Jefferson Railroad Station (Location Key)


Jefferson's railroad station is the main portal through which the county is connected to the larger world, and it appears as a location in 22 different texts. Go Down, Moses notes that it lies at the bottom of a "long hill" that runs "up from the station" to the Square (363). The Unvanquished depicts the arrival of the first train at it not long after the end of the Civil War, with Colonel John Sartoris - who was largely responsible for constructing the rail line that runs north-south through the middle of the county - driving the engine and "blowing blast after blast" on the whistle (225-26). For over five decades the station is a major site in the town's life. When Mink Snopes travels from Frenchman's Bend to Jefferson in 1908 in The Mansion, he "spends the night" at the station in order to see trains, and notes that the platform is crowded with "men and boys come down to see the train pass" (38). However, later in that novel Chick Mallison notes that "by 1937 it had been a year or so since a train had passed through Jefferson that a paid passenger could have got off of" (199), and by the novel's end the railroad itself has become "a fading weed-grown branch line knowing no wheels anymore save two local freight trains more or less every day" (446). For both "Two Soldiers" (set in 1940) and The Mansion we assume the "depot" where one takes the bus (89, 199) is in the building that used to be the railroad station.

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Jefferson Railroad Station
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Jefferson Railroad Station