Finding abandoned track appears far more daunting. Any track not removed nearly 80 years ago in the rural areas over which the interurban roamed would surely have sunk into the ground by now. And yet, Jim Damaron, a Grass Lake rail historian, was able to locate such a “find.”
In September, 2004, Jim decided to walk the entire Jackson-Grass Lake “Boland” line looking for interurban artifacts. As he walked Page Ave. and approached Grey Tower Road (the ancestral home of the Boland family since the 1830’s), Jim noticed 20 ft south of the roadway what must have appeared an abandoned fencepost to all the other Page travelers over the decades ( Figure 1). But Jim knew rail track when he saw it, even if he couldn’t explain why it was stuck in the ground. He did note rusting fence strands at the base; it may have indeed served as a fence post during its history.
Removing the track presented a problem. This was private property, and investigation showed the owners were out of the country. It turned out that obtaining permission to recover this artifact took over a year.
“The Dig” itself occurred on Sept. 9, 2005, by Jim and his son Chris (Figures 2-4). As they approached the bottom of the 4-foot hole, they found a number of other interurban recognizable artifacts (Figure 4). These appeared to put a different light on the discovery. Was the historical collection a form of “time capsule” left by the track-removal crew?