Monday, July 17, 2017

Trip to Indiana

Gregg Wolfersheim reports on a quick day trip to Indiana:

 When I worked for the TP&W a few years ago, I knew about these places, but never got to visit them. Yesterday I took a trip over there. 

The first stop was in DeMotte, Ind. This depot and cabin car are located in Spencer Park. The displays are in nice shape, but, they are only open on Saturday, or by appointment.

 Next I went to Monon. A little bit north of town on IN 421 is this place. I first had lunch at the Whistle Stop. This is a nice family type restaurant that was quite busy. Then I went on a tour with a very informed gentleman as a guide.

  The 150 ton wrecker is the first thing you see as you arrive. This collection was started by a couple that own a quarry up the road near Francesville. They bought an old hopper car that is displayed by the highway. In 1993 they then started collecting other objects, and soon after created this place. 

Inside are over 6000 objects. Many lanterns, keys, locks, dining car items, signs, whistles, bells and watches.

 There are 2 watches that have two hour hands for working in areas near a time zone. I often wish I'd had something like that when I worked in the area! There are handcars and speeders on display in the main hall. 

All around are tailsigns, pictures and station signs.

A display of fire call boxes includes several from New York City that were near the 9-11 site.

 A small display shows the famous Kingsland interurban wreck, with a voltmeter from one of the cars. 

An old saw blade was turned into a piece of artwork depicting the wreck. 

    Outside is an old PRR depot that is the gift shop, with a Monon caboose nearby. All around are signal displays and other railroad signs.

 A reefer set on CB&Q Bettendorf trucks. Hmmm?

 A nicely restored outside braced boxcar from the M&StL along with another Monon caboose and a steel one from the Nickel Plate Road. Also, there is a nice model railroad display depicting mainline railroading in the Colorado mountains.  One can easily spend hours looking at all the displays, while having a meal along the way!

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