Shanty Man

The railroad track, on Main Street in Corinth NY, was visible only between sidewalks on the east and west side of the street.  Houses on one side and a church and house on the other side obstructed the view of the train until it was at the sidewalk.  It only passed that portion of track once per day and traveled rather slowly so it wasn’t much of a bother.  A shanty, just large enough to shelter a person from the weather was located along the sidewalk on the church side of the tracks.    An employee of the railroad, run by International Paper Company, sat in the shanty all day waiting for the train.  When the train approached that portion of track, the “shanty man” would stand in the middle of the street with a stop sign, just like a school crossing guard.  The “shanty man”, Wilber Thomas Dayton Sr. who held the job briefly, was my grandpa.  He sat there all day long with nothing to do but wait.  He used to pass the time whittling.

A  knife, fork and hammer which he whittled were in the possession of his son Paul Dayton for years, and the heirloom has now passed to one of Paul’s sons.

shanty-man
Carved by Wilber T Dayton Sr circa 1920

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