THE DECAPITATION OF JOE BALDWIN
THE LONGEST LIST OF THE LONGEST
STUFF AT THE LONGEST DOMAIN NAME AT LONG LAST
The story of the decapitation of Joe Baldwin.
A freight train slowly pulled away
from Maco Station just fifteen miles of Wilmington in Brunswick County, North
Carolina during 1867. Joe Baldwin was the flagman and was positioned in the
caboose just like he was on many nights. On this night, however, shortly after
leaving the Maco Station, Joe heard a jerking noise that got his immediate
attention. He knew just by the sound that his caboose had come loose from the
freight train. He had no controls and was headed backwards down the track. The
caboose began to slow down and Joe saw the beaming light of a fast moving
passenger train headed straight for him. He grabbed his lantern and began waving
it furiously, but it was too late for the passenger train to slow down. As the
train was traveling over the trestle above the eerie swamp, it hit the caboose.
Joe was instantly decapitated. His head went into the swamp on one side of the
track with his lantern being flown to the other side of the track and into the
murky waters of the swamp.
It took several days to clear away the debris from
the wreck. While they cleared away the wreckage, many people searched in vain
for Joe’s head. His head could not be found so they buried only his body.
As the legend goes, Joe’s headless body appeared at
the Maco station with a lantern in his hand. Many have seen while standing on
the trestle a small light appearing in the distance and growing brighter as it
nears and then bursting into flames at the point of the train wreck. Then it
grows dim and backs away down the track until it is gone.
During a political campaign in 1889, President
Grover Cleveland saw the mysterious lights on the trestle along with many people
throughout the years. In 1977, the tracks were removed. Today, no one has seen
these mysterious lights or Joe’s headless body; does the swamp now carry his
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