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12. First Street Gazebo

Button - ListenWorld War I was originally called “the Great War”.  The war to end all wars.  The United States remained neutral until German submarines began sinking American merchant ships and we declared war on April 6th, 1917.  The railroad ran on a constant basis; the tracks in Winslow were never empty.  At first, trains were full of raw materials and equipment headed to the East Coast and on to the war.  Over two million troops were eventually sent across the United States by train to the East Coast where they headed across the Atlantic to fight for the Allies.  Never had so many Americans left their home continent to fight on foreign soil.

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One local couple decided to get married as soon as he was back from overseas.  As soon as he got off the troop train, they would meet at the gazebo on First Street and get married.  She waited through the long years of war, watching for his letters and working to support her family.

IofAW 114tOn November 11th at 11:11am, the armistice was signed.  The war was finally over.  By December, local servicemen began returning to Winslow.  Family and friends waited for trains on the veranda of the La Posada Hotel and lined First Street to wave a welcome home to their brave boys.  She anxiously awaited a telegram, letting her know which train he would be coming home on. 

Every evening before the troop train stopped in Winslow, her mother helped place a family heirloom lace mantilla veil over her hair before she went to the gazebo to wait.   She paced the gazebo, watching every train as it went by.  She never accepted that her love wasn’t coming home.   For years, she would cover her hair and go to the gazebo and watch the trains go by.  Even as a very old woman, she would sit and watch the trains.  The night she passed away was the first time anyone saw the ghost of a bride at the gazebo.  Wearing a flowing, lace mantilla veil, the bride paces the gazebo floor, watching the trains.Parks Logo

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