Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 96-97 Creator
Smith, Kay, 1925- Institution
Bloomfield Township Public Library Subject
Bloomfield Township (Mich.) -- History Subject
Railroads -- Michigan -- Birmingham Subject
Williams, Alfred (""Old Sault"") Item Number
part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith Type
text, image Format
OLD SAULT RACES THE HUCKLEBERRY LINE
Many tales revolve around Old Sault. The favorite one
describes his frequent races with the train. The train was
extremely slow, so slow that people joked about the young
man who boarded in Detroit and was old and feeble by the
time he got to Pontiac. The nickname "The Huckleberry
Line" comes from the same idea. You could jump off the
first car, pick your fill of huckleberries and jump back on
the last car with no difficulty.
A favorite trick of Old Sault's, much as he loved his loco-
motive and regarded it as human, was to load up the train
in Pontiac, hitch up his horse and wagon and race the train
to Detroit. What's more, he always won!
The last legend of Old Sault describes how he'd conceived
the idea of building the station over the tracks with large
swinging doors at each end which were closed at night.
One night, someone forgot to open the doors as the train
was approaching with Old Sault himself at the throttle.
Folklore has it that Williams thought the train would have
sense enough to stop on its own and wait for admittance;
sad but true his beloved locomotive failed to live up to his
expectations and the resultant crash as it went through
both sets of doors made a complete wreckage of the
Old Sault lost the railroad in 1840. For the next century it
had a series of owners and a series of names until it
became part of the Grand Trunk system as it is today.