Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

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!

Moderators: Moderator, Administrator

cjberndt
Veteran
Posts: 650
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:03 am

Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by cjberndt » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:02 am

I found these photos while researching the elevation of the Wabash and PRR tracks through Ft. Wayne. One is looking east on the Ft. Wayne & Jackson and the other is looking north through the underpass.

I had read before that Barthold St. was to be extended south across the river, but didn't know that the project got this far along. FW&J's track was also elevated over Sherman but not St. Mary's Ave.

Mayor Hosey got the state to approve legislation for Ft. Wayne, whereby the city could adopt a resolution ordering a RR to elevate its track, and the RR had to comply. The RR and city cost shared 75/25%, so it was a good deal for the city.

The PRR and Wabash were elevated from Lafayette to the St. Mary's River. The work began in mid-1910. Wabash was completed in 1912 and PRR in 1913, including PRR's overpass of Anthony Blvd. I haven't seen anything about the Hanna St. overpass, but it must have been built in 1912 with Anthony. The Lafayette St. subway was built in 1924 and Clinton in 1937. I thought that Clinton was completed in the 1913 project, but I have a 1936 newspaper report about its construction. Was it built in 1913 and replaced in 1936-37?

PRR stalled its work a few times, keeping streets closed to win concessions from the city. One was that Webster was to have been open, but the subway was never built.

Wabash built a new bridge over the St. Mary's River to double-track its mainline, and mentioned that it might build another bridge for a third main, but didn't. Wabash opened a gravel pit at "Hugo station" for the elevation project. In 1912, Wabash constructed a 150-car passing track at "C. D. tower" east of the city.

FW&J was elevated over Sherman and Barthold in 1912, and the Osage St. subway was built under Nickel Plate in 1913. The 1912 newspapers discussed elevating Nickel Plate through the city, but for reasons unknown, it was not.

Craig
Attachments
Ft Wayne Barthold St look east 09-15-1912.jpg
Ft Wayne Barthold St UPass 09-15-1912.jpg

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by Hotbox » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:47 am

You might find the attached "Griswold's Birdseye View of Ft Wayne, 1907" of interest. It depicts the Barthold underpass, and shows the western terminus to be over by the old Asphalt plant over by the Van Buren street bridge. Note that Sherman street runs no further south than High Street at this time. I'm guessing, but it appears to me that connecting Sherman to Van Buren as a thoroughfare won out over the Barthold bridge idea. Too bad because my grandparents owned their house at High and Barthold, which I ultimately inherited back in the 1970s. Had Barthold become the connector, I might be the landlord for a corner Handy-Dandy store today. :wink:

Image

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by Hotbox » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:53 am

Looking at that drawing, I'm wondering just how far east Polk street ran at that time?

cjberndt
Veteran
Posts: 650
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:03 am

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by cjberndt » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:12 pm

The plat maps show Polk St. extending west to the feeder canal, west of the FW&J. In 1871, the city council approved FWJ&S laying track in Polk St.

The city's GIS shows that part of Polk St. that was occupied by FW&J track, now owned by NS. Apparently the city vacated part of Polk St.

A lot of documentation has been lost. It would have been nice if those folks had digitized everything in the 1870s. How thoughtless.

Craig

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by Hotbox » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:37 pm

Hotbox wrote:Looking at that drawing, I'm wondering just how far east Polk street ran at that time?

cjberndt
Veteran
Posts: 650
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:03 am

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by cjberndt » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:00 am

My error. Polk St. was platted from St. Mary's Ave. to Osage. I didn't find it east of St. Mary's Ave. See the attached map.

The old plats are often tough to figure out. The 1800 plat that shows the area east of St. Mary's Ave. where the FW&J was located lists today's 4th St. as Barthold St. Later subdivisions of the original plat changed the names, so that Barthold is now a north-south street.

Craig
Attachments
Plat Polk St 2017.jpg

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by Hotbox » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:55 pm

What is the date of the plat map you most recently posted?

Just for comparison's sake, note the following "key" map from the 1902 Sanborn which appears to show roadway boundries for Polk st. all the way to Barthold, which the Griswold 1907 sketch seems to suggest as well (note the "Sherman/ Van Buren" connection does not exist in this depiction either)

Image

But then there is this Wayne Township map from 1898 that doesn't even show Polk street as coexisting with the railroad

Image

Nor does it show any bridge at the North end of Van Buren

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by Hotbox » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:37 pm

cjberndt wrote:
The PRR and Wabash were elevated from Lafayette to the St. Mary's River. The work began in mid-1910. Wabash was completed in 1912 and PRR in 1913, including PRR's overpass of Anthony Blvd. I haven't seen anything about the Hanna St. overpass, but it must have been built in 1912 with Anthony. The Lafayette St. subway was built in 1924 and Clinton in 1937. I thought that Clinton was completed in the 1913 project, but I have a 1936 newspaper report about its construction. Was it built in 1913 and replaced in 1936-37?


