Tag Archives: Legacies On The Rails Road Show

Legacies On The Rails Roadshow Heads East To Historic Lee’s Summit

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Just as promised in my last posting, since I also had a hospital visit to make there, the Legacies On The Rails Road Show destination yesterday was historic Downtown Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Hometown of my buddy Fred Liggett, of the Lee’s Summit Tribune. Anytime that I can visit a depot that is for one of the railroads that I have family history in, that’s always an extra plus for me and since the one there is the former Missouri Pacific Depot, I was thrilled.

Not only that but this has now become another of my favorite regular spots to visit for rail-fanning, as Union Pacific trains, much like they do at the depots I have visited in Weston and Parkville, rumble by there multiple times a day, and my timing was perfect as I had just stepped out of my car when it was clear that my first video catch of the day was upon me, with the blast of a UP 7982’s air horn. Here are both videos that I took during my visit.

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The former Missouri Pacific Depot in Lee’s Summit is third generation. The very first depot was a box-car. Later a wooden building that later burned, and was then replaced by the current brick structure that like the depot in Parkville,housing its Chamber Of Commerce, this one  currently houses the Lee’s Summit Chamber Of Commerce. One of their ladies was kind enough to oblige me in taking my  photo shown above with the caboose that sits next to it. The Depot is currently undergoing renovations. When I asked if someone could share with me about the history of the depot,I was directed to Kathy Smith-Executive Director of the Historical Society Of Lee’s Summit Museum http://www.leessummithistory.net/ .

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Kathy was so gracious in taking time to ask if I needed anything as I looked around the facility, where a Lee’s Summit Veterans display is currently housed, as well as in taking time to share the information I sought with me. I was thrilled to find out that the museum is housed in a former WPA Post Office since I have been studying the 1930’s as I eluded to in my last posting in preparation for doing the 1930’s murder mystery ride wit the St Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway  on 4/25/15.

Kathy shared about how important the railroad has always been to the city of Lee’s Summit. It helped them rebuild after the ravages of the Civil War. A time period that saw the likes of Cole Younger and Bloody Bill Anderson. And Dr Pleasant Lea. Ir brought jobs, and made sure that farmers could ship their goods, receive supplies, and send equipment out for repairs and get it back. It has provided for the transportation of people, and still does today with the Amtrak Missouri River Runner coming through several times a day. It is one of the reasons behind the rich history of Lee’s Summit. History represented by murals like these on buildings around town. Speaking of Cole Younger, Kathy Smith was also well acquainted with our own Cathy Kline of the Cathy Kline Art Gallery, as Cathy Kline also has a Cole Younger mural there in town, which I missed on this trip but hope to catch next time.

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I also found this mural inside the Lee’s Summit Historical Society Museum by Aileen Franklin-which is among many of her circa 1960 Lee’s Summit history murals including The Community Church, The First School, Dr Pleasant Lea, Early Settlers, and The Star Route.

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Unfortunately, like some of my other Legacies On The Rails Road Show trips, a technical issue bit me in that the audio of my conversation with Kathy that I thought recorded and that I planned to upload as Legacies On The Rails-The Podcast Volume Two did not record. Even If I had known this as soon as we were done, she would not have had time for a re-take. I should have taken video to upload to You-Tube as I seemed to be doing well with that on the day. But, more opportunities will come very soon when I return to the Lee’s Summit Historical Society Museum to help bring several railroad artifacts up from their basement to display on the  main floor.

I hope you have enjoyed this snipit of the fabulous history of the railroad in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. I assure you that like my blogs about Kansas City Union Station’s Model Rail Experience, (which I hope to return to soon if my personal schedule allows), there will be much more Lee’s Summit highlights to share in the near future!

I’m John Losh, reminding you to keep leaving Legacies……On The Rails!

Plenty Of Rail-Fanning Going On!

As you probably imagined, I have not been idle as far as overall rail-fanning activity these past few weeks. Usually, if I’m not at work, or with family, or behind the computer blogging about rail-fanning, I’m out doing it. Whether it is stopping to take pics or video on my route to or from work, a quick run over to Parkville to do the same, while dropping in on Cathy Kline at the Cathy Kline Art Gallery, or even taking a Legacies On The Rails Road Show trip like I am planning tomorrow, to Lee’s Summit,Missouri where I will visit my Cousin Renita Tilton who is hospitalized there with Cancer, as well as visiting the Missouri Pacific and Amtrak Depots there. http://www.greatamericanstations.com/Stations/LEE .

