Saint Joseph Valley Railway

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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Notch 8
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by Notch 8 » Wed May 21, 2014 8:46 pm

A couple more photo's of the St Joe Valley..
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DSC00273.jpg
Orland Indiana looking west
DSC00275.jpg
Interesting motor power on the St Joe Valley

wabash2800
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by wabash2800 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:37 pm

I believe the interurban car you refer to found in a barn near Mongo is at the Illisnois Railway Museum now. I always thought it was a Fort Wayne & Wabash Valley car but I stand to be correct.

Ok, I looked it up and here is the link for a photo. They have restored it and it even has some stain glassed windows. I wish it could have stayed in the area. How the car got to Mongo, I don't know.

http://www.irm.org/cgi-bin/rsearch.cgi? ... Valley=504

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Notch 8
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by Notch 8 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:19 am

wabash2800 wrote:I believe the interurban car you refer to found in a barn near Mongo, How the car got to Mongo, I don't know.
The Car # 504 was purchased by Charlie Smith and Charlie incorporated this car as part of the House that he owned east of the DNR Check in Station in Mongo, Charli and His Wife raised truck crops for years on the Smith Farm. Charlie too the car and attached it to his house and made the house larger, it was sided and roofed to match the rest of his house. The State of Indiana had made some sort purchase at some point to purchase the farm from the Smiths and when they moved or died the State of Indiana would end up with the property. Charlie did eventually die and his wife well in her 80's was so heart broken and missed Charli so much that She went into the Family barn and took Her own Life ! The IRM Museum knew the car was there at the residence and acquired the car, A Daughter of the Smith's is still alive and in the area, and ran the Study Hall at Prairie Heights HS in Lagrange. The car was in very good shape when the IRM got the car because Charlie had sided and roofed the car protecting it from the elements. I have a folder with a lot of info on the car that was sent to me from the IRM with pics as the car was being restored from like 20 years ago... finding that folder in another story.....

SylvanLakeJohn
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by SylvanLakeJohn » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:14 pm

Glad to see this post still alive and active. Have moved to Florida but still enjoy reading all the posts here on Fwarailfan and especially about SJVR

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Notch 8
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by Notch 8 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:03 am

wabash2800 wrote:I believe the interurban car you refer to found in a barn near Mongo is at the Illisnois Railway Museum now. I always thought it was a Fort Wayne & Wabash Valley car but I stand to be correct.

Ok, I looked it up and here is the link for a photo. They have restored it and it even has some stain glassed windows. I wish it could have stayed in the area. How the car got to Mongo, I don't know.

http://www.irm.org/cgi-bin/rsearch.cgi? ... Valley=504
Well I found out how the car made it to Mongo !

Fort Wayne & Wabash Valley Traction Co. # 504
Named Talisman
Delivered May 14, 1906
Became the Smith Family Home-Dec 1933
Acquired by IRM-1993
Builder - Cincinnati Car Co.
Cost when new $12,500
They were 7 of these cars built and were as follows:
Ft Wayne & WVTC Co.
#501 Kenilworth
#502 Ivanhoe
#503 Woodstock
#504 Talisman

IUT
#297 Kokomo
#298 Peru

Lima & Toledo Traction CO.
#101 Van Wert

All these cars were delivered between March & July 1906 The railroads were under control of the Schoepf-McGowan investment syndicate at the time of the purchase
of these cars which accounts for essentially the same cars going to 3 different railroads.

Sometime around 1920 the car had it's multiple removed and installed on other cars being constructed being built by the railroad and # 504 was renumbered # 354 after a rebuild.

In the early 30's the car was retired and sit in Fort Wayne IN and that's when this story really starts.

December 1933 Mr & Mrs Charlie Smith pay $150.00 for the car and the moving cost to relocate the car to Mongo Indiana.

Spring 1934 A Carpenter from Hicksville OH boards with the Smith's in return for helping build a kitchen on the east side of the car. The original heater from the interurban was placed in the basement of the Smith home and reconnected to the heater coils in the car. Mrs, Smith states in her diary that she cleaned and varnished the interior of the interurban the same red color that it was.

1940 Mr. & Mrs. Smith buy 80 acres of land and log part of it, The lumber is used to add an addition on the interurban car, A living room, bedroom, and a dining room was added. The interurban was covered with asbestos's shingles like the addition. The house and the interurban were wired with electricity .

1941 The heater pipes were removed and the two bedrooms in the interurban were dry walled.

1979 Body of the car was seen Norman Krentel of the IRM while looking at the old ROW of the St Joe Valley Ry.

1993 IRM Members remove the body for the trip to the IRM in Union Ill,

May 1 1994 Work starts to rebuild # 504 @ IRM

Sept 16, 1995 The car is rolled out of the building by it's own trucks and pulled by it's own coupler for pictures and exterior work.

July 4, 1997 The car is once again on display and the exterior is finish painted and lettered.

