Culver RAILROAD STATION [Culver , Indiana]
The Panhandle station at Culver burned to the ground at 1 o'clock Monday morning. The entire contents of the ticket office were
destroyed with two trunks in the baggage room. The trunks standing outside were saved.
The building was all aflame and the roof had burned in before the fire was discovered. The fire department, although called out at a late time, responded promptly and did effectual work with their chemicals and two streams of water, in subdung the flames, but the call was too late to save anything. Trainmen on the morning train said it was thought the fire caught from the stove, but a passenger from Culver said the fire commenced in the west end and that end was burned first. He thinks it did not catch from the stove. The fire was discovered by Mr. Swagler.
Rochester Sentinel, Tuesday, January 13, 1920
From the Culver Citizen - Wedensday, January 14, 1920:
Fire Destroy's Depot
Vandalia Station Completely Wiped out In An
Early Monday Moroning Blaze
The Vandalia depot stands a charred wreck, the res ult of a fire which virtually destroyed it Monday Morning.
The fire was discovered by the Charles Schweidlers living directly across the street. Mrs. Schweidler was awakened by an explosion at 2:45. She aroused her husband who saw that the interior of the central portion of the building occupied by the agen and operator was a mass of flames. By the time the fire truck arrived the waiting room was also filled with fire and the flames were beginning to break through on the other end into the baggage room. It was impossible to enter the building at any place and the contents, with the exception of four trunks, were destroyed. After the fire trunks wer found under a mass of charred timbers. Two of them were partially smashed and it is probable that the contents of the other two are ruined by smoke.
The night was still and the buisness row across the street was at no time in danger.
It is the general supposition that coals from the open door of the stove in the agent's office fell out upon the floor and that the fire soon caught the desk and the tickert rack with their inflammable contents. The office was very small, and there was barely room for passage between the stove and other articles of furniture. AS the office was tightly closed the explosion might have resulted from the superheated air which suddenly found a vent. Night watchman Nelson visited the depot and 2:03. He flashed his light into the office and ntoed the time by the wall clock.
Agent Parrish immediately telephoned the division office in Logansport and at 7 o'clock an engine and caboose brinning telegraph line arrived. An office was opened in the express occice across the street, but it will be a day or two before the road will be ready to sell tickets. Officials of the company came up on the 8:15 and made their plans for the resumption of business. The walls of the building still stand, supporting the roof, but the structure will have to be wrecked. The east waiting shed is being enclosed to be used as a depot. At that it will perhaps be mor commodious and convenient than the olf building. Naturally there is a good deal of talk to the effect that this affords the company a justification for the constructon of the new depot which had been under consideration for several years. Certainly the town needs it and the business of the road calls for it; but railroad affairs are in such an unsettled state, and the roads, under government control, bewing so near bankruptcy, that it may be a long time before there will be a dolloar to spend that isn't absolutely necessary to keep the rolling stock on the rails
The company carries its own insurance, that is, it has a fund which is used for replacements rquired by fire.
Jack Sower, the operator, lost two coats, a pair of shoes, a typewriter and an automatice sender in the fire. There was also a large stock of new 1920 tickets on hand which will have to be replaced. All the records of the office, including bound copies of way bills and cash books, were destroyed.
The late lamented structure was put up in 1884, nearly 36 years ago - therefore it was old enough to be entitled to a modicuum of the respect which the Chinese pay the heir ancestors.