Town of Fremont
Our Legend: Boland's Light
There are some who say that they have seen what was known as Boland's light, especially on dark, rainy nights. They say that at times a light rises above the grave and disapears to the west. This light was said to be trying to flag down trains coming from the south but would always disappear when the train had passed.
No, this is not a paragraph out of some mystery novel, though it does conjure up some fairly spooky images. It is from a newspaper account by James Arthur Best of the Fremont folklore about Boland's light; and, although it may not be the devil's tramping ground, it is, nevertheless, interesting enough to include in the history of our community.
Quoting further from Mr. Best's article, "it seems that this man Boland was a ne'er-do-well living in Fremont. He was a regular hanger-on around the bars. He made it a practice to go to the counter with a customer who ordered a drink, with the hope that the customer would also order a drink for him."
"One night when he was without funds with which to buy a drink and when the customers were not very liberal, he made a proposition to the people in the bar that if they would buy him a drink, he would butt the head out of a whiskey barrel. They bought him the drink. He quickly consumed it and proceeded to carry out his part of the bargain."
"It was not long before he wanted another drink and proposed that if they would buy him another drink, he would butt the other head out of the barrel. The drink was forthcoming and the head was butted out of the other end of the barrel."
"It was about time for a through train to pass. This train was known as the 'fast mail.' By this time, he was wanting another drink. He proposed to the men present that if they would buy him one more drink, he would butt the 'fast mail' off the track.
"They did not expect him to be foolish enough to undertake this, but did buy him another drink."
"Just as he set the empty glass on the bar, the train blew the station blow. Before anyone could detain him, Boland rushed out of the bar onto the track and down the track to meet the train. His remains were gathered up by the railroad employees and he was buried on the railroad bounds beside a telegraph pole just south of Fremont."
Mr. Best offers an explanation that the lights as seen through the curve at a piece of woods was the light of trains coming around the curve shining through the gaps in the undergrowth in the woods. He also stated that as a boy he heard the story many times and never heard it questioned.
Is the late Mr. Boland still active in trying to flag down the northbound trains ? Are the lights still seen ?