M.P. 35.5 - 1st Subdivision - Jn

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It is generally agreed that the Town of St. John had its beginning when John Hack, a German immigrant farmer and his family arrived in 1837, in the area then known as Western prairie or Prairie West. Hack was born in 1787 in a Rhine province that some time before has passed from French to Prussian control. Upon his arrival in the vicinity, accompanied by his wife, Hannah, and a large family, he immediately settled on a forty acre piece of land located approximately one half mile east of present Route 41 and south of Joliet Street. The land was purchased from the Department of the Interior, and the deed, which still exists, bore the signature of President John Tyler.

Viaduct over Highway 231, south of St. John. Unknown date. One of hundreds of bridges painted with the Monon name. You are looking east towards Crown Point, Indiana.

 

 

 

 

This overpass is south of St. John on State Route 8. Photo taken looking east away from U.S. 41, towards Crown Point. On the other side of the bridge, on close inspection, the Monon lettering can still be made out, however, one has to be standing almost under the bridge to see the remanants of it. Courtsey of Kevin Ruble.

 

 

 

St. John landmark. Hack Cemetery, Joliet Street. Burial ground of St. John's first settler, John Hack, and family. Also grounds for the first Catholic Church in the region. Cemetery is on a small mound, south of Joliet Street, west of the railroad tracks.

 

 

 

 

 

  

Left: September, 16, 2002. Joliet Street crossing as seen from the from Hack Cemetery gate. Picture taken looking northeast. Right: Joliet Street crossing, moments later. Unexpected meeting with northbound freight.

 

  

Left: St John Depot. 1881-82 the Monon came to town. Once the depot was established the railroad sent 18 year old Roy R. Weaver to town as station agent and telegrapher. Weaver is pictured. Depot sat aproximately 140 feet south of Theilen Street on the west side of the tracks. Right: Interior shot of the depot. Weaver served until depot operations were shut down in 1931 and Weaver moved to the tower at the NYC crossing, until he retired in 1963. Pictures Courtsey St. John Historical Society.

Another view of the St. John Depot. Almost a carbon copy of Creston. -MRHTS Photo Archives-

Former depot location, looking north. The depot once sat aproximately 140 feet south of this crossing, on the east side of the track. There was some confusion as to the exact location of the former depot, torn down in the 1930's. In the depot picture above, note the telegraph poles. They were located on the east side of the track, so the depot must have been on that side.

 

 

 

  

Left: St. John Elevator, circa 1897. George F. Gerlach constructed the first elevator in town in 1890. Behind the elevator was a slaughterhouse which remained in operation until 1918. Right: St. John elevator, date unknown. Elevator had several owners over the years. In 1995 fire destroyed the elevator. Pictures Courtsey St. John Historical Society.

Elevator site, 2002, looking north from Thielen Street. Old ties from the spur and siding are still visible in the grassy area next to the mainline and end at the signal.

 

 

 

 

 

South of Thielen Street crossing. Remnants of passing siding. Old roadbed is still visible and many ties are still in place. The siding varried in capacity over the years. In 1948, it was listed as 56 cars, roughly 2500 feet.

 

 

 

 

 

August 12, 1951, the northbound Thoroughbred pays a visit to St. John, Indiana. Note the elevator in the distance. Sandy Goodrick photo. Right: March 7, 1959, St John. Train #5 sits on the passing siding while #12 speeds by northbound.. Richard Baldwin photo.

August 12, 1951. Northbound freight with A-B-A F3 lash up south of the elevator in St. John, Indiana.

 

 

 

 

 

Close up of ties from passing siding. These are aproximately 150 yards south of Thielen Street east of the mainline.

 

 

 

 

 

North of Thielen Street crossing. Remnants of passing siding north of the crossing. Old ties are still visible in the ground from the crossing north to the signal.

 

 

 

 

 

St. John Elevator, circa 1990's. In recent years the elevator has been removed. Looking north from Thielen Street crossing. At one time a siding ran east of the structure. Courtsey of Kevin Ruble.

 

 

 

 

St. John Elevator, circa 1990's. Looking south from Hack Street. Courtsey of Kevin Ruble.

 

 

 

 

 

Same area, 2002. Looking south towards Thielen Street crossing from Hack Street. Elevator has been torn down and area being utilized by the St. John Street Department.

 

 

 

 

 

Another 2002 view. Looking south from West 93rd Street crossing. Hack Street is to the right of the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Central crossing, date unknown. Showing double track mainline and interlocking tower. Picture courtsey of St. John Historical Society.

 

 

 

Southbound passenger crossing the NYC diamonds at St. John, Indiana. Exact date unknown. Express car may idicate this was one of the Indianapolis trains. -Ed Thompsom Collection-

 

 

 

 

 

  

Crossing with the New York Central,now Norfolk And Southern. Left: Looking toward the north along the NYC. Former Monon is the left to right tracks in photo. Right: Looking westbound along the Monon. U.S. 41 overpass is in the distance.

Amtrak action on the Monon, 2003. The Cardinal approaches the former NYC diamond at St. John, Indiana, May 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

Shilling Brothers Lumber. The Shilling Brothers came to town and built a gas station in 1932. After World War II the brothers opened Shilling Brothers Lumber and Supply. Another industry served by the Monon, now CSX. Looking west down mainline with siding going off to north inside the yard.

 

 

 

502 on southbound local switching at Shilling Brothers Lumber at St. John, October 1970. -Robert Olmstead Photograph-

 

Shilling Brothers Lumber 1990's. Looking inside the complex. Courtsey of Kevin Ruble.

 

 

 

 

 

Shilling Brothers Lumber. Looking east down mainline through U.S. 41 overpass.

 

 

 

 

  

Above and Below, Left and Right. Building the U.S. Highway viaduct over the Monon at St. John. Note temporary bridge in photo to the right. -Mahlon Eberhard Collection-

  

 

Patterson Street crossing, northwest of St. John. Looking south down mainline. Courtsey of Kevin Ruble.

 

 

 

 

 

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