Thursday, March 26, 2009

Orphan Train

In 1979, the movie "Orphan Train" utilized South Dakota's Black Hills and the 1880 Train as a stand-in for mainly the state of Illinois.

The movie is a dramatization of a real-life program that brought orphans from the streets of New York City west to find foster families in small towns throughout the west in the mid-1800s and early-1900s. The train in the film supposedly travels from New York to several towns in Illinois.

For those of us who recognize the scenery, however, it's all Black Hills. It took me a minute, but I identified this scene as immediately south of the entrance to Crazy Horse Memorial. If you stop by the small information center just off Highway 385/16 at Crazy Horse, you can see that the train tracks have since been converted to the Mickelson Trail for hikers and bicyclers.

A dramatic scene in the movie involves several people walking along the train tracks when they come to this imposing bridge.

The bridge is also now part of the Mickelson Trail and is located just north of the Black Hills Helicopters hangar north of Crazy Horse Memorial.

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