18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, March 7, 1914: Nothing doing. Saw Mistress Ruth off on the train tonight. It was late, so I took the lantern down to act for a signal.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Where was Grandma’s sister Ruth going?
Tracks for the Susquehanna, Bloomsburg, and Berwick Railroad crossed the Muffly farm. There was a flag stop at a feed mill called Truckenmiller’s Mill which bordered the farm. The route went from Watsontown to McEwensville and Turbotville and then continued east to Washingtonville, Bloomsburg, and Berwick.
Sometimes the diary entries give me powerful visual images. In my mind, I see two young women, standing beside a dark mill on a cold, cloudy moonless night waiting for the train.
And, then the train lights appear in the distance. As the train approaches, Grandma wildly swings the lantern, while Ruth frets that the train might not stop. . . .but it slowly rolls to a stop and Ruth vanishes into the train. . . . and Grandma slowly walks home with the lantern lighting the way.