M.P. 24.6 - Ist Subdivision -

 

When in 1845 Allan and Julia Brass established a two-story inn, they also established the foundations for what is now Munster, Indiana. This structure, which was originally a tavern built by David Gibson, was located at what is now the corner of Ridge Road and Columbia Avenue.

  

Left: StallbolmsInn-BrassTavern, circa 1900. Right: One of the first businesses in Munster, the Klootwyk General Store, 1905

After 1853, many Dutch farmers began establishing truck farms for supply to a growing Chicago market, and residents built a church and a small school. Munster is named after early residents, the Monster family (later anglicized to Munster), from the Netherlands In 1875, a three-room brick school was built.

Water Tower, Ridge Road and Calumet.

"Town on the Ridge" in connection with Ridge Road and the natural ridge of land separating Cady Marsh and the Little Calumet River. The draining of Cady Marsh through the excavation of ditches assisted in the development of the area, enabling more land to be utilized. It also helped eleviate problems with flooding along the Little Calumet River.

 

 

Munster Brick Yard building late 1970's early 1980's. This company was on Calumet Ave, south of the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks.

The town was incorporated in 1907. In the time between the two World Wars, Munster became an evolving suburban community, populated with skilled oil and steel workers and business professionals, or in other terms a "bedroom community."

  

Left: You are looking at MP 24, circa 1934. The bridge of the Little Calumet River can be seen in the distance. Back then, just fields occupied both sides of the right of way. -Mahlon Eberhard Collection- Right: Another view looking north towards South Hammond. The bridge over the Little Calumet River is shown and the coal dock at South Hammond.

 

  

Left: Monon freight crossing Little Calumet River, southbound. Borman Expressway is in background. Right: May 1967, F3A 204 and a BL2 get set to cross the Little Calumet River with a local freight heading for Lafayette.

Post merger. Pictured is ex-monon RS2, still in black and gold, sporting L&N marks, crossing the Little Calumet River in Munster. Date unknown. Courtesy Don Kaegebein and Kevin Heggi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Left: Little Calumet River bridge 2002. South of the Borman Expressway. Right: Steam locomotive #421 crossing the Little Calumet River bridge with passengers cars behind. Date of photo unknown. Train is northbound. Courtesy Kevin Heggi.

Little Calumet River bridge, 2002. Standing dead center of the bridge looking North towards the former South Hammond Yard.

 

 

 

 

  

2015 Update. The rails are gone. The original trestle was removed and replaced with a pedestrian bridge using some of the original steel and abutments and piers. This is part of the "Rails to Trails" and the Monon Trail projects. There is a lot of the original rail left approaching the bridge from the south but is overgrown with weeds and trees. The original rail extends south to Ridge Road and south to Timerick drive. -Don Sherwood photographs-

 

 

August 1944. Pictured is a southbound freight on the Monon mainline in Munster, leaving the South Hammond Yard. The subject of the photo is the cute little boy, with the train just caught in the background. Tim Swan photo, taken by his Mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter in Northwest Indiana, circa 1958. Southbound Monon freight passing through Munster. Train is between Ridge Road and the expressway.

 

Former mainline track looking southbound. Looking toward pedestrian tunnel and Broadmoor Street underpass.

 

 

 

 

 

Pedestrian tunnel, circa 1990. This tunnel was built to aleviate a hazzard of school children cutting across the mainline. Even though it was strickly forbidden, well, kids will be kids.

 

 

 

 

Looking across the Broadmoor Street bridge, circa November 2006. Mainline remains in place over this stretch of the former right of way. Who knows, maybe one of these centuries this section will be once again used by commuters as part of the South Shore lines. Of course this plan has been on the drawing boards since the 1970's and look what has been done to date.

 

 

 

 

 

  

Broodmoor Street underpass, Left: Overpass, taken during the 1990's. Right: Broadmoor Overpass with CSX northbound local. Mark Stanek photos, courtsey of Kevin Ruble.

 

  

Ridge Road Crossing. Left: Circa 2002. Photo taken just north of Ridge Road. Right: Northboud local freight, 1980's, taken at Ridge Road crossing. Mark Stanek photos, courtsey of Kevin Ruble.

Ridge Road crossing, circa 2002. Looking southbound. Munster Lumber would, at one time, been to the right of the photo.

 

 

 

 

Munster Lumber/ Team Track siding, circa 2002. Turnout south of Ridge Road. Former Munster Lumber/ Team track siding.

 

 

 

 

Munster Lumber siding sometime between 1981 and 1984. MoPac local freight working the Munster Lumber siding. Exact date of photo unknown. MoPac assumed local operation after the L&N pulled out of South Hammond in 1981. Lumber yard burnt to the ground in 1994. (Additional information courtsey JD "Tuch" Santucci, Engineer Canadian National Illinois Central.)

 

 

 

"The Munster Lumber Fire happened on September 28, 1994 at 330 Ridge Road. The time the Munster Fire Department received the first call was 7:35 p.m. By midnight the main building was a total lost with only minor damage to the warehouse just south of it. There was some miscommunication between the snorkel and the engineer on the engine which resulted in some water loss. The Munster Water Department kicked up the pumps at the Calumet Avenue pumpimg station to their full capacity. The origin of the fire was never determined. The ATF, State Fire Marshall, an independent investigator from Minnesota and three insurance investigators all came to the same conclusion. Suspicious but undetermined at this time." -Ken Keilman, Munster, Indiana. Ken worked at Munster Lumber and was also a member of the Fire Department.-

The 1994 Munster Lumber fire was the second big fire to happen around the Monon mainline. In the early 1960s, January 1962, there was another fire. Lake Wholesalers, a mill and sash shop, on the east side of the mainline, caught fire and was a total loss. A typical northwest Indiana winter night, 5 to 10 degrees below zero and high winds. The next morning, the only thing standing was the front wall which would be the North wall. The ice was so thick on the Monon tracks that morning they had to bring in bulldozes to break it up so the trains could get through.

Munster Lumber early 1990's. This photo is looking south from Manor Avenue. Kevin Ruble photo.

 

 

 

 

 

  

Left and Right: Munster Lumber Company and the Ridge Road crossing, November 5, 1979.

Monon 207 leading southbound passenger along Monor Avenue close to Broadmoor Street. Date unknown. On the end of the train, note the yellow car tagging along. Kevin Heggi photo.

 

 

 

 

Munster and Vicinity, Page Two


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