A brief history of the Vandalia Railroad before 1883 appears
here; along with the mergers while it was a part of Lake Maxinkuckee's history and after the service was
discontinued at the Culver Depot; to the demise of its successor the Penn Central.
1883 - In 1883 a subsidy tax of $30,000 was voted in Center township Marshall county, by a vote of 648 in favor and 447 against, being a majority of 201 in favor of the tax. The Lake View club, at Maxinkuckee lake, composed of eight residents of Plymouth, gave the company the right of way through their grounds, which was of considerable value, as an inducement to build the road to Plymouth instead of by way of Walkerton to South Bend, as was threatened.
Logansport Journal January 9, 1883 - The Vandalia people are pushing the work of grading the extension right along. From a person who has been along the line, it is learned that six gang of men are now at work grading the other side of Kewanna, and by the first of February they expect to have the track ready for the rails from Kewanna to the"Nickel Plate connectiontwo miles on the other side of Lake Maxinkuckee. By the first of July Logansport people can take a trip the famous Summer resort of Maxinkuckee.
Logansport Pharos Tribune January 9, 1883 - But little work is being done at present along the line of the Vandalia extension between Logansport and Kewanna in the way of grading The bulk of the grade, however, has been completed. W. A. Ford, who has the contract to build the bridges, has a crew of bridge and pile drivers at work, and expects t o have the piles all driven for the bridges, between this city and Kewanna, by the 20th of this month. Considerable time has been lost by bridge carpenters waiting for timber, which can not be furnished as fast as needed.
1883 - Jan 27 - Indianapolis Journal: "The Vandalla civil engineers, this week, completed the survey of the northern extension, from Marmont to Plymouth. Here the old survey from Plymouth to South Bend is reached. Undoubtly South Bend is the objective point of the McKeen syndicate, who are buildlng the extension north from Logansport.The parties who are securing the right of way are experiencing a good deal of trouble about Late Maxinkuckee, where the owners of the land put as great a valuation upon their property as though It was gold or silver mining lands containing na [an] exhaustless supply of the precious metals, and are now taking steps to condemn several pieces of property." - Logansport Pharos Tribune
Logansport Journal January 13, 1883 The Vandalia Survey.
On the part of the road Hon. Richard W. Thompson said that the new line was only located to Lake Maxinkukee, and that the party were now merely upon a tour of inspection, and as to their northern terminus they would at an early day announce their determination. He admitted that they were perfectly astonished at the magnitude of Michigan City's business, and that everything looked far more favorable than was expected.
Were this extension built the Vandalia would doubtless secure a handsome Business in shipments of lumber southward,but from the coal traffic they would reap the greatest advantage, as Clay county block coal could be shipped by tail from Brazil to Michigan City and then distributed by lake vessels over the Northwest at prices which could not be met by operators in any other coal of as good quality.
Logansport Journal May 22, 1883 The Vandalia Extension.
The Chicago Tribune, the most reliable journal in the west on railroadmatters, in its issue of yesterday contains the following:
It will be seen by this that the company has abandoned its air line route north frcm Maxinkuckee lake, which would leave Plymouth five or six miles one side and strike North Liberty and Crumb's Point in this county. It would also appear from the above paragraph that the Michigan City terminushas been abandoned also. Judge Stanfleld is of the opinion that the route from Plymouth to this city will be on the old survey east of the Michigan road, which is the most direct line between the two places. No surveyhas as yet been msde north of this city.
A million dollar mortgage has been placed on record by the company in the Recorder's office of this city, in favor of Senator Harrison as trustee for the bondholders. Among its provisions are that the road shall be built through the counties of Caas, Fulton, Marshall and St. Joseph, to the city of South Bend.
Logansport Weekly Pharos May 23, 1883 - Indianapolis News; W. R. McKeen, president of the Vandalia, while in the city, yesterday evening, said that a proposition had been made to carry the liogansport extension to Michigan City instead of to South Bend, as originally intended. The matter is now under consideration, but the extension to eitlier point will not be built this season. Rails are now being laid at tiie rate of nearly a mile per day, and the line will soon be completed to Lake Maxinkuckee.
