December 4, 2005 – Hike to the Past

This afternoon in the 2 degree heat, the kids and I headed out to the nearly forgotten town of Capron. We took a couple of sleds and two dogs.

Today, Capron is nothing more than a grove of trees about a half-mile nearly due west of our farm – in the middle of a section.

Here the kids are perched on part of the remaining railroad grade with our farm over their right shoulder. (I love the meandering paths in the snow.)
Our neighbor has a railroad schedule that shows Capron as one of the stops of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad if I’m not mistaken. I can’t find anything about Capron on Google except for listings of Iowa towns, and there is very little in the history of Marshall County book about it.

This old sign is about all that’s visible of the place in the snow. It was an invigorating walk in the weather, but Claire is now stewing a story in her head about it.
It is strange to visit past human settlements. Strange to imagine being able to hop on a train less than a half mile from our farm at the turn of the century and get to Chicago. Now we have to drive over an hour and a half to get to a train station!