Mud! Had to Walk the Rails to Town

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Sunday, December 17, 1911: Went to Sunday School this afternoon taking the longer way up the railroad on account of the awful roads. Besse was out this afternoon to see Ruth’s outfit. Gaugers came down this evening. Must get up early tomorrow morning because Ruthie must depart early. 

A hundred years ago Grandma would have walked this track from the Muffly farm to McEwensville. In those days the train track wouldn't have gone under an interstate highway underpass like it does today.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

The mud must still be horrific. The roads between the Muffly farm and McEwensville were not paved in 1911—but the Susquehanna, Bloomsburg, and Berwick railroad tracks crossed the farm, so Grandma sometimes walked the tracks to town when the roads were muddy. People frequently walked the rails a hundred years ago—though it was considered a somewhat dangerous practice.

Grandma’s married sister Besse must have come out to the farm from the nearby town of Watsontown to see the outfit of their other sister, Ruth.

A previous post mentioned that Ruth was going to an institute. Ruth was a teacher at a nearby one-room school house and I think that she was going to a short teacher professional development institute for part of the holiday break. (Schools had a longer winter break back then.)

The Gauger family lived on a farm that was located between McEwensville and Turbotville. That farm was about two miles from the Muffly farm.  Ruth married one of the Gauger children (Bill) several years after the end of this diary . Based upon the diary entries, I don’t think that Ruth was dating Bill Gauger in December, 1911. Also based upon previous posts, I do think that Grandma may have had a crush on Bill in 1911.

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