The Vandalia people promised to have an excurions to Lake Maxinkuckee on the Fourth of July, and it now looks as though there were going to keep their word. - page 8 Jun. 24 1883 Logansport Daily Journal:
Logansport Pharos Tribune May 28, 1883 - The Vandalia extension is now in Fulton county, and is being put down at about the rate of a mile per day.
Logansport Weekly Journal June 2, 1883 - The Vandalia extension has now reached a point thirteen miles north of the city, where the men are now engaged in laying the track, this takesthe road over into Fulton counly. It is expected that the track will be laid to Kewana by next Monday evening. The men have put down as much as a mile a day of track, but do not average that.
Logansport Journal June 5, 1883 - The Vandalia extension is being moveded along towards Kewanna very rapidly. It is expected that the track layers will reach that place Thursday
Logansport Journal June 9, 1883 - Indianapolis Journal: W. R, McKeen, president; A. B. Fitch, chief engineer, and John G. Williams,attorney of the Vandalia Railway Company, were in South Bend, on Tuesday prospecting. The business men of that live city are anxious that the Vandalia extension should come to South Bend, and the Vandalia people show a disposition to gratify them in the matter, and have proposed to build the road to South Bend via Lakeville on condition that they are granted the right of way through the county and entrance into that city without any expense to them. The Vandalia officials were met on Tuesday, at South Bend.by a number of the leading manufacturers of South Bend. Among the number were: Messrs. Clem, and P. E. Studebaker, James Oliver, A. Coquillard, J. C. Knobloek, and each expressed themselves as being confident that the proposition would be accepted. Plymouth is also included in the route, and will give $15,000 and the right of way through the town to secure it. Major Fitch, chief engineer of the Vandalia, states that the grades on the proposed route will be light, and the road easily constructed.
Logansport Chronicle June 9, 1883 - The Vandalia Extension in all probability, will reach Kenawa by to-morrow.
Logansport Pharos Tribune June 11, 1883 - Kewana Booming [Rochester Sentenel]
He has also underway a large brick livery, feed and sale barn that will be equal in size and appointments to any in this section of country. Several business rooms are building at that place, also a goodly number of dwellings.
This business impetus is given to the town by reason of the building of the Vandalia extension from Logansport via Kewanna to South Bend, the iron of which is now laid from Logansport to Kewana. That town and community has a large number of wealthy aud enterprising men who do not hesitate to contribute liberally to any project that tends to promote the business interests of that town.
Logansport Journal June 12, 1883 At Kewanna.
The day was one long to be remembered in the history of this little town.
Through the exertions of Mr. Al Toner and other prominent citizens of Kewanna, this extension was pushed until the final arrangements were consummated for the track laying. Of course such an unusual event as a railroad in that quiet part of the country was sufficient to put everybody in a high state of excitement for miles around.
The Vandalia people are pushing this extension as fast as possible, and yesterday broke the ground within the limits of this town.
The good citizens in honor of this event set out a most bountiful banquet, to which the whole country was invited, including all the railroad employes. The feasting and rejoicing was continued until a late hour last evening.
The work will be continued rapidly, and the prospect is that Lake Maxenkuckee will be reached by July 1st.
Logansport Journal June 13, 1883 - The South Bend Register remarks: Whether we get the Vandalia extension or not, we will have the consolation of knowing that we wanted it."
Logansport Journal June 16, 1883 - All is not pleasant between tne C. & A, and Vandalia folks. The Vandalia Extension is now building, and track laying as far as the C. & A. will soon be completed. When that point is reached they will likely come to a halt owing to the fact that the Vandalia officials refuse to comply with the Chicago & Atlanta company's demands in the matter of effecting a crossing. The C. & A. people require the Vandalia to put in the crossing, keep it in repair and employ a man to attend to the usual business of these places along the line. They do not propose to do this and in order to prevent that company from going farther, side tracks have been laid on either side of the main track, upon which have been placed heavily loaded freight cars. The progress of the work on the Vandalia Extension will be greatly retarded on this account, and it will require a suit in court before settlement of the difficulty can be reached
Logansport Chronicle June 23, 1883 - On July the 21st the people of Plymouth will vote on the proposition to give twenty-five thousand dollars for securing the extension of the Vandalia to that point
Logansport Journal June 23, 1883 - South Bend Register: "Capt. Fitch, chief engineer of the Vandalia railroad, is examining the surveyed route between Plymouty and South Bend with a view to ascertaining the cost of construction. He is now at Lakeville probing the bottomless pit south of that place. The result of his investigations will have great influence on the location of the line
Logansport Journal June 26, 1883 - The crossing of the Vandalia withthe Chicago & Atlantic road was effected Sunday, and considerable track the other side of the C. & A. was put down Monday.
