The Midnight Ride of Blackwell Station
By Mary Peace Finley
Illustrated by Judith Hunt
Raephy McDowell is NOT a snoop or a spy. She’s mighty curious, however. Who wouldn’t be when there’s talk of building a brand new town right in the
middle of nowhere.
“Ms. Finley broadens the view of how the West was won—not by wagon tracks alone, but sometimes by slight-of-hand and a little larceny.” —Ava Betz, Powers County Historian
Palmer Lake, CO— When Mary Peace Finley learned how Lamar, Colorado, was founded, she knew she had a story—a light-hearted, fun story. Her heroine, nine-year-old Raephy McDowell, was one of four children who lived with their parents squeezed into the second story of an isolated prairie railroad station. Their mother was the telegraph operator.; their father the ranch foreman. When Mama and Daddy learn of the secret plan to move the station and ‘boom’ a town, they have two problems: How to work around rancher Amos Black who owns the land they live on, and how to keep their very curious daughter from finding out.
Right on track, at midnight on May 22, 1886, the railroad company brought in workers, lifted the station and outbuildings onto flat cars, and moved them four miles down the track. The station was unloaded and the telegraph lines reconnected before dawn. Within two days, families were buying lots and a town was born.
THE MIDNIGHT RIDE OF BLACKWELL STATION entertains and educates all ages. “Mary Peace Finley makes the story come alive through the eyes of a nosy, feisty character named Raephy. I’ll learn my history from this author any day.” —Children’s author Barb Steiner
Beginning Chapter Book
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