Totem Pole Tales-The Dinky Line
Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook July 13, 2012

Caption: This week's picture is the Dinky Engine.  Take note of the L & E on the side of the engine, which is for the owners Lobdell
and Emery.  Research has also shown that the 30 miles of railroad owned by Lobdell and Emery was standard gauge and 4 feet, 
8 1/2 inches between the rails.  This clears my mind about the Dinky Line.  The rails were standard gauge but the engine was
smaller than a regular engine.  Information from the late Ray Young shows the engine was a Lima Locomotive. We will talk more
about the engine when we sort out the ruins of the American Woodrim Company.
width="600" The Dinky Line Remember the Lobdell-Emery Dinky Line That ran to the south through the hemlock and pine? It began in town at the Lobdell pond And stretched to the south like a witch's wand. I will never forget those cheap thin rails That crawled like a snake through the hills and swales; It was the craziest road you ever saw But it probed for the heart of the green gold raw. The loot of the woods on high-decked cars Under the sun and under the stars Borne to the altar of human need By the slaves of the dollar for the priest of greed. Looking backward on the distant years There's reason indeed for bitter tears For we felled the proud forest so brave and green And we tore from the hills their beautiful sheen. It was put down about nineteen and ten And the ones who built it were husky he-men; They worked like beavers in the muck and mud And they stained its bed with some of their blood. Where do you suppose they are today, The men who toiled on that right of way? They are scattered and gone as a cloud of dust And the roadway they made is streaked with rust. Its bed is choked by the weeds and the thistle But listen with me and you'll hear the whistle; As memory floods back as it always will- There's John at the throttle, beside him is Bill. Throughout the years they worked together Bucking the grades in all sorts of weather. Now Bill has gone to a far distant land And John in his cab will nevermore stand. And there was the boss of the section crew, Tall and severe and an Irishman, too, Was my friend, Big Michael O'Meara, And proud and true as a man of Tara. Many's the time from those old cedar ties My father and I looked up at night skies, As he told me of the crossings of Life; About its goodness, its evil and strife. He, too, has gone to a much better place, That man who smiled in the world's ugly face, Who fought for the right as he saw it to be And who tried to instill his courage in me. That line was much more than just a track For down it strode farmer and hunter and roistering jack, Schoolboy and truant and men with a stake, Lovers and drunkards and many a rake. But gone from Presque Isle is that ribbon of steel Though you may see a spike or old rusted wheel; Whenever I walked down that weed-choked road Memory bears down-'tis a depressing load! Written by: George Angus Belding -Onaway Outlook, July 13, 2012, p.10. Retyped by J. Anderson.

Return to Home Page