Logansport Journal June 24, 1883 The Vandalia Trouble Ended.
An understanding was effected Friday evening, which resulted in a perfect agreement between all parties. The trouble arose with regard to the caring for the crossing.
The Chicago and Atlantic people insisted that the Vandalia people should put in the crossing and pay all the expenses of keeping the same in order, paying the man whose duty it would be to tend to the crossing.
The Vandalia folks thought the C. & A. people were asking too much, and kicked, whereupon the other road put in side tracks and dug ditches to prevent the putting in of tie crossing.
This expected trouble has now all been cleared away, and to day the tracks of the C. & A. will be cut and the crossing frogs put in.
The T.H. &L. have all the material on the ground. Friday evening the track layers were within seven-eights of a mile off the crossing, and they expected to reach the C. & A. road at sundown last evening.
The distance from the C. & A. road to Marmont, the head of Maxinkuckee Lake is six and one-half miles. The grading is completed and ready for the ties and rails.
It is proposed to have this six and one-half miles laid and in shape by sundown of the 30th of this month, next Saturday evening.
The Vandalia people promised to have an excursion to Lake Maxinkuckee on the Fourth of July and it now looks as though they were going to keep their word.
Logansport Journal June 28, 1883 - President McKeen, of the Vandalia road, Tuesday night went to New York to place on the market the new $l,000,000 of bonds issued on the Logansport extension
Logansport Pharos Tribune June 30, 1883 The track of. the Vandalia extension reached Lake Maxinkuckee to-day. - - While the Vandalia extension will not run an excursion to Lake Maxinkuckee on the Fourth o£ July, the probabilities are that our people will have an opportunity to go to the Lake on an excursion train a few days thereafter.
Logansport Chronicle June 30, 1883 - The Vandalia extension contractors expect to finish the road as far as Lake Maxenkuckee by the end of this week.
Logansport Journal July 1, 1883 -
In order to finish that before Saturday night, work was resumed again at 4 o'clock Saturday morning, and by noon the road was completed to the lake.
When the extension was commenced it was the intentionto have it completed by the 1st of July, and although work has been seriously interferedwith by rain, the original intention -will be carried out.
It is not the intention, however, to celebrate the event by running a grand excursion as the track is not ballasted and the excursion travel on the Fourth requires too many coaches to admit of running this one to the lake.
Col. J. H. Hill, George B. Farrington, N. K. Elliott and G. H. Prescott were in the city yesterday on their way to lake Maxinkuckee, to be present at the completion of the road to that point.
The Vandalia road north, when ballasted up and put in good order, will be a fine piece of road. None but steel rales have been used. The road has now nearly completed a wire fence all along the extension.
It has not yet been decided where the road will run from the lake, whether through Plymouth and South Bend, or to Michigan City.
On 1 July 1883 the last rail was laid on the 44 mile extension of the Vandial railroad from Lucrene to Marmont.
Logansport Pharos Tribune July 2, 1883 - The trackmen on the Vandalia extension were treated to a big supper Saturday evening by the people at lake Maxinkuckee.
Logansport Pharos Tribune July 3, 1883 - The Vandalia extension men will stop work to-morrow and celebrate the Fourth
Logansport Journal July 6, 1883 - Indianapolis Journal: "Wm. R. McKeen, President of the Vandalia, is expected home from New York to-day. He found - no trouble in placing the amount of bonds he desired to on the Logansport extension at a handsome figure. So light is the bonded debt per mile on the extension that it can but be a safe investment, and such is the location of the road that it can but from the start do a good business." - - - St. Louis Globe-Democrat: "Colonel Hill says that the last rail on the Vandalia's Logansport extension was laid Saturday last at noon, and the Chief Engineer will now delineate the track on the company's map. The road now runs trom Logansport through Kewana to Marmont, and stops on the shore of Lake Maxinkuckee for the time being. It will be opened for passenger traffic by August.