If I have not already mentioned it in a previous posting, I am proud to announce that the Legacies On The Rails Art Show at the Cathy Kline Art Gallery will be Saturday, August 1st from 6pm-8pm. 8701 NW River Park Dr in Parkville, Missouri. 10% of sales will benefit the Model Rail Experience that I volunteer at in Kansas City’s Union Station! Hope you will mark your calendars and plan to attend!

Here are some of my recent photos and videos. In addition to taking video now, anytime I can get it from my car, I have started playing Christian music CD’s while the train passes and calling it (still as a Legacies On The Rails Fan Video) Gospel Trains. Have done three of those that I will share.

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Harry s Truman Amtrak Depot in Independence, Mo

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Near the former Sam’s Town Casino in KC North. Definitely getting an enlargement made of this one!

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23rd Street area in Kansas City, Mo

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Outside the former CB&Q Depot/Cathy Kline Art Gallery in Parkville, Mo

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North Kansas City, Missouri. The BNSF Loco is another that is likely getting an enlargement made of.

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Riverside, Missouri

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Liberty, Missouri at the Canadian Pacific Depot and off Stockdale Rd

And, as my wife and I are gathering funds for our 25th Anniversary trip later this month which will include some great rail-fan activities like riding the St Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway on their “Murder On The Petulant Express” dinner train that I am definitely looking forward to http://www.slimrr.com/ , we have had some garage sales and I have sold some items on Facebook Swap & Shop pages. This led to one of our garage sale visitors being Joe Debane, who worked for 40 years testing railroad freight scales  Joe is a daily regular at the Timeless Treasures Antique Mall that my family and I shop at often. Joe has a booth there and sells primarily Hot Wheels cars. He has bought pretty much my entire die cast collection, as I have enjoyed them for many years, but as we need the funds, and I need the room in my several-themed rec-room to expand my railroad collection, it was time to part with them. Joe gave me several polaroids and some post-cards from his time in the rail industry that I took these pics of, that I have also now  shared on several railroad Facebook pages.

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I almost forgot to mention my newest Legacies On The Rails project, just started yesterday, the Legacies On The Rails Pod-Cast!
http://legaciesontherails.podomatic.com/entry/2015-04-13T11_49_53-07_00 . Many more entries to come. Hope you enjoy this inaugural episode!

 

As usual, let’s wrap up with a railroad music video, led off by the man in black, Johnny Cash!

I’m John Losh, reminding you to keep leaving Legacies……On The Rails!

Chillicothe, Chula and Kearney Missouri Fill Out Last Two Weeks for Legacies On The Rails Road Show

Once you read my very first posting on Legacies On The Rails, you knew that it was genealogy research and discovering the rail history in my family along the way that got the “train bug” to bite me. One of the family members on my paternal grandfather’s side that I went on to discover is what led to the 3/5/15 Legacies On The Rails Road Show trip to Chillicothe and , Chula, Missouri.

On this trip, I was able to accomplish several things. Taking my daughter Cara Losh along, just as I did on the last Road Show trip to Columbia, Booneville and Warrensburg, Missouri. Visiting with my cousin George Hess and his wife Shirley and son Tim. Getting to eat barbecue, and visit one of the historic depots-specifically in this case, the former Wabash Depot that currently houses Wabash Barbecue, in Chillicothe, Missouri. Taking a trip to visit some sites that have great signifigance for our family history.

Cara and I left our Kansas City home about 8:30am on Thursday 3/5/15 and after a brief stop at Barista De Casa http://baristadecasa.com/ (also where some of this post was written) to get her a frozen hot chocolate (the only remedy in her book for a sore throat), we headed for Chillicothe and our first stop-the home of George, Shirley and Tim Hess.

George worked as a mechanic for the Burlington-Northern Railroad for seven years-just three years shy of drawing a pension on the night shift in Livingston, Montana while servicing oil rigs during the day and serving as pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Grey Bull, Mt. He had recently sent me this photo from his days on the railroad.

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This started with selling of the family farm in Meadville, Missouri in December 1972 and heading to Montana to meet with Bennett Delmar-a Missions Director to discuss several different churches that needed pastors. He and Shirley were soon flying to Casper, Wyoming, then going to Grey Bull, where he preached on a Sunday night and visited several other churches in the days to come.

He got the call to come pastor a church some time after they were back home in Missouri so they loaded a U-Haul truck, towing one of their cars behind it. He wasn’t getting paid much so one of his church members got him on as a mechanic with the Burlington-Northern Railroad on the night shift and he serviced oil wells during the day. George shared stories of several incidents that could have been even worse. Like one night he was backing up a consist but had not opened a switch, which the consist forced its way through. When he tried to drive it back forward, the brakes wouldn’t release and he realized the rear car had derailed. He called his foreman at the roundhouse, who dispatched crews from Billings, Montana with heavy equipment to set things right.

