Back when I was a youngster, my friends and I had a large area we considered our turf. This included all the way over to Martel. We roamed the creeks, woods and fields from here to there on a regular basis. We camped out a lot too and that's when a lot of "exploring" went on. One of the biggest test we each had to pass was to go up to the old Mausoleum at Lakeview Cemetery, by your self, at night, and bring back a Dr. Pepper bottle full of water from the water fountain. Those were the days.
It never failed, that as we would be walking the railroad tracks down Martel, some one would tell the story, that we had all heard a thousand times, about the ghost woman walking up and down the tracks, carrying a lantern looking for her baby that fell off the train. Of course we all know this was bunk or was it?
Recently, I was doing research on something totally unrelated and came across this old news article from July 2nd, 1872. After I read it, it kind of gave me cold chills. Maybe, we did see the woman with the lantern looking for her baby. You decide.
The assumption seems to be that a woman gave birth while on the train and apparently dropped it through the toilet in the saloon (bathroom) car. For reference, this would be between the Martel underpass and Lakeview Road right about at East Tennessee Scale Works.
Mysterious Affair---Our Muddy Creek, Loudon County, correspondent
"On Tuesday, 2nd inst., the body of a white male infant was found upon the railroad track, about half way between Easley's Store and the "Ebbing Spring," on W.A. Lenoir's farm.
The child from every appearance, had evidently fallen from the
saloon of the down passenger train. Blood could be seen on the end
of the cross-ties opposite the store, trailing down the road to the
point where the child was found, and it was, and is yet, easy to see
where it fell from the cars, when in motion, from the blood on the
end of the tie upon which it struck. After falling, and from where
the body of the babe was first seen, it is plain that it was dragged
over the ends of several ties, and that it came from the saloon. If
it had been thrown overboard it would have been found further from
the track, or if dropped between the cars its position would have
been quite different.
The discovery was not made until about sunset, some seven hours
after the passage of the train, and its body was found to be badly
blistered and bruised by the fall and exposure to the scorching sun.
Has anyone mysteriously left your city? Perhaps Conductor DeArmond recollects if anyone was sick when the train passed Muddy Creek, or even played sick afterwards, on the evening of the 2nd. G. ---Press & Herald.