Wm. McIvor, of this city has the contract for constructing the bridges that will be required for the Vandalia line between Lake Maxinkuckee and Plymouth... Rochester Sentinel Saturday, September 1, 1883
An account found 29 years late in the Citizen recounts:
It was 29 years ago June 20 that the Vandalia's rails reached Culver (Marmont then) from Logansport, and a few weeks later a passenger service of the train each way between the two places was established.
The train was a mixed one, carrying local freight, and went down to Logansport in the morning and back in the evening.
Bill Murray (Now Dead) was the conductor and Arthur Holton was the engineer.
Holton is till on the run. He boarded at the time, and until the road got through to Plymouth the next season, at Jake Knapp's hotel who conducted Marmont's only hotel on the lot now occupied by the Pete Smith house, next to George Rollins
Frank Huntsinger was the station agent and operator. He is now train dispatcher at Terre Huate.
The station was a small shack on the west side of the track where the the inlet to the Medbourn ice house now is.
The building is the present handcar house at the east end of the depot platform - - 11 Jul 1912
1883 June 30 - While the Vandalia extension will not run an excursion to Lake Maxinkuckee on the Fourth of July, the probabilities are that our people will have an opportunity to go to the lake on an excursion train a few days thereafter - Logansport Pharos Tribune
1883 - Jul 2 - The trademen on the Vandalia extension were treated to a big supper Saturday evening by the people at lake Maxinkuckee - Logansport Pharos Tribune
1883 - Jul 5 - A special train, carrying a number of officials of the Vandalia road. went out to Lake Maxinkuckee yesterday morning, returning in the afternoon. The object of their trip was to secure the right of way for some needed side tracks. The further laying of track on the Vandalia extension was stopped upon reaching- the lake, and nothing further will be done in this directionuntil a decision is made as to the terminal point of the road. Ballasting is now going on at a lively rate - Logansport Pharos Tribune
1883 - Jul 9 - An Injunction was filed...
It is to enjoin the defendant company from laying and completing theri track over and across the lands of the plaintiffs, near Lake Maxenkcukee, without first settling for the right of way, and to prevent the company from running trains over acrosee their tracks until the right has been aquired.
An election will be held on the 11th inst. at Plymouth to vote an aid of $25,00 to this company, and the prospects are very favorable for carrying the application - Ft. Wayne Daily Gazette
Logansport Journal July 10, 1883 - The subscribers to the Vandalia extension will be called on to-day for half the amount of their subscription, the same being now due.
Logansport Pharos Tribune July 10, 1883 - Joseph T. MeXary was engaged to day in calling on citizens who had subscribed to the fund to secure the building of the Vandalia extension, and met with good success in his collections. Tha amount subscribed in this city was about $3,500.
Logansport Weekly Pharos July 18, 1883 - The Vandalia company have their men hard at work ballasting the new extension. Two trains are now at work on the road transporting the gravel along the route. Most of the gravel is obtained from the pit in Wilson's field north of the city
Logansport Weekly Pharos July 18, 1883 - The injunction suit filed at Plymouth, recently, by George B. Forgy and othera to restrain the Vandalia company from laying its track across their lands at Lake Maxinkuckee has been dismissed. The company had laid a track part way across the land in question, but claim that the work was not meant to be permanent Their contract called for the completion of the road to Marmount by, a certain date, and therebeing some question as to the location of the corporation line, the work was run far enough to make it certain that the contract had been fulfilled
Logansport Journal July 21, 1883 The Vandalia Extension.
For several weeks past a "steam Irishman" has been hard at work digging away in the deep cut jnst east of the Michigan pike, loading the earth and gravel on flat cars to be carried north for ballast.
At this end of the line the work of ballasting is well under way for a distance of about seven miles.
Two trains are constantly in use, one loading while the other is absent. More than 7,000 car loads have been taken from the deep cut above mentioned.
A curious feature of the work is that both the loading and unloading of the cars is done entirely by steam power. An enormous iron plow is dragged from end to end of the train by a wire cable attached to the engine, and iskept to its place by a guide rail running along the middle length of every car.
There are so far two troublesome places which seem to have an insatiable appetite for ballasting. No matter how much gravel is dumped under the ties, it slowly sinks out of sight and the ground rises on each side of the track. By and by the perseverance of the section men will have its reward,and the track will remain solid.
But the engineering diffiulties—with the exception of a rather stiff grade — are few, and it will be only a short time till this new route to Maxinkuckee will be ready for business.
