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Backup plan proves successful on Washington, Missouri field trip

Nick+Lewis+enjoys+the+first+train+ride+of+his+life+during+the+visit+to+Washington%2C+Missouri.
Nick Lewis enjoys the first train ride of his life during the visit to Washington, Missouri.

Nick Lewis enjoys the first train ride of his life during the visit to Washington, Missouri.

Nick Lewis enjoys the first train ride of his life during the visit to Washington, Missouri.

Story and captions by Maria Inman, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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On a cold and gloomy Friday morning, Miriam Academy staff, students and parents all gathered at the Kirkwood train station, awaiting a ride to an original pioneer trading post. But all of them were clueless of what unexpected things this trip had in store for them.

Everyone boarded the train in a orderly way, thinking in their minds that the trip is going to go as planned; they were in for a big surprise. They arrived at the Washington, MO train station all open minded and ready for a historic day at the trading post.

Washington is an Amtrak intercity train station designed for the Missouri Pacific Railroad and it was built in 1923. For many students and adults alike, the train ride was as interesting as anything they say in Washington.

“I enjoyed the train ride the most,” said Mr. Holmes. “I think a lot of kids haven’t been on trains before that day and trains have a lot to do with American history.” Miriam Academy students most likely will like the history unit on this if they liked the train ride.

“Railroads opened up vast areas of the country that might never have been settled, or would have been settled later than they were,” said Lance Robson, a train expert. “The key is transportation of goods.  The Erie Canal opened up the interior – produce grown in Ohio could make it to NY more easily and less expensively than by wagon over the Appalachians.

“But canals were limited by freezing weather or droughts.  Enter the railroads.  In addition, railroads helped to develop areas of the country like southern California. Where steam locomotives ruled, the one commodity needed to run them was water.  And it had to be clean water – so railroads like the So. Pacific helped to develop water supplies in those areas.  Secondly, why build a railroad to an area if there is nothing to transport – so railroads helped settlers start farms and businesses – creating goods that the railroads could carry.”

Finally, arriving to the driveway of the trading post, students discovered that they weren’t allowed to go in. The owner had talked with Mr. Holmes and said, “Muh pipes done froze, so yall can’t come out today.” The cold weather prevented the trading post from opening, and everyone seemed very shot down by this, confused on what to do and where to go crossing each and every one of their minds.

Time for Plan B. Miriam Academy staff, students and parents all took the bus to a historic museum in town, then to an ice cream place. Who knew a disappointment could turn into a wonderful surprise. Students seemed  gleeful with smiles on their faces. It was a incredible train trip

“I liked it,” said student Nick Lewis. “I’ve never been on a train before it had been a fun experience.”

Finally they returned home and everyone was pleased with the train trip to Washington, Missouri.

 

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Backup plan proves successful on Washington, Missouri field trip