Back at the turn of the last century February 23rd there abouts 1919, when the army core of engineers had discovered one of the worlds’s richest deposits of phosphate an unfortunate event took place just South East of town. On a stormy February night Abigail Whitburg was traveling to meet her fiancé through the Peace River watershed. Her horse had thrown a shoe and she decided that best thing to do would be to take a short cut across the river bridge and through the grass lands toward the south part of town. It was going well until a lightning strike spooked the horse and caused it to go off the trail. The buggy was caught on the old rail road track that used to run in from the east into Bartow. She tried in vain to get the buggy free but did not have the strength to push the buggy off the tracks. In exhaustion she climbed into the buggy for shelter from the storm and fell asleep.
The tracks were not used often, but on this night Number 2, a wood burning locomotive was on approach from Traverses. The engineer did not see the buggy until it was too late; he struck the buggy at full speed. Abigail was thrown clear of the tacks and managed to craw her way some 3500 feet to a tree for shelter. In the confusion she had gone south away from the tracks. her body was never found, the buggy was thought to be empty. Some time’s they say, that you can still see her under that tree. She is still waiting, wearing that old tattered dress. If you’re unlucky enough to spot her, beware, she is looking for a ride…
Every buggy has a story, even if it’s just a campfire story. – Matt Law
A few details in researching a background story... #2 is still in use today and has been featured in films like “O brother where art thou.” The distance from where that tracks used to run is around 3500 feet. The event took place on February 23 1919 .... insert spooky music here.
Matt N Randy
Jeep Enthusiast, Pastor, Photographer, Artist, A husband and wife team that loves going out and seeing God's Creations.