Logansport Weekly Journal July 21, 1883 - Terre Haute Express : The Vandalia officials received notice Thursday of the result of the special election that was held at Plymouth day before yesterday for Center township of Marshall county, on the proposition to aid the Terre Haute & Logansport railroad. Known Letter as the Vandalia Line. The vote resulted in a majority of 201 for the appropriation., an unexpected vote in favor of the same by the farming community, the sum voted,$25,000, to be paid when the road is completed, The people of the city were jubilant over the result, and exhibited their joy by a jollification at night. The Vandalia officials. including President McKeen, who are now inspecting the completed portion of the extension, will probably visit Plymouth before returning. A preliminary survey of the new route has been made, and it is probable that arrangements will be made for carrying the work through to Plymouth.
1883 - aug 10 - The engineers at the McKeen syndicate are now locating the northern extension between Lake Maxinkuckee and Plymouth. It is proposed to have trains running between Lopansport and Plymouth by December at furthest, and as much sooner as practicable - Logansport Pharos Tribune
Logansport Weekly Pharos August 15, 1883 - The Vandalia officials while on their trip over the extension yesterday, fixed the location of the depot at Lake Maxinkuckee, as well as those at stations between the lake and this city. The first station north of here is distant ulne miles and is called Freshour's. The officers said that trains would not be put on the extension until the whole line was ballasted, which will require sòme weeks vet.
Logansport Chronicle August 18, 1883 - Two passenger trains, one each way will be placed on the Vandalia extension north, the first of the month. The depots are now under course of construct on and telegraph offices established as soon as possible.
Logansport Journal August 23, 1883 - Chief Engineer Fitch, of the T. H. & L. division of the Vandalia, has plans prepared for six new depots on this division, all of which are to be handsome, commodious structures. The six are to be located at Rockford, Crawfordsville, Frankfort, Logansport, Kewanna and Maxinkuckee.
1883 - The excursion train to Lake Maxinkuckee
Aug 30 - The excursion train to Lake Maxinkuckeeon Sunday will start from Sycamore (or Third street) on the Westside at 7:30 a.m. Accommodations will be provided for one thousand people, so that there will be no over-crowding.
The regular trains to be put on the Vandalia extension shortly will only run between this, city and Maxinkuckee, but will make direct connections wilh T. H. & L. twins. It is understood that Witt Murray,now freight conductor on the T. H. & L, road, will have charge of one of the passenger trains on the extension and that Al Lennox will take the position of baggage master on Mr. Murray's train. - Logansport Pharos Tribune
1883 - Sep 14 - Opened to Maxinkuckee
T. S. Kerns has been appointed agent and will be found at the crossing of Sycamore street, where the trains will arriveand depart
1883 - Sep 17 - Trains commenced running regularly on the extension of the Terre Haute & Logansport road this morning, between this city and Marmont, or Maxinkuckee. Conductor William Murray, of this city, has been given charge of a train which "doubles" the road daily. A time card will be found in this Issue. - Logansport Pharos Tribune
1883 - Sep 30 - Lines From St. Louis
This line was opened this morning under the most favorable auspices, and will prove a valuable feeder and distributor to the main line. At present the road is only of a local character, but when the projected point, South Bend, is reached great benefits will be dirived.
The distance from the lake to South Bend is only thirty-five miles, and the distance will be covered by rail at once.
Completed to South Bend, connection is made with the lines leading up the the pineries, and also with a country in great need of coal. It is expected that a demand will be found for nearly one-third of the coal produced by the many mines on the Logansport Division, coal which has hiterto gone at low figures.
The Meridian Route of the Mobile and Ohio Road will be thrown open Oct. 15, making the shortest line between St. Louis and New Orleans. C. J. Waller, General Passenger Agent of this line, announces that on and after Oct. 1 the passenger rates will be reduced from 4 to 3 cents per mile. - The New York Times 18 Sept. 1883
Another New Freight Line - Chicago, Sept. 29. - Mr. H. W. Hibbard, general freight agent to the Vandalia, notifies agents and connections that the extensions of the Terre Haute and Logansport branch from Logansoport has just been opened for business to Marmont, thrity-three miles.
