The Hope of Azure Springs is a fictional story about former orphan train riders and what their experience may have been like. While researching I read that siblings were often separated in an attempt to find the children homes. I imagined that being hard even if it was necessary at times.
Recently a reader and new friend, Staci Adams, contacted me after reading my book and told me about her grandmother. I wish I knew every detail of her story so I could share it all with you (if only we could go back and witness it all)! Her grandmother rode the trains in 1917 (Azure Springs takes place in 1881– it’s amazing how many years these trains ran for).
At the time she was 10 years old and was separated from her sister. I don’t know all the details of the age of the sister or the circumstances of their separate adoptions but I find the story completely fascinating. Without even knowing them or even many details I can picture them: two kids lost, lonely, and seeking homes. In Azure Springs Em feels compelled to seek out her lost sister. This woman did too! Twenty-five years after riding the trains they became reacquainted with each other. A newspaper posting (not so different from the social media posts we see today) helped them locate each other. What a reunion it must have been!
I’m so grateful I was able to see these artifacts and hear this story. Since learning of Staci’s grandma I’ve found myself wondering if these two women from the past had any idea that their story was so interesting and curiosity piquing. Did they know that 100 years later the shelves of bookstores would be lined with orphan train stories?
Then my mind starts to think, “Are the lives we’re living now something that will fascinate future generations?” What sort of story are we living? And then I find myself wondering if there is anything I could do to make mine an even better story, a more hopeful and joyous story? The past has a powerful way of affecting the future. What we do today will affect tomorrow. . .
Thank you Staci for sharing this story of two real life orphan train riders. My heart is happy knowing they found safe homes and were able to see each other again. If you enjoyed Staci’s grandma’s story leave a comment or share this post so others can read it.