By Reno Bailey
Back in the day when Cliffside Railroad carried passengers, its officials could apply to other railroad lines for annual “rail passes,” permits to ride free of charge from Cliffside Junction to anywhere their rails happened to go. (To reciprocate, CRR would issue passes to other lines for their people to ride our railroad, in the unlikely event that officials of, say, the mighty Santa Fe or New York Central might decide to pay a visit to Cliffside.)
Charles Haynes was president of the CRR during those years. Several times a year he would obtain passes for himself or for his lieutenants like Zeb Jenkins or Hollis Owens, to travel to specific cities on business. Sometimes he would arrange for free rides for entire families, such as the Grover Haynes’ or Ed Carpenters’, to ride to Charlotte, or Florida, or the Carolina coast. Mr. Haynes would declare them employees of the CRR whether they were or not. Both Ed Carpenter and G. K. Moore were named “engineers, Cliffside Railroad Company.” They may actually have been engineers but not the locomotive-driving kind.
Once in July, 1924 Mr. Haynes mapped out quite a trip for himself and Cliffside’s physician, Dr. Bobo Scruggs (who was identified as CRR’s “surgeon”). They applied for round trip passes on the Southern from Spartanburg to Atlanta; on the Nashville Chattanooga & St. Louis from Atlanta to Nashville; on the Louisville & Nashville from Nashville to Evansville, Ind.; on the Chicago & Western Indiana from Evansville to Chicago; on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific from Chicago to Kansas City; and, on various roads, they visited Minneapolis; Portal, North Dakota; Portland, Oregon; Seattle; Vancouver, B. C.; Merced, California; Pueblo, Colorado; and Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah, not necessarily in that order. They must have been gone for weeks. It is not known if Dr. Scruggs had to perform surgery along the way.
The visit to Pueblo, Colorado, may have been Charles paying homage to the travails his Aunt Eva suffered in Pueblo at the hands of Holloway Wall 35 years earlier.
Details from old Cliffside Railroad documents in the Phillip White/Wayne Smith Cliffside Archives.
Article first published in the CHS Special Report, the Cliffside Historical Society’s bimonthly newsletter, Nov-Dec 2006 issue.