Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Last Caboose Standing

In a previous post (click here) I explained how a misdirection from our GPS system, had the Old Salt and me standing in front of a vacant lot on Main Street in the little town of Newburg, Missouri. Today I want to share more of the red items I photographed that day, along with a little history of that old town.

As towns go Newburg is not much to look at. It is one of those small towns carved into the limestone bluffs of the Ozark mountains that time has forgotten. Most of its buildings have seen better days. According to the 2000 census, Newburg has a population of 484 people with 30 percent living below the poverty line.
Even on that cold and rainy fall day, it was easy to see what Newburg lacked in curb appeal it made up for in human and natural resources. A large old house on main street housed an antique shop and served as the community center and soup kitchen. A sign in the window announced an upcoming Christmas production by the community theater. Down the street was a block long organic community garden that helps make low cost fresh produce and vegetables available to the citizens of Newburg. The teens, hanging out in front of the market, who we asked for directions were polite and friendly.

Newburg is nestled among the rolling Ozark Hills on the banks of the beautiful Little Piney River, and the area features a wide range of lovely flora and fauna, the surrounding area features several Crystal-clear streams, meandering through heavily forested countryside and a network of cycling trails any family would love to explore. The beautiful natural surroundings, friendly people and centuries of history made Newburg a unique place to visit.

Newburg was the last town in Phelps County created along the railroad line. But, unlike other communities, the St. Louis & San Francisco Railway (“Frisco”) founded Newburg solely for railroad purposes. After World War II, when the railway switched from coal to diesel engines, which could run much longer distances without refuelling. The Newburg stop was closed, removing the roundhouse, turntable, and freight yards. This single "Frisco" caboose is all that remains to mark the spot of the old freight yards and to stand testament to the prosperity that once existed in this small town. But, it appears that nature lovers are starting to discover the unspoiled beauty of this jewel in nature's crown and may soon be bringing good news back to forgotten little Newburg.

I am linking this post to Ruby Tuesday and Rednesday.

Mary at "Work of the Poet" hosts Ruby Tuesday. Rednesday is a Wednesday meme hosted by Sue at "It's a Very Cherry World." Both memes are dedicated to the color red. To join the fun or just check out what Red others are excited to share visit Mary and her friends at Ruby Tuesdayand Sue and her friends from Rednesday


  1. Love the fire hydrant--you were at the right place at the right time with your camera. Mickie

  2. I love discovering towns like this that have so much character from the friendly people that keep it alive. Great reds too.

  3. Thank you for this interesting and informative post of this little area. I love old towns and buildings. The history behind them is just the best.

  4. Sometimes it's nice to travel off of the beaten path, because you get to discover things you probably never would have seen otherwise!
    Happy REDnesday!


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