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

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The train comes to Rensselaer

As I was searching old newspapers on the Internet for information about Zimri Dwiggins, I stumbled on the article below from an Ohio newspaper. It reported on the opening of the rail line to Rensselaer. I had not realized that the railroad was originally had narrow gauge track. In 1881 the narrow gauge was replaced with standard gauge. The town of Bradford mentioned in the article was the old name of Monon, a town that grew up because rail lines met at its location. The article mentions many of the Rensselaer elite of 1878.

(Washington C. H. is Washington Court House, the name of the county seat of Fayette County, Ohio. It appears the article originally ran in a Lafayette paper; why it would be printed in a paper in central Ohio is a mystery to me.)

For a timeline of the railroad, see here.

In 2028 we can celebrate the sesquicentennial of this event. Will we?


Ed said...

It would be interesting to see a map of Rensselaer from the 1870s. If the rail line was on the same alignment as today was there a gap in buildings/houses between the rail stop and downtown? I doubt the town was big enough to spread that far but perhaps it did?

Kevin Bachman said...

Here is a map of Jasper County with an inset of Rensselaer from 1878.

If you want a closer look, right click on the image and then save image. Double click on the saved image and then you should be able to zoom in.