whistles of the trains that traveled these very tracks.
It was getting late, I wanted to get back and watch some football so I turned around and took the long walk back to Hazleton. It was another great day to be outside in Northeastern PA. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/railroad-hike-hazleton-heights-november-15-2015
“The restlessness and the longing, like the longing that is in the whistle of a faraway train. Except that the longing isn’t really in the whistle—it is in you.”
― Meindert DeJong