A View Of Medford’s Railroad Park

If you’re heading out of Medford Oregon in a northerly direction on Riverside Ave(which becomes 99 N), you will come to a sign that reads Table Rock Road.  Get in the far right lane, and you’ve positioned yourself for an adventure.  That is, assuming that it is the second or fourth Sunday of the month, and that it is between 11A.M. and 3P.M. and that the month is within May-October.  Let’s assume all the above, and turn right on to Table Rock Road. You don’t have to go far until you see a road on the right with a fire station.  Turn right, and park in the second parking lot (unless you have a yen for putting out fires, because the first lot goes to a fire station), and you’re at the entrance to Medford’s Railroad Park.  You may have some difficulty finding parking, since this site is free and attracts families of all sizes.  Railroad Park offers a train ride on small cars(adults watch your balance!) that lasts about ten minutes.  The ride is a great way to get a panoramic view of the park, since you pass classic trains, a telegraph station, the museum, and the mini-trains that pass near waterfalls, over bridges, and through secluded mini-villages.  If you have children(and even if you don’t), please drop by and enjoy an afternoon of fun, history, and delight.  I’ve posted several photos below to give you a better view of Medford’s Railroad Park.

entrance to Medford Railroad Park

Entrance to Medford Railroad Park

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A Train Of Thought

This is the time of year when I go through the 45 family albums and check that all photos are still in place.  Invariably, I have to use double scotch tape to put in some photos that have fallen out.  Memories inevitably arise, and particularly of trains, because they have been a major part of our family’s history.

My Grandfather Johnny(Nathan) had a great love of trains.  Perhaps it was his journey across the ocean from Eastern Europe to New York in the early 1900s that inspired his wanderlust.  Or perhaps he was born with an insatiable curiosity to explore.  We will never know.  But something propelled him to leave his family in New York, hop onto a train, and head for California.  For Johnny, trains became a symbol of freedom and a means of escape.  In fact, when Grandpa Johnny was angry at Grandma Lillian, he would threaten to go a train and leave her.  Grandma and I would usually find him walking to the nearest bus stop(he never drove) and we would pick him up.  However, once we had to drive to Union Station in Los Angeles, and he was sitting in the lobby.  Grandpa Johnny really must have been mad at Grandma!  But they made up, and returned as a harmonious couple to the San Fernando Valley and their home in North Hollywood.

Trains have a special meaning for me, too.  In my early childhood years, I lived on Rowena Street rather close to Griffith Park.  My mother, Twyla, was always a master at organizing theme-oriented birthday parties and she utilized the trains at Travel Town for a few of my parties.  I remember climbing the steps of a train to greet my guests.  It was a jolly time!

In 1959, I received a Lionel train as a holiday gift.  I set it up in my bedroom, and spent hours and hours watching my eight cars speed along the tracks.  The train still exists and I run it for friends who drop by in Medford Oregon.  The cardboard tunnel has long since disintegrated, but two new tunnels grace the tracks.  The train whistle still announces departures.  The station master runs up the stairs of a plastic building. Smoke pours out of the top of Mom’s Diner and another train of thought begins…