2017 PH&D Hobofest at the PH&D Railroad wye, Port Huron, MI.
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Thursday, August 04, 2016
Monday, April 06, 2015
Time marches on and what man leaves behind Nature slowly reclaims. The small hamlet of Avoca, Michigan has seen time march pass as 20 years have passed since the last trains have rolled through town.
Old store fronts, seed houses, and the elevator age in the Michigan weather.
A sign no longer adorns this old tin feed or seed building. The overhang and loading dock are also gone. Farmers could come here and get their livestock feed, talk about life, and enjoy a break from tilling the land, milking cows, or other labors.
The rails still stand hidden from roadside view among the weeds, blackberry bushes, and poplar saplings.
The railroad siding once held a covered hopper or two during the grain harvest. The loading shoot rusts in place with its serpentine shadow cast on the corrugated metal siding.
Picture the pick-up trucks here loading up with bags of feed or seed. The farmer's trucks dumping trailers of beans, corn, or grain. This was a busy place during certain times of the year.
The electric motors are silent. The bucket elevator does not shake and rattle hoisting the grain to the top of the head where it would flow into one of the several pipes making a unique flowing sound as it goes down the pipes.
The guy wires hold fast the only used bucket elevator, though not for seed but for wireless internet broadcasts for the area.
Chutes, pulleys, and an unloading grate all unused and forgotten.
I could imagine a cat or two living here... if they were there I did not see them.
Chutes and hoists and hooks... no need for a ladder here.
These old elevators are fascinating relics, but endangered in these small hamlets due to the railroads being gone, lack of use, and larger capacity facilities now attract more customers. The Columbus elevator, Richmond elevator and many others have been torn down. I sure would love to see these repurposed, but time, money, economy, and many other variables are against the success here. For now the sounds heard are not of moving machinery in the elevator, but the sounds of spring songbirds and spring peepers in the water filled ditch along the overgrown right of way.