My grandfather Kirt West Adams was born on a hill farm in Peru Vermont in 1876. He worked more than 50 years on the railroad in Vermont, with routes that went into Montreal, Quebec and Chatham NY, centered in Rutland and Bennington VT. The picture is of him in his last days as conductor, a position he had for decades. The theme is "power", and I associate that with the railroad that he joined as a young man. Locomotive power. He was born in the 19th century, the son of a man who exemplified that time in Vermont. The farm in Peru was called "the Pinnacle". My line after that is always, does that sound like good farmland to you? But his father made that hill farm provide for his family, as it had for many generations.
My grandfather was stripping hemlock one day in the 1890s on the farm. Hemlock bark was used in tanning leather. He had an epiphany, that there must be something better to do with his life. He decided his future might be in the railroad industry, and sought employment there. While the RR had been around for some decades at this point, I think he made a choice to live a 20th century life, and rejected the subsistence farming of his ancestors. He provided well for his family. He and his first wife were proud that their children went to high school, and they were the first in the family to do so. What we think of now as so routine was not so for that generation.
Grandpa Kirt latched on to the power of the railroad industry to propel our family into the 20th century. I improved his profile with his photo in his uniform. I have more details of his life there.https://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Adams-22048&public=1