Reader Mailbag, 5-25-15

ftwaynebridge

From Daniel Baker:

“Relic of the Interurban”

Hidden away from view, this old interurban bridge has become part of the natural landscape crossing the Spy Run Creek north of downtown Fort Wayne. This particular route took the electric cars along Lima Road (Highway 3) to Garrett, Auburn, Kendallville and Waterloo. An aerial photograph shows it out of use by 1938, but the route is visible.

Daniel Baker is a photographer based in Northeast Indiana specializing in documentary, urban and landscape photography.

We welcome the Indiana Railroad Yahoo discussion group to our distribution list. Here is a video showing the Indiana Railroad interurban in color:

winterscene

Kenneth Gear writes:

My local library was selling some old stuff they had been storing for years but had no use for. Among the old photographs they had for sale I found the attached photo and thought you would like to see it. The only information written on the cardboard frame was: Trolley after blizzard of March 1st 1914- Dunellen.

Dunellen NJ was on the Main line of NJ Public Service’s Union Line.

Our recent post about bookseller Owen Davies prompted many great responses from our readers:

Verne Brummel of Fitchburg, Wisconsin writes:

I remember the day I visited the La Salle St. store, back in February, 1971. I was on my way from Madison, WI to New Orleans, riding Milwaukee Road’s “Sioux” from Madison to Chicago Union Station, and then Illinois Central’s “Panama Limited” south from Central Station. During the 7 hour layover, I rode GM&O’s “Limited” down to Joliet, returning to Chicago on a Rock Island commuter train. From La Salle Street Station, I made the long walk up La Salle St. to the store, buying some timetables and an Official Guide from Dorothy, but wishing I could pick up a lot more. I then took a taxi back down to Central Station, with not a lot of time left to board the “Panama”.

Another correspondent named Steve says:

I forgot long ago how it was I discovered the store but I was probably 12 years old‎, which would have been 1961. I was already collecting maps timetables, books and transfers, but all of mine were current when I obtained them. He had boxes and boxes of vintage stuff which totally fascinated me as a young collector. In the vestibule when you walked in there would be current timetables you could take for free, frequently from Philadelphia. I am sure I still have everything I ever acquired there. I went there frequently until the store on La Salle was closed.

Years later, when I already had children of my own, I was in the Oak Park store once. It had a small shadow of the La Salle Street collection‎.

The same writer continued:

I remember his widow ran the store on La Salle St. for a few years after he died. I was only on the first floor-never in the basement or attic. And when I wrote my first reminiscence on this I also thought about how I wish I had more money to buy things from him.

My first purchase there consisted of a 1951 CTA Map, a 1933 CRT Map and an assortment of Chicago Cable Car transfers dating back as far as the 90s. I was in heaven.

Seth Bramson related that he had bought a North Shore Line Ticket Office porcelain elbow sign from Dorothy Davies. You can find a picture of such a sign here.

Here is an excellent promotional film made by the North Shore Line in the 1920s:

A description of the North Shore Line film "The Green Bay Trail."

A description of the North Shore Line film “The Green Bay Trail.”

To complete our tribute to Owen Davies, here are some vintage Davies flyers and catalogs circa 1963. Davies seems to have been quite the entrepreneur, and his publishing activities look to be more extensive than I had known. Just click on each image to bring up a larger version in your browser.

-David Sadowski

Fort Wayne's Trolleys by George K. Bradley was published by Owen Davies in 1963. Bradley was also author of Central Electric Railfans' Association bulletins 122 (Ft. Wayne and Wabash Valley Trolleys) and 128 (Indiana Railroad-- the Magic Interurban). His earlier works include Electric Railway Historical Society bulletin #6, The Northern Indiana Railways (1953).

Fort Wayne’s Trolleys by George K. Bradley was published by Owen Davies in 1963. Bradley was also author of Central Electric Railfans’ Association bulletins 122 (Ft. Wayne and Wabash Valley Trolleys) and 128 (Indiana Railroad– the Magic Interurban). His earlier works include Electric Railway Historical Society bulletin #6, The Northern Indiana Railways (1953).

Editor’s Note: George K. Bradley (1930-2000) was a prolific author, and his papers are collected at the Indiana Historical Society.

Click here for more information.

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