On July 4-7, a great celebration was held to commemorate the centennial of the coming of the railroad to Adams County and the birth of Adams as a community. Events honored railroad history, city history, and the era history. While the temperatures hit at least a centennial 100˚ for the first three days of the celebration, people got out to enjoy all of the activities, and when it got too hot, there were things to do inside at several venues.
Present for the whole week was an encampment of hobos at Burt Morris Park. Hobos are not to be confused with bums or tramps; hobos are travelers who look for work in exchange for a meal or other compensation. Modern-day hobos no longer ride the rails, since that is dangerous and illegal (as they emphasize at all of their appearances). Many hobos rode the rails in their past, but many are hobo newcomers who just like the lifestyle and all things "hobo".
Excitement was building as the calendar turned to July, and soon the hobos started showing up in the park. Some slept in tents, others in campers; some came early in the week then left, while others came later and stayed through the end of the centennial. They visited the nursing home and the assisted living center, and they spoke to a group of summer school children. They ate hobo stew at the event at Curves, and served hobo (Mulligan) stew one evening in their own camp. They were at the opening ceremony at the business park, and they were at the closing fireworks over Friendship Lake. The only activity where we didn't notice any hobos was the running of the centennial 5K, but they did manage to make their way to the pancake breakfast following that event!
At the Opening Night Fire Ceremony where the hobos lit the fire that would remain going throughout their stay, we were talking with fellow geocacher RadioGirlK9TCD, and she suggested that we needed a hobo cache to remember the hobo visit to Adams. What a great idea! And here it is! While we didn't make this cache one of our official "Adams/RR Centennial" caches, it is listed in that bookmark to link it with those. We have shared several photos in the gallery here so that you can enjoy some of what we enjoyed during the hobos' visit.
And while the hobos are gone and the city has taken down the benches and fire ring that were a gathering place while the hobos were here, maybe you can wander around this pretty part of Burt Morris Park a bit, and if you hear a train whistle in the distance on your visit, think of the hobos who used to ride the rails in and out of Adams...
... and we'll be thinking all of the hobos who visited here in early July of 2012, among them hobo king Tuck, and hobo queens New York Maggie and Connecticut Shorty, and locals Wrong Track Jack and Crazy Lady Davis who were officially dubbed with their hobo names by this royalty during the centennial. And we will be fondly rememberging the hobos who were here for the entire hot, fun duration of the centennial celebration: Medicine Man and Daisy Sue, Great Northern Lady and Hobo Charlie Brown, and the ever-entertaining Jump-Off John. Thank you, hobos! Safe travels!