The names of new stations are as follows: Verona, Altoner, Grass Creek, Kewana [Kewanna], Bruce Lake, Marshland, Castleman and Marmont.
Tariff and classifiecation in force on the Terre Huate & Logansport disvision [division] will be used on the new extension. Freight must be prepaid to all stations except Kewana [Kewanna] and Marmont.
Mr. J. Kendall, assistant general freight agent of the Terre Haute & Loganpsort division, will have charges of rates and other freight the sam as on the Logansport Division. - pg. 1 Sep. 30, 1883 Loganpsort Daily Journal okay
1883 - Oct 29 - The willingness with which the Nickle Plate people allowed tha Vandalia company to cross its track at a point above Maxinkuckee is a matter of favorable comment The last few years it has been the disgraceful features of railway management that no line was constructed without the Interference of the older roads, either by vexatious legal obstacles or by bolfi infractions of the peace, more especially it likely to be a competitor. - Logansport Pharos Tribune
Logansport Journal January 10, 1884 - With the completion of the Vandalia extension three roads cross each other at Plymouth so near that one singal man answers for the three.
Logansport Journal March 21, 1884 - The station at the point where the T. H. & L. division of the Vandalia crosses the Nickle-plate road,has been named Hibbard, to honor to the general freight agent of the Vandalia
Logansport Journal May 16, 1884 - The new hotel that is now in process of erection at the Lake, which is owned and will be controlled by the Vandalia Company, will vastly improve the conditions for visitors. Lake Maxinkuckee is a great card and the Vandalia people know how to play it
1884 - June 9 - The Terre Haute & Logansport branch of the Vandalia railroad from Logansport to South Bend was completed to Plymouth and 3 trains runs each direction daily for a total of six trains a day. At any rate the company got the subsidy, the road was built, and it has proved to be a good investment
On 13 Aug. 1884 an article appeared in the Logansport Pharos Tribune proclaiming that the opening of the Vandalia to Maxinkuckee has maded it a too public place for the exculsive people of Indianapolis, and they are hunting another resort where the common herd cannot go.
These quips on the depot has been found - and are some what confusing
Logansport Chronicle August 23, 1884 - The new depot at Marmont is nearly completed. It is an exact counterpart of the one in Logansport
noted eslewhere - was that the Marmont depot was completed on 11 April 1885 and features a 200 foot platform and concession stand which contradicts the newspaper accounts..
1884 September 3 - Logansport Weekly Pharos 1884 - September - Logansport Chronicle - The Vandalia company are fixing up their property fronting on Lake Maxinkuckee, just opposite the depot. They are leveling it off. When finished they will ornament it with a pavillion and have a frontage equal to any in the Eastern watering places. Lake Maxinkuckee will have a boom next year. Over $20,000 were invested in improvements this year alone.
The impact of the Vandalia Rail Road on South Bend is stated in the "An American Trek into the History of Northern Indiana Cities of Elkhart and South Bend"(2005) by Richard D. Taylor:
This road brought us into direct connection with Terre Haute, Evansville, St. Louis and the Indiana coal region.
It was a most desirable acquisition, and came to us with the good will of all the people but without special effort on the part of any one. The coming of the Vandalia is of particular interest from the circumstances that it was the first distinctive indication that our manufactures and other local interests had become an inducement for the outside world to seek our market. We had no longer any need ourselves to seek connections with the trade centers and great thoroughfares of the country. Henceforth they were to seek us rather than wait for us to seek them
1884 September 6 - Logansport Pharos Tribune & Logansport Weekly Pharos September 10, 1884 - The Vandalia people will, in a few days put the finishing touch on tho Logansport extension, which is fencing the road in both sides. The regulation fence of the road ia now of wire with a board at the top. This latter has been found necesssary to protect stock from injury. A fence of four strands of wire and a board cost $600 per mile for both sides, and in very mnch cheaper than an all-board fence could be put up for.
1884 - October 15 - Logansport Weekly Pharos - President McKeen, of the Vandalia, and Captain Fitch, who superintended the construction of the Vandalia extension, have just completed a trip of Inspection over that division. It is now but a question of time when the extension will be pushed into South Bend.
1884 - November 22 -Logansport Chronicle - The following are the new stations opened on the Vandalia extension between Plymouth and South Bend: Wooland, Lapaz, (B. & O. crossing), Lakeville and Jaquith