Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"Hidden Gems"

Harold Krewer points out that a recent article on TripAdvisor.com lists "Six Hidden Travel Gems" you should go visit, at this link.  IRM is one of the hidden gems!  Another is Lowell, Mass.  (They must attach a different meaning to the word "hidden" than I do.)  We were just at Lowell, and I'll have a post up about it soon.  Another item on the list, of all places, is Oatman, Arizona.  I've been to Oatman, and I'll save you all a long, hot journey.

It's a semi-ghost town in the middle of barren mountains.  Many buildings are abandoned, and wild animals wander down the street looking for handouts.  We passed through there because it's on the old Route 66, but the road is terrible.  Steep hills, sharp curves, no signs.  We just kept hoping the rental car wouldn't break down.  Other than gawk at the wild burros, there's not much to do in Oatman.  But I guess it was good for a few laughs.   In any case, thanks, Harold!


Anonymous said...

If you bring up the subject of railroad books the list can go on for ever. But I am very partial to everything that was written by William D. Middleton. his three volume set of volumes on Interurbans is as good as it gets. Several of the cars preserved at IRM are mentioned in the Fast and Extra Fare volume.

my only grip with Mr Middleton was he did not give very good descriptions of railway museum. His off-hand comment that the North Shore car in that Illinois museum is not enough. There is more than one museum in Illinois.

The electric Pullman Champoeg is preserved by the Western Railway Museum but Middleton says nada in it.

But his choices of photos are wonderful; I can't imagine where he found them all!

Ted Miles
IRM Member
Seashore Member

David Wilkins said...


That's great, but what does this have to do with a Ghost town in Arizona?

The "Traction Classics" three volume set you speak of (forthcoming) are good. However, I surmised I think they are just a compilation of previous articles that Middleton wrote for other publications. Trains Magazine in the 1960s used to do a semi-monthly piece by him that was a short blurb.

He may not have updated the material when it was republished. That being said, Middleton was a traction historian, not a traction museum historian. He spent his free time writing, whereas we go to the museum and work. Thus, he may not have been up on what car was where, etc.

David Wilkins

David Wilkins said...


I was just saying that tongue in cheek, you accidentally commented on the wrong post.

Of course, if you want to know what museum owns what car, you should look no further than the Preserved North American Electric Railway Car Roster, maintained by Frank.

Joel Ahrendt said...

I didn't get a chance to run the street car there in Lowell because of my time constraints.