Thursday, July 30, 2009

Following the Tracks of our Ancestors

Riding the EBT from Tom Hoffman on Vimeo.

The video above shows Vivian (and family) riding the East Broad Top Railroad south toward Orbisonia, following the route taken by her great-grandmother and namesake while commuting from Saltillo, PA to Mount Union, PA to teach. Vivian's great-grandfather, Edwin Joseph Hoffman Sr., rode the line south to the mines of the Broad Top coal field, starting at the age of 12.

The working line stopped behind my father's house in Satillo the entire time he was growing up. He never stepped foot on it until he and my mother took Ann and I to ride it as a tourist restoration. That tells you something about rural mobility in the mid-20th century, in more ways than one. And my grandparents stories, even in the broadest brush, tell you a lot about the way I see the world.

No comments: