LaOtto 1970

Find an old ROW or want to know what the name of that one tower along the EL was? Post any historical questions or comments here. Open to any era from around the Ft Wayne area. Interurbans welcome!

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cjberndt
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LaOtto 1970

Post by cjberndt » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:32 pm

This is looking north on the GR&I across the Eel River RR diamond at LaOtto in April 1970. The red & white smash board is across the ERR a few feet above track level.

I think the 45 deg. aspect of the signal board atop the pole meant that a train on neither line could proceed without stopping, but I need a PRR fan to confirm or correct that. Note the two lights hanging down below the signal board.

Also to be confirmed is that for clear track, the signal board was horizontal for one line and vertical for the other line.

Craig
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Laotto diamond lk S 04-xx-70.jpg

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Notch 8
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Re: LaOtto 1970

Post by Notch 8 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:50 am

cjberndt wrote:This is looking north on the GR&I across the Eel River RR diamond at LaOtto in April 1970. The red & white smash board is across the ERR a few feet above track level.
I love the picture as I myself never remember seeing the track in LaOtto.I believe you are looking South, reason I say this is the Quonset Huts are still in place when I went past last Thursday and they were located on the SE quadrant of the Diamond.. You have anything of Churubusco ? I see the rusty rails of the Eel River, Was it active at this time ?

Mike

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Bob Durnell
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Re: LaOtto 1970

Post by Bob Durnell » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:58 pm

I concur with the direction. I would say the photographer was standing at the 205 road crossing when the picture was taken. Cool shot. I LOVE to see ANY GR&I, FW&J and Eel River pics.
The sweetest sounds in the world: A pair 567's at idle, and a non turbo 645 in run 8!

cjberndt
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Re: LaOtto 1970

Post by cjberndt » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:12 am

Yes, this is looking south on the GR&I. I also have one looking east on the Eel River the same day. The one with this post was taken in Mar. 1963 looking west on the ERR, but the photographer had labeled it as being on the GR&I.

The ERR was still active in 1970, serving one or more businesses in Busco. PRR guys say that trains ran north from Ft. Wayne on the GR&I, then west to Busco. That required a turn east on the ERR to run west. There was a passing siding east of the diamond to allow the locomotive to run around to the other end.

I have a letter from a now-deceased friend in which he said that trains also ran from Waterloo to Auburn Jct., then to Busco in the early-1970s. ERR's track was in very poor condition, so that was probably done only when something was being shipped via the NYC Airline.

The ERR was abandoned from Auburn Jct. to Churubusco in 1973. North Manchester to Columbia City went in 1975, and North Manchester to Mexico in 1977, leaving small segments still in use in North Manchester and Columbia City that were abandoned in the mid-1980s. The final segment, a 2.2 mile piece at Logansport, was disabled a couple of years ago but is still partially intact.

Craig
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LaOtto GR&I 03-xx-63.jpg

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rrnut282
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Re: LaOtto 1970

Post by rrnut282 » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:03 am

My grandparents lived SE of 'busco and I distinctly remember seeing one or two trains there in the early 70s. Sounds like it was a lot of work just to get there.
rrnut282
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cjberndt
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Re: LaOtto 1970

Post by cjberndt » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:49 am

This photo is looking east on the Eel River RR about 1920. The passenger and freight depots and water tank were shared. The freight depot was on the interchange track on the other side of the passenger depot, near the water tank. Note on the pole beside the depot is the station telegraph call sign: SK.

In the distance are the interchange tracks in the NE (left) and SE quads of the diamond. The crane in the photo above is on one of the interchange tracks at right.

This crossing was controlled by a tower in earlier years, in the NW quad. I don't know when it was replaced with the smash board and tilting signal. The NE interchange track was removed before the SE track, and I don't know when that was done.

The water tank foundation is now in the front yard of Whan's Small Engine shop on the east side of LaOtto.

Craig
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LaOtto lk NE c1920.jpg

matt
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Re: LaOtto 1970

Post by matt » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:24 am

Love these pictures!!!! Laotto is one of those locations I've looked for pictures of but could never find. Do you remember what kind of crossing signals were at the highway 205 and old highway 3 crossings?

Steve Bryan
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Re: LaOtto 1970

Post by Steve Bryan » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:12 am

As I recall, they both had flashers but no gates. I lived at Skinner Lake and was dating my wife who lived in Fort Wayne at the time and passed through there frequently.

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Notch 8
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Re: LaOtto 1970

Post by Notch 8 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:33 pm

Tid bit of info that I overheard, I was told that the Eel River was also used for car storage and that cars sit in the LaOtto area for quite sometime..
Anyone have any re-collections of this ? Same person to tell me about this mentioned Studebaker had a Plant in Huntertown IN, was this a rail customer ?

cjberndt
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Re: LaOtto 1970

Post by cjberndt » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:45 pm

I checked with Huntertown's historians, a couple of Allen County historians, and with the Studebaker Museum, and none are aware of a plant in Huntertown. A 92 year old lifelong resident of the town said he'd also never heard of a Studebaker parts supplier there.

The 1926 Sanborns don't have anything. I don't have any other years.

Do you have the name of the facility and its location?

Craig

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Notch 8
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Re: LaOtto 1970

Post by Notch 8 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:13 am

Craig, I'm drawing a blank as to who told me this even though it was in the last week of so... When I remember who told me this I will see if I can get more info... Whoever told me has to be an Older Person...

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Bob Durnell
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Re: LaOtto 1970

Post by Bob Durnell » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:10 pm

Could this have been a Studebaker wagon plant before the turn of the century? Story Indiana, of all places had a Studebaker Wagon plant, and few towns in Indiana are more remote than Story is.
The sweetest sounds in the world: A pair 567's at idle, and a non turbo 645 in run 8!

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