Finneyville and beyond

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Wed Jun 22 12:17:14 EDT 2005

I think that I wrote about this many years ago and it's buried
somewhere in The Arrow. Everyone familiar with O. Winston Link's photos knows where
it is. They might not realize it though. Does that give you a hint?
We railroaders have come to give certain places names for one reason
or another. In the '70s, up on the hill above MP H188 was an old farm house
that had been turned into a frat house. Now back in those days the older folks
referred to anyone with long hair as a "Hippie". Well, with the antics of the
long haired hippies up on that hill, that area quickly earned the name "Hippie
Walter Finney was the engineer in several photos Mr. Link made of
passenger trains on the Roanoke Dist. He was a good friend of Mr. Link. If you
were to stand behind the cameras at Gooseneck Dam as he took his famous picture
of #2 across the river, then turn around 180 degrees, you would be looking at
the house of Walter Finney. Hence the name "Finneyville".
When trains were making a meet at Buena Vista, the southbound train
would ask the northbound train where he was located so that an attempt could be
made to stay off of road crossings as long as possible. The northbound's reply
would be "we're by Lone Jack or Buffalo or Finneyville or the Hippie House
and the southbound would know exactly where they were and when to pull into the
Sadly, these names are getting lost on the newer generations of
trainmen that don't seem to care about such things as history.
Jimmy Lisle

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