Craig
The work at Lafayette and Hanna streets was suspended due to war time (WWI) steel shortages , and did not resume until 1924.

Clinton Street did not span the railroad until the 1936 underpass joined the previously separate segments (perhaps separated by the 1912-1913 work?) that existed to either side. (South of Esmond st this was called Piqua st until Clinton was upgraded to a through artery)

The Sherman street underpass was not constructed until 1924

This information is in Hosey's biography: "William J. Hosey; Fort Wayne's Dedicated Mayor" ACPL cat# B H791W (storage)

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by Hotbox » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:20 pm

BTW, I neglected to mention what a great find you have with that picture of the Barthold underpass! That's the first actual proof I've ever seen that it actually existed.

I played around in that area back in the early 1960's, and cannot recall having ever seen any trace of it. I do recall a steep earthen embankment leading from the end of the pavement on Barthold up to track level, wonder when the rail bridge was removed?

From the looks of your picture and with the general proximity of the river, I bet the locals grew very fond of that opening during the 1913 flood.

cjberndt
Veteran
Posts: 650
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:03 am

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by cjberndt » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:50 am

The map I posted is from the city-county GIS. I generated it a few minutes before posting.

I turn on the subdivision layer in GIS and use the info it generates to look up the recorded subdivision plats in the county’s Fidlar database. I also use the county’s PATI and Laredo systems. I don’t know if Laredo is available to the public; maybe in the Recorder’s office. The others are available.

When I read a subdivision plat, I look for information as to whether it is a subdivision of a prior plat. I look at all of them. Many things change, including street names and locations.

I found plats for Polk St. west of St. Mary’s Ave., but not east of it. GIS shows the part of Polk where the FW&J’s track was located owned by NS. I’ll ask the GIS folks about that. I can’t find documents whereby the city vacated the street.

I found documents filed with the city by people whose property adjoined Polk St., complaining that FWJ&S didn’t restore their properties as promised when FWJ&S laid its track in Polk St. in 1870.

At the Lafayette subway the track was raised 5 ft. and the street was lowered 10.75 ft. Clinton was similar. I didn’t find drawings for Sherman or Hanna.

Craig

cjberndt
Veteran
Posts: 650
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:03 am

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by cjberndt » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:10 pm

This 1910 elevation project map shows an interlocking tower in the southwest corner of the tracks and Fairfield Ave., possibly to control traffic through the elevation area. The maps in this group show Junction tower, and FY tower east of the Winter St coal dock, in operation, so the Fairfield tower didn't control their areas.

The red lines are the proposed tracks for the future Baker St. station, opened in Mar. 1914.

Craig
Attachments
PFtW&C Fairfield Tower 1910.jpg

User avatar
rrnut282
Veteran
Posts: 1926
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:43 am
Location: M.P. CF161.8 NS's New Castle District

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by rrnut282 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:20 am

So if Baker St Station was built almost concurrently with the elevation, what station did they (PFW&C) use prior?
rrnut282
(Mike)

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by Hotbox » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:07 pm

The 1902 Sanborn shows the P,FW, &C passenger terminal between Calhoun & Clinton....let me know if this link to a PDF works for you

https://spatialdata.iu.edu/DOQQS/state/ ... 2-0041.pdf

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by Hotbox » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:18 pm

Craig, the following 1876 map of Fort Wayne shows Clinton street as two disjointed segments to either side of the railroads.

Note that it also depicts the NYC line as the Ft W, Muncie & Cincinnati west of Wells Street, and as the Ft W &Jackson, & Saginaw east of Wells street. If I recall properly (its been a while) I believe this map came from a county by county map collection published by the State of Indiana.

(note here is a direct link to the image, which is not shrunken down https://i.imgur.com/jmQB8YB.jpg click on the image at that address to enlarge)

Image

cjberndt
Veteran
Posts: 650
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:03 am

Re: Ft. Wayne Railroad Elevations 1910-1913

Post by cjberndt » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:59 am

Wabash's passenger and freight depots were south of the tracks on the east and west sides of Calhoun, respectively. They were replaced with new ones on the east and west sides of Harrison when the elevation was completed, which was in 1912 for Wabash. The new freight house was completed in 1912 and the passenger depot in Feb. 1914.

As mentioned, PRR's passenger and freight depots were north of the tracks on the west and east sides of Clinton, respectively. PRR completed its elevation work in 1913. Baker St. passenger station was opened in Mar. 1914, one month after Wabash's depot. The 1860 Clinton St. passenger depot became GR&I's offices. Years later it was a Chevrolet dealer, as seen here when it was 100 years old in 1957.

Craig
Attachments
Ft W PRR 1857 depot 1957.jpg

Post Reply