Monday, June 14, 2010

It's all Trew: Area full of historical tidbits

Perusing through countless magazines, newspapers and books, both old and new, turns up numerous interesting tidbits of history. These are tucked away in my inbox and when I find enough to fill an article I group them together. Here are some samples: Seventy-five years ago on March 18, 1935, the first "shelter-belt" was planted on the Horace E. Curtis farm near Willow, Okla., in Greer County. For those who don't know, a shelter-belt is a group of rows of various types of trees, chosen for their hardiness, drought resistance and fast growth. To help supply fruit for the sometimes desperate families trying to survive the Dust Bowl, various fruit trees including apricot, apple, pear and peach trees were planted. To help supply wooden posts for fencing and lumber, bois de arc and black locust trees were often added. Their primary purpose was to provide a shield against the prairie winds of the Dust Bowl. One of my recent articles told that today's Dalhart was known at one time as Twist when the first railroad was constructed through the area. This statement generated an e-mail from Gerald Hook of Russellville, Ark., who is my "resident railroad expert." He sent an article from a 1929 railroad magazine that reported on Dec. 9, 1928, at 2:15 a.m. a northbound freight train moving at about 25 mph ran about one mile beyond Twist, a sidetrack where it was supposed to wait for a southbound passenger train to pass by. It seems the passenger trains always had right-of-way over freight trains. This created a terrible train wreck...more

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