Buddy Dean. 9/21/2018
There was a guy who stayed around the depot all the time named Shine. I would see him sleeping under the platform where cotton was loaded. Lee Horace Bass took care of him, but he just basically stayed around town doing odd jobs. One time I let Shine wash my car when I was working at Georgia Bell’s store and he took off in it. He brought it back and said he was just riding around. I told him don’t ever do that again because he didn’t have a license. He left Lula in the mid 60s I think and died in Louisiana. Lee Horace had a picture of him in a casket. Sailors would ride the train down from Memphis to go out to the bars on Moon Lake. Once they got off at the depot, many would walk out there. It got so bad that eventually Moon Lake was put off limits for them. Memphis emptied all the prostitutes out of town one time years ago, and sent them to New Orleans by train. I remember when the train passed through Lula, the women were hanging and hollering out the windows. Carnivals would unload off the trains and set up in Lula and back in the late 40s my father, brother, and I would come to Lula to watch the Sugar Foot and Rabbit Foot minstrels. They would unload off the train and set up on the corner across from Lee Horace’s service station. I don’t remember when the depot closed. I do remember when the trestle going to the landing burned and they stopped using those tracks.
9/22/2018 Mike Cloud
About the trestle, Daddy told me the Illinois Central wanted to decommission those tracks form Lula to Helena. It was no longer economical to operate. Whatever government authority decided those things turned down the IC request. Then one night the trestle caught fire and burned down.
9/22/2018. Martha Young
I remember Shine. I also remember the minstrels coming to town when I was a little girl. Lula was a booming place.
9/22/2018 Ron Cannon
My Dad, John Cannon Jr. began his Illinois Central career as foreman of that trunk line in between Jonestown and Helena. Mr. Hudson, who lived next door, was foreman of the main line from Tunica to Clarksdale. When he retired sometime around 1962, Dad got responsibility for both lines and we moved to the Hudson house. I walked those tracks many times except for those times when somebody greased the tracks from the depot all the way past the trunk lines. I still remember the train trying to stop past the depot, then trying to get started again.