d n english

In 1856 the railroad tracks reached Brownsville. The first Memphis and Ohio train arrived carrying freight, mail and passengers. The train came from Memphis to Brownsville then did a turn a round and headed back to Memphis. It was said the train left Brownsville and arrived in Memphis six hours later.The reason was because of the many stops loading and unloading freight ,mail and passengers.It wasn’t until 1906 when the first train station was completed that the sightings began. In 1905 a young girl got on the train with her mother to go to Memphis the mother fell asleep. When the train arrived in Memphis the mother woke up and her daughter was no where to be found. Panic ensued they search the train from one end to the other.Then someone reported they had seen the girl get off in Stanton. Family members searched but no luck . Then when the train station opened in 1906 the sightings started .After the Memphis train left the station people said they would see a little girl sitting on the steps of the station crying and then she wasn’t there.It was not until a year later they found the body of a little girl in an abandoned house in Stanton. They identified her by the doll that was with her. The young girl had been kidnapped by a lady known to have lost her little girl in 1905. The lady had admitted the deed in a note when she killed herself. They think the little girl had escaped and was walkings down the tracks to Brownsville. She had taken shelter in the house and died. The reason she appeared at the train station she was waiting on her mother because that was the last time they had been together. When the station was torn down in 1971 everyone thought that would be the end of the sightings. Not so I have been told on a full moon night you can see a faded set of steps and there she sits holding her doll and crying..This story was told me by my great Aunt Vera when I was a child. I think it was to scare me not to “take up with strangers” .It worked and I never forgot ..

to be added to with more stories of the spirits of Haywood Co Tennessee

The spirits  of the Tree

d n english

Photo credit Dr. Danny Winbush

I woke up this morning after dreaming about  Pop. He was a gentleman very opinionated while selective about when ,where and to whom he voiced his opinion. He always made sure I had a horse to ride so we could ride almost everyday. As we rode he would tell stories about his life. Now my Pop, grandfather English’s great grandmother was from Mississippi

a member of the Choctaw tribe.  He told great stories once telling me he  learned a lot of them when visiting relatives when he was a child. I don’t know about you but when you are 7 years old imagining your grandfather a kid was hard.

My dream centered around one such ride and the story he told.

We were riding at the back of the farm this time on a mission Grandmother had told us to pick blackberries for her to make a cobbler. As we picked blackberries Pop told me to look to the left. What I saw was a big oak tree with knots all over it. He then told me to close my eyes. I did so then he started the story.

The trees have stories to tell they have grown while watching their world change. For example when your grandmother purchased this farm all this area was forest. When we were deciding to clear this land I insisted this be the tree line and this tree would stay. 

Open your eyes and I will tell you why. This tree has a spirit as do many other old trees. As you look in the center you can see the imagine  of a wolf , look further up and you see the imagine of a wise owl.  The tree is telling you a story of what was here .

Now the Indians that roamed this land were Chickasaw as this was their hunting ground. So if you are real still and look at the tree you can see more imagines and hear sounds of the past.

You see each tree has a different story to tell.  

Can you imagine what the old trees on the square could tell. They saw the pioneers coming to area after the Indians left, they saw the conflict soldiers,  the parades as our soldiers went to war. the sadness of the families when their sons or daughters  did not come back from the  wars, the many changes that followed now they provide shade for the old men as they play checkers.. Next time we go downtown see what stories the spirits of the trees tell you. 

I woke up from my dream happy I had a visit from Pop and a memory to share.

Next time you go for a walk or enjoying backyard or porch sitting focus on your favorite tree. Now close your eyes take a deep breath and let your mind wander. What stories can you imagine the spirits of your tree could tell?

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