Wow!!! What a WONDERFUL day to spend out in the Ozarks. Temps in the 60's... no rain... some clouds but by afternoon: Sun. If you'll recall, the wife and I had planned to pack up our 4WD Blazer, and head off to see what could be learned about the Pettigrew, AR area, as well as other points of interest.
That we did, leaving this morning, and the cooler packed with lunch goodies and water/soft drinks.
First goal: Head for a rendezvous with the St. Paul Branch at Brashears, AR, then follow it to St. Paul, Dutton, and Pettigrew. This time, I was armed with topo maps, pictures, period town platts (of St. Paul), etc! I was DETERMINED to solve some riddles that have plagued my understanding of the rail locations in this region for some time.
First up: St. Paul. Using the topo w/marker locations that I printed from the USAPhotomaps program, we are confident we found the general location of the depot. There was even some faint remains of roadbed there.
Next was Dutton. Armed with a copy of the ONLY picture of Dutton I have ever seen, it was a slam-dunk deal: Nailed it first thing. Unfortunately, a mobile home sits RIGHT ON the depot location, or I would have snapped a comparison pic that compares then with now. However, for all practical purposes, the setting looks almost exactly like the Dutton picture below.
Pettigrew was just a few miles past Dutton. Sure 'nuf... IF I hadn't brought pictorial references with me, I would'a been out'a luck on finding anything to recognize at Pettigrew. Fortunately, the Ozark Mountains the Good Lord fashioned haven't changed their contours since the late 1890's! Using the picture below, I was able to pretty much match up a good approximation of where the depot was located, including marking the location on the print-out of the USAPhotomaps topo I had with me.
Below you'll see a comparison pic I threw together between "then" and "now". (Note: The "then" Pettigrew pic is actually from the 20's instead of the 1890-1900 range.)
Think I was close???
There was a lot more experienced today, but this is all for now.