Okolona to Calhoun City
In the early 20th century, there were many logging railroads in northern Mississippi. A short line was organized out of some of them, running from the M&O at Okolona, south west to Houston. Later, the M&O bought it, and extended it to Calhoun City, using some more logging roads. In 1936, the M&O closed it because it was not turning a profit. It was bought by some Houston investors, and operated as the Okolona, Houston & Calhoun City, hauling passengers and freight, until it went broke in 1939. In the summer of 1941, the father of the current owner bought the Houston depot along with its three acres. He moved his family into the passenger end, and opened a dry cleaners in the freight end.
In 1947, a new building was built on the east side of the property, and the dry cleaning service was moved into it, where it remains today. A house was built where a coal business had been on the west side of the property. The depot now houses a small equipment dealership.
This former line went from Okolona west to Van Vleet, then through Parkersburg to Houston. From Houston the line went west through Hall, Pyland, Vardaman, Derma and into Calhoun City. The ROW can still be made out on aerial photos and topo maps, and some of the old ROW has been used as dirt roads.
Thanks to Tom Lucas for contributing information.
I was told there was a bridge over the railroad's right-of-way on Old Highway 15 in Houston that stood for years after the railroad was removed. God bless.
The train ran through my family's property and the old railroad bed and pilings that held up the railroad bridge across the creek are still there. My grandfather grew up on and around the train. Our barn was built from the bridge timbers when they took the tracks up.