Painted by Jeanette L. Byrd
Semmes Train Station-Mrs. P.G. Christopher Train Agent and Fellie Christopher Metcalf.
Train service brought much growth and changes to Semmes. The train station became the center of the community with passenger service, a store, a hotel, moving of the school and a post office.
Prior to the establishment of post offices in rural areas, a line of posts were set up along a designated Road. Al. Hwy 42, known today as U.S. Hwy 98 was a designated post road. Mail was delivered by horseback to the post which had a leather bag to collect the mail. The McCrary Family received mail at the 15 mile post.
The first post office in Semmes was established in 1894 near the train station. The first postmaster was Drury O. McCrary. Mail was delivered by train on the fly as the train did not have to stop. A canvas and leather catcher pouch that could hold up to 50 pounds of outgoing mail was suspended on a crane’s arm by metal rings. A mail-bag catcher was affixed to the train mail car door. It was manually deployed to grab the mail bag from the crane and was sorted on the train. Arriving mail bags were kicked out the mail door to the ground and the train agent collected the bag.
Semmes was a stop on The Rebel Route of the Gulf Mobile & Ohio passenger service operating from 1940 to 1958. Rebel Trains were lightweight streamlined hybrid diesel- electric trains built by American Car and Foundry, 1935. Citizens of Semmes traveled to Mobile on the Rebel as commuters.
Preserving our History