Back in those days, they were still using way-cars (cabooses). George remembers that air lines would break and he would have to crawl up under cars in 40 below temperatures with a flashlight in his mouth. one such night he was under a car, had crawled out to get a wrench and as he was about to crawl back under, someone building a consist struck the caboose. Another time, he was on a locomotive, when someone hit it and struck him in the back. In a separate incident, he was dis-assembling an engine when someone opened a valve, releasing the oil, causing him to slip and injure his back.

George and his family later moved to Aliance, Nebraska where he became a chemist for the railroad. He actually even helped set up their lab there. The conditions were poor because the building had no exhaust. Part of what he did was to burn off oil to determine how much copper and other elements were in the oil, and how much oil was getting into the water. He did this for a year before he returned to Missouri for a reunion but ended up staying, and enrolling in the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, graduated in 1984 and went on to pastor several churches, including Eden, Missouri and eventually Highlands Baptist Church in Boise, Idaho.

After hearing all these great stories, and George and his family showing us their beautiful collection of self-made quilts, we headed into town, stopping briefly to check out these great murals pained on various buildings.

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Then we headed on to Wabash Barbecue, located in the former Wabash Railroad Depot,  Where I also checked out some rail cars parked on tracks right next to it.

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I later found a page with a picture of the locomotive that made me believe it is there specifically for display and I then wondered if anyone would have cared if I had simply climbed aboard her to have my picture taken.

While at Wabash Barbecue http://www.wabashbbq.com/menu.html I asked about their history and received a take home menu, sponsored by several local businesses, but it unfortunately only had the history of their sister location in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, where I also did a nearly year long radio show on http://1027thehog.com/ . Their history can be found at this link http://www.wabashbbq.com/history.html . But the food and the service were outstanding. I took several photos inside Wabash Barbecue but dropped my camera one day since, which appears to have broken a sensor it it, rendering most of the files on the memory card unrecoverable.

We later drove on to Haysville, Missouri to visit family history sites, including the house and land that my paternal grandfather John Losh grew up in, and some family graves. As we left Chillicothe, I caught this shot of a railroad bridge over 36 Highway and these photos on our way back, in Chula, Missouri.

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Later, we wrapped up the day back at the Hess home over lemon cake, ice cream and coffee before Cara and I headed back to Kansas City. What an enjoyable day it was indeed and I am hoping to bring my wife Denise to Chillicothe for another visit with the Hess family on one of my weekends off in April.

On Wednesday, 3/11/15, I headed out to the former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Depot in Kearney, Missouri, located at 301 W Washington St. Unfortunately, no one was there to tell me about the Depot and the building was locked, so the best I was able to get were these photos at the depot, and of some cars across the street of cars parked at the Nutrena Kearney Feed facility across the street, and this brief video. With my camera broken and my phone running out of space, I was (and still am) a bit limited in what I am able to record.

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I finished out my day on 3/11/15 with another stop at Barista De Casa for some coffee and writing time (got another blog to write in the near future that will include a story I got from one of my visits there) and caught this video from the Richfield Rd Bridge in Liberty

And these photos over near the Ameristar Casino-where my daughter will now be working near at the early learning center.

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So, overall, a decent couple of weeks of rail-fan activity. I have taken many more photos since, but since my first priority right now is getting those sent to Cathy Kline at the Cathy Kline Art Gallery in Parkville, (who I meet with again tomorrow 3/20/15 to discuss some potential details for the Legacies On The Rails Art Show), and geting photos downloaded for the next Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly, which has proven difficult with technical issues, I will save those for another time. Or you can follow me on Facebook to see photos I post on my page and several other rail-fan pages.

I wanted to finish up this session with a musical-pictorial documentary dedicated to Harv Kahn-the now late railroad photographer. But I have to say that though all the photos are very enjoyable, some of these photos (because I am unaware if he has permission to be on any of the properties the photos were taken from), by today’s legal and safety standards, were taken from spots that are normally not deemed safe, or allowable. My involvement with Operation Lifesaver and my belief in what it stands for, indicates that I must mention this.

Until next time, I’m John Losh, reminding you to keep leaving Legacies……..On The Rails!

 

Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly Volume Three

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And, last but not least on this week’s agenda, last time I said we hoped to see you at the Mid-America Train And Toy Show at the KCI Expo Center. http://www.midamericatrainandtoyshow.com/ Though I hope you were able to make it, here is a short video and some pics from that.

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Well, that about wraps it up for this edition of Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly. I’ll see you next time, hoping that you come pay Union Station and the Model Rail Experience a visit soon, and keep coming back. It promises to be a great time for the whole family!

