Memories linger for Mrs. Loy Summers. A fixture in our Newton County community for many decades, she has wonderful memories of a childhood in Mansfield, Georgia; a childhood that depended on the train.
Mrs. Summers' family owned an enormous peach farm for many years. As a child in the early 1940's, Mrs. Summers remembers seeing many bushels of peaches being loaded onto refrigerated train cars. "Those peaches from our farm went all the way to New York," she said, smiling. "I remember my daddy talking about how many bushels they loaded by conveyor belt."
In addition to relying on the train for transportation of peaches, Mrs. Summers remembers the joy of walking along the train tracks just for fun. When family came to visit, they would sometimes have sweet potato pie for Sunday dinner. "And I don't know why, but I remember we would walk along those train tracks eating sweet potato pie."
Back in the 1940's, you could take a train from one small town to the next. According to Mrs. Summers, it was very safe. Mrs. Summers remembers going to visit a friend in Starrsville when she was twelve. During high school, her class took the Silver Comet train to Washington D.C. She doesn't remember how long it took or whether there were sleeping cars. "We just stayed up all night talking," she said with a laugh.
The childhood memories of Mrs. Loy Summers are intertwined with the memory of trains that used to stop at every small town in Newton County. These memories can be honored by our preservation of these corridors and our giving them new life through Newton Trails.
To celebrate and support the ongoing effort to develop the rail trail and preserve Newton County history, Newton Trails urges trail supporters to become Newton Trails members or make a donation. Newton Trails is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all contributions are tax deductible.