Sign on Village Office
Waldron is Rad’s home town. It is a rural community of about 420 persons and is located in Hillsdale Country which is in southern Michigan, next to Ohio. Several years ago the town lost a mid-size manufacturing company and is down to a library, insurance agency, gas station and grocery store which is in the process of closing. It can be described as a town which went from a stop light, to a blinking light and now four way stop. In the 1950’s it was a town which brought a number of people to town on Friday and Saturday night for shopping. On Saturday evening during the summer there was a free movie shown on an outdoor screen located behind the local farm implement dealer. It was a great small town to grow up. Waldron High School, the home to the Spartans brought large crowds to the Friday night football games, basketball games on Tuesday and Fridays. Baseball was a popular sport. Rad played all three sports and attended Michigan State University under a partial baseball scholarship Following is a list of businesses open in 1939. (Click on list for enlargement). Following are Waldron passenger stations through the years. The photo on the right is now used as a storage building for the Efenacht Grain Company.
The New York Central Railroad served Waldron. In earlier days it had a station which closed and still used as a storage area by the Refenacht Grain Company. The run around siding served the granary, feed mill and small oil distributor. Rad and friends would go to the siding when the local came by to do switching of cars servicing the granary and oil facility. On occasion we could climb up and stay in the caboose. The track ran near the school house which served grades one through K-12. In the 1950’s steam engines were still used on the line. If a steam engine came by during school (the playground was located next to the tracks) many of us would run down to the barb wire fence which separated the yard from the track, wave to the engine and watch the big powerful engine go by.
The Old School House – Tracks ran on the Right he new 7th thru 12th consolidated School
At night, Rad could lay in bed and hear the steam engine jugging up the slight grade from the south heading into town and hear its steam whistle as it went through the number of rural gravel road crossings. It was a thrill when diesels started on the line and Rad remembers the F3’s used by the New York Central in their lightning strip colors. However the diesels did not have the same “magic” as the steam engines.
Waldron on the MIO Railroad System: The train station is a close model of the actual early Waldron railroad station. The grain elevator is owned and operated by Duane Refenacht. In the fall this is a busy place since farmers bring their grain for shipment to outside markets. The model town contains a small passing track and Waldron Junction for train traffic to the Cleveland Division of the New York Central and points east. The road past the stations leads to downtown Waldron and north to Nancy’s Mountain View Estates, a well-known B&B. Waldron, Rad’s home town, is home of the Waldron High School Spartans and state high school baseball champions. It is a town of 420 people. The siding services a live stock facility where ranchers ship their livestock to outside markets. The grain elevator is owned and operated by Duane Refenacht. In the fall this is a busy place since farmers bring their grain for shipment to outside markets. The town contains a small passing track and Waldron Junction for train traffic to the Cleveland Division of NYC and points east. The station serves both the main line and trains to Lexington. The road past Waldron station leads to Nancy’s Mountain View Estates, a well known B&B. Following is background information on the town of Waldron.
Following are photographs of the Refenacht Grain Elevator. In the 1950’s Rad would stand in line with other farmers as they delivered their wheat and oats for sale at the elevator. (Rad’s granddad, Willard Jones, owned an 80 acre farm south of Waldron.) There would be a long line of tractors with grain wagons and it was great time to exchange stories, local town gossip and information. As the wagons were pulled into the elevator for unloading a “moisture content” reading was taken and the price for grain was then decided. The wagon was unhitched from the tractor, and blocks were placed under the front wheel for lifting the front of the wagon up so the grain could run out the back end and into grates in the elevator floor for storage in the elevator and then loading into railroad box cars parked on the siding. The elevator also sold coal. The first two pictures were taken in the 1950’s. The 4 pictures show the building of the cement silo and the forth picture shows the current grain silo. The large elevator on the left; Rad was a part of the crew which built the cement elevator. Note the old railroad station with the reddish roof which is now used as a storage building by Duane Refenacht, current owner. The old elevator was in the general location of the large above ground tank. Railroad tracks have been removed
Built in 1955 Shortly after completion 1965
Current Photo 2014 View from Waldron Cemetery