This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A railroad runs through it

Remington's old downtown is very different from Rensselaer's. It is smaller, but much more notable is that the railroad runs through the middle of the downtown. Immediately north of the tracks lies North Railroad Street, and immediately to the south lies South Railroad Street. There are no buildings on the south side of the North Railroad Street, and there are no buildings on the north side of South Railroad Street, with the exception of the old depot, shown below looking to the north.
Below is the depot from tracks. You can see some buildings on the other side of South Railroad Street in the background.
I peeked inside to see what was there. It was a mess. It appears to be used for storage.
The railroad next to it is the Topeka Peoria and Western Railroad, or TPW. It is a short-line railroad that stretches from Peoria to Logansport. (Topeka is no longer on the line--but it probably was on some ancestor company.) As I was looking for information about it, I found another area short-line railroad, the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad, which goes through Fowler as well as Beaverville. I thought it rather amusing that tiny Beaverville has its name on a railroad.

The railroad going through Remington was built in 1859 and the town of Carpenter's Station was laid out along it a year later. The name was soon changed to Remington, the name of an early town merchant. If you do the math, you recognize that Remington will soon be celebrating its 150th anniversary, and the town is already making plans for the party.

A couple of businesses seem to rely on the railroad. Remington's grain elevator appears to be much larger than the grain elevators in Rensselaer.
On the day I was there, there were several trucks waiting to be filled with grain.
I am not sure what the large, circular building is for.
Also along the tracks is the pallet factory, or at least that is what I think is there.
I am not sure what this old building is, but it looked interesting. It was a bit to the east of the elevator.
Remington originally developed around the railroad. However, in the twentieth century the highway replaced the railroad as the major form of transportation. US highways 24 and 231 are five or six blocks north of the railroad tracks, and new businesses such as gas stations and grocery stores began to locate there, forming a second business area. The coming of the interstate created a third business area, the one that today is by far the busiest, the intersection of I-65 and US 24/231 a couple miles east of Remington and not quite halfway to Wolcott, its twin town.


Sheila said...

I really enjoyed this post! I don't often think of's cool to learn of it's history!

Anonymous said...

I'm not an expert but I would be willing to bet the round building is a grain bin and that the old building near the tracks was possibly a corn crib. These were used to store full ears of corn and were basically rendered obsolete by the grain bin.

Anonymous said...

You are an historian. Thank you.