I’m John Losh, reminding you to keep leaving Legacies……….On The Rails!

Legacies On The Rails Road Show Has Busy End To February

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The last week of February proved to be a busy and fun experience for the Legacies On The Rails Road Show. It started with me planning to take a solo trip to Warrensburg, Missouri on Sunday, 2/22/15 to visit my Cousin Renita Tilton who was in the hospital there with cancer (would appreciate your prayers for her and her family) and do a bit of Road Show or general rail-fan stops along the way. But then my wife and daughter wanted to come along and also go visit my son John who attends the University Of Missouri, lives and works in Columbia. This was initially due to the fact that my wife thought Warrensburg was a lot closer to Columbia then they are, so what would have been maybe a four hour excursion for me, turned into a twelve hour day for the three of us. But it was worth it.

So, after having breakfast with John at the Columbia IHOP, we headed back toward Warrensburg. But not before stopping a couple places along the way. The first was the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Depot in Downtown Columbia that is now the Shiloh Bar & Grille.

Next it was on to another former MKT Depot in Booneville, Missouri. Unfortunately, it was not open to allow us access to see what is on display inside, but we were able to enjoy the sight of this beautiful Spanish style building’s exterior as well as the MKT 134 Caboose that is on display outside and get some pictures and video.

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And, of course, you already saw the caboose by itself at the start of this posting. Then after visiting my Cousin in the hospital, the next stop before heading back to Kansas City was the former Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot, currently used by Amtrak, BNSF and Union Pacific in Downtown Warrensburg. It opened in 1889-the same year that the former CB&Q Depot that I recently posted about in Parkville, Missouri that currently houses the Parkville Area Chamber as well as the Cathy Kline Art Gallery https://www.facebook.com/cathyklinefineart was built. Stop in and check it out and stayed tuned to Legacies On The Rails for updates on the Legacies On The Rails Art Show that we hope to have take place there in early Summer. Unfortunately, though the Amtrak/BNSF/UP Depot building was open and I did, as you can see in the video, take a quick look inside, there was no one there to tell me about the depot and no trains coming or going at present. But I did help myself to the Amtrak Vacations Magazine that was part of the free literature they had available.

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On Monday, 2/23/15, I headed back to Parkville, Missouri briefly and caught these BNSF and Union Pacific videos.

Then on Wednesday, 2/25/15, Jordan Gallacher and I headed up to Weston, Missouri to visit the former CB&Q Depot that currently houses the Weston City Hall, has some great CB&Q items on display including some that belonged to my friend Craig Coffey’s father during his days with the CB&Q Railroad and has a caboose on display that was originally a Union Pacific car but is now painted in the green & yellow Burlington-Northern scheme.It was painted this way and moved to Weston after the family of Ed Kirk, a Burlington-Northern Engineer who was killed in a car accident on his way to work (like my grandfather John Losh of the CB&Q was killed on his way home from work in Keokuk,Iowa in 1964), wanted something to honor Ed’s memory, bought it in St Joseph, Missouri, had it moved to Weston and BN paid to have it put on rails.

Unfortunately, the video I took there of City Clerk Kim Kirby telling us about the depot and the rail videos I got of Union Pacific and BNSF trains rumbling through Weston and one of them as it passed the depot were lost when Jordan and I returned to my home after the trip, and I thought I had all the pics and video saved to my computer and started the upload process of the videos to You Tube, removed my camera’s memory card from my computer and cleared it. But I had saved the photos. And, as my friend Craig (who also told me the Ed Kirk story) said, that just means a repeat visit to Weston in the near future.

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There are more pics, but they are on Jordan’s camera. And,on our way to take Jordan home to Liberty, got this video of a UP manifest from the Richfield Rd bridge over the tracks just north of the Canadian Pacific Depot in Liberty. I was busy trying to take pics without using my zoom (didn’t realize digital zoom mode was off and kept getting blurry photos when zooming) that I missed the lead locomotive of the three engine set.)

I wrapped up the week with my now usual Friday morning volunteer session at the Model Rail Experience at Kansas City‘s Union Station, but I will cover that later this week in Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly-Volume Two.

My Legacies On The Rails Road Show destination for this week, on Thursday 3/5/15 accompanied this time by my daughter Cara Losh will be the former CB&Q Depot in Chillicothe, Missouri and a lunch get together for Cara and I with my Cousin George Hess, also a  former railroader.

Well, as usual, let’s close with some railroad music-this time with Arlo GuthrieThe City Of New Orleans

Until next time, I’m John Losh encouraging you to keep leaving Legacies…………On The Rails!