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The Beckville Chronicles

The Beckville Chronicles

A detailed account of organizations, families, and individuals that have contributed to the rich history of Beckville.

An excerpt about the photo:

The “Doodlebug” was a self-propelled railroad passenger coach used in the U.S. and Canada, from 1905 into the 1960’s, according to “The Budd Rail Diesel Car,” written by Donald Duke and Edmund Keilty, and published in 1990. “Doodlebug” was a derogatory nickname given to early passenger railcars, perhaps because they “doodled” slowly along local branch lines, making frequent stops. Eventually the “Doodlebug” lost out to the faster and more comfortable automobile for local transportation.

The “Doodlebug” nickname may have been inspired by the appearance as much as the slow speed of these vehicles, which were also called “skunk” and “galloping goose.” In his 1997 autobiography “The World Don’t Owe Me Nothing: The Life Times of Delta Bluesman Honeyboy Edwards, “the American blues musician recalled: “A little diesel train run through there, a short run, just had one or two little coaches on it. On the front of the train was yellow and black stripes; it looked like a bug. We called it the Doodlebug.”