I will work on this as time allows but I have much more to post on # 504 the Talisman !
Attachments
# 504 Talisman.jpg
scan0063.jpg
1934 picture of the Charlie Smith Home that incorporated # 504
scan0062.jpg
scan0051.jpg
# 504 being ready for the trip to Union ILL
scan0050.jpg
scan0001.jpg
scan0002.jpg
scan0020.jpg
scan0030.jpg
Last edited by Notch 8 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: added more info

cjberndt
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by cjberndt » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:17 am

I was in error about the location of Berlien Station east of Angola. A village named Berlien, incorrectly spelled Berlein on the plat, was platted on the east side of CR600, as shown on the attached aerial. I thought it was the railroad stop, but it wasn't.

The StJV RR purchased 4.22 acres of land from Jonathan Berlien in the location shown on the attached aerial, on the south side of CR50, just a little more than 1/2 mile west of CR600. The parcel is bounded as shown. The ditch is a little north of its original location.

The track was parallel to and about 80 ft. south of the road.

The railroad built a station, grain elevator and stock pens at Berlien Station. I don't see any remnants on Google Earth or GIS.

April 2018 will be 100 years since StJV's operations ended. The 1.5 miles of street track in Elkhart was acquired by Foster Traction Co. in June 1918 and operated until 1934. The LaGrange-Orland track was acquired by the LaGrange, Toledo & Eastern Railway in Jan. 1919 and operated by GR&I until fall-1920.

Craig
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StJV Berlien Station CR50S.jpg

cjberndt
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by cjberndt » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:38 pm

Well, egg-on-face. After posting about the alternate location of Berlien Station, I found the attached plat in my files showing the depot where I had thought, and others still thought it was located, east of CR600E.

Note the two passing tracks east of the depot, but none in front of the depot. That makes no sense, in that the depot would have needed a side track for its freight platform (see the photo in Ghost Railroads of Indiana). The person who drew it probably didn't have complete information.

A problem with this location for the depot is that Galloway & Buckley say that the track reached Berlien in 1911, and that a station, granary and stock pens were built there. The track was extended east to Columbia, Ohio, in 1915. We have a plat map made in that interim period showing the track ending 1,000 ft. west of the county road, not east of the road at the depot site, and I didn’t find a record of StJV having purchased the site east of the road. Maybe it was an easement.

I amended the aerial to remove “Station” from the 4.22 acre tract that StJV purchased .5-mile west of Berlien Station. I wonder why StJV purchased it?

I apologize for the error.

Craig
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StJV Berlien Station CR600E.jpg
Aerial Berlien.jpg

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Notch 8
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by Notch 8 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:15 am

Saint Joseph Valley Railroad Mongo Indiana
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Mongo.jpg

BoilerRailfan
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by BoilerRailfan » Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:54 pm

After 10 years of enjoying reading on this site about my beloved SJVR, and a change of username from SylvanLakeJohn to BoilerRailFan, it is particularly gratifying to see this thread remain active and informative. The latest picture of the railroad going over the Mongo mill pond certainly helps show where the railroad entered Mongo from the East. Am attaching a photo of the Mongo Mill which appears to be where the picture would have been taken, as I doubt that drones where available during those days.
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Mongo Mill.jpg

cjberndt
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by cjberndt » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:09 pm

I remember seeing the trestle pilings in the Pigeon River where the track crossed, but I never took a photo.

The mobile home park south of Mongo on CR280N west of SR-3 is on StJV's right-of-way. Here's the grain mill in 1959, 40 years after the track had been removed, sitting where the mobile home park is now located.

Craig
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Aerial Mongo StJV lbl.jpg
Mongo mill & depot 1959.jpg

cjberndt
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by cjberndt » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:58 am

An undated photo looking southeast at the SJV Ry. in Orland with SJV boxcars #2021 and 2025 , and Kanawha and Michigan coal hopper #5196.

Note that the K&M hopper has "and" in the name and not "&". K&M was a West Virginia coal road that was eventually part of LS&MS.

Most of the SJV was demolished 100 years ago, in 1918. The LaGrange-Orland section lasted a few months longer.

Craig
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Orland SJV Waterman Granary.jpg

wheeler
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by wheeler » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:25 am

a great pic!

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Notch 8
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by Notch 8 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:35 pm

Yes a very great pic ! Especially is being over 100 years old. Any idea how many boxcars the St Joseph Valley Railroad had ? Curious if the boxcars were for online service or if they were interchanged ? I love to see anything St Joseph Valley.. too many miles and not enough traffic..

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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by cjberndt » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:26 pm

The June 1916 annual report listed 5 boxcars, 8 flatcars and a caboose. The Official Railway Equipment Register of June 1917 said that they were eligible for use in interchange service and provided instructions to route them to home rails at LaGrange or Angola.

That year, SJV also had 3 coaches, 1 combination coach, 2 electric cars and 5 gasoline cars.

At the end of 1916, the railroad owed Mr. Bucklen $1,333,435 ($31 million today) for loans he made to keep the line operating. It was his big model railroad.

Craig

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rrnut282
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Re: Saint Joseph Valley Railway

Post by rrnut282 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:19 am

Just think of the money Mr. Bucklin could have saved if HO or N were available. It had to be frustrating for him, none the less.
rrnut282
(Mike)

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