AVOCA — It is amazing what you will discover on the backroads as you wind around the bends.
I enjoy the idea of adventure time, and when I have a moment it takes me to these unfamiliar roads. This adventure took me to the small town of Avoca.
Road trips are in my blood, since my mother would take us all the time. It was the cheapest way to entertain us when we were children. Back in those days gas was only $1.14 a gallon. Since we lived in Wellsville we were close to the backcountry of Pennsylvania. More often than not our adventures would take us into a whole different state.
It is something I have carried on in my adult years, and I try to explore an unknown land for the purpose of knowing something new. I am my mother’s daughter, so I will take many photos to document my travels along the way.
My mother, Lisa, and I went to Avoca on one sunny day, and we found that this town was smaller than most. It had been through some hard times, just by the looks of her. However, the things we loved the most were what made this town so unique.
We found an old brick depot that was all boarded up from times long ago. Right across the tracks was a newer wooden depot that had one word, Avoca, on the top.
A couple watching us eagerly fascinated and snapping away photos after photos of the historic relics told us the sad truth. The depot made of brick was the original depot. It was abandoned and forgotten. It was all closed up, and left to stand the test of time once known by those who no longer walk the streets of Avoca.
Normally I am used to seeing the wooden depot structures as a testament to a bygone era of the railroad days. I never saw an original structure, since I never saw a brick depot before. It makes me wonder about all the other original depots that had been dismantled or forgotten over time. I was so happy that Avoca kept theirs standing tall, even if it was kept closed to the world on the other side of the tracks.
Once we walked the streets of a small historic town we could understand why. It is my understanding this little piece of our region had lost too much. Maybe they just couldn’t bear to lose anymore.
We came upon a memorial park, and normally these are monuments that are held for those we lost in battle. This small town again makes itself unique in the fact its memorial was of a tragic bus accident from the winter of 1943.
The sign etched on a plaque carefully placed in stone read, “On December 14, 1943 at about 5:30 a.m. an inexplicable accident occurred. A bus carrying defense workers to the Ingersoll-Rand foundry in Painted Post was sideswiped by a tractor trailer. Eleven men were killed, eight injured. Widows and fatherless children grieved their terrible loss. The communities of Wallace, Avoca, Bath and Savona were deeply affected. Let us honor these men, their wives, and families. We admire their devotion to duty in difficult times and ponder the risks of life. Their experience teaches us to value hard work and close family ties. This memorial is dedicated to these men.”
It is really beautiful what each little town chooses to hold onto. I love that this town held onto the memory of these men, and lets others know that they were here. That they had wives, children, and were hard workers. It is good to know that they didn’t fade away into some tragic report long ago, but that they still matter to the ones they left behind.
I always look forward to these adventures, because it opens a window into the hearts of these small towns.