Author Topic: St Joseph Valley Railway  (Read 939 times)

MFromholt

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St Joseph Valley Railway
« on: November 21, 2013, 01:52:29 PM »
This morning I went up to Steuben County and visited the ACRES Preserve Brammal Woods, located a few miles East of Angola. The roadbed of the St Joseph Valley Railway crosses the property. Here are some pics of it. Where the right of way crossed a stream, I was hoping to see some culvert remains, but all had been removed.

mp 126

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2013, 07:35:40 AM »
To the east of where you were they are several bridges in place... I wish they was more info available on this railroad,

http://www.fwarailfan.net/community/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=3158&hilit=bridge

MFromholt

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2013, 07:51:46 PM »
MP,

 Thanks for the link....I saw the bridge pictured on it on Google Earth and wanted to go check it out yesterday, but I didn't have the time.(Had a dentist apt back in Ft Wayne in the afternoon) There looks to be a causeway across some wetlands southwest of Orland that I'd like to check out as well.

Eel_River

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2013, 09:20:34 PM »
Mike:

This concerns only the StJV Railway Co., which operated LaGrange, IN-Columbia, OH.  The track west of LaGrange was operated by the traction company side of the StJV.

The annual reports are at the state archives in Indy.  It never had a profitable year.  In its last year, 1917, it was $111,539 in the red (about $2 million today).  It was Dr. Bucklen's model railroad, and I'm not joking.  His kids scrapped it a few months after he passed.

Maps and/or deed records of the route are in the files of the county recorders in Indiana.  I haven't looked at the Williams County, OH, deed records and I need to: the intent was to extend the line to either Bryan or Pioneer, and the roadbed was graded to Pioneer. 

A photo of the depot at Columbia, OH, is at the Bryan library.  I haven't visited the libraries in Indiana for photos.

The StJV underpass of the FtW&J RR and N. Wayne St. in Angola was constructed when the line reached Angola from the west in 1905, which was a few years before the line was extended to Columbia, OH.

Galloway & Buckley wrote a very good history of the StJV, available at the Angola library.  Surprisingly, Galloway's manuscript has information that should have been included in the history.

The attached photo was taken where Sunset Inn is now located at Crooked Lake.  The roadbed is still visible behind the tavern.  It ran about 45 deg. northeast, through the gas-convenience store at CR200W & 200N.

Craig

rrnut282

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2013, 09:01:19 PM »
We used to travel Orland Rd thru that area on our way to Lake Gage when I was growing up.  I remember seeing several old concrete abutments in the woods.  I was told (by my parents, unfortunately)  it was for an interurban, not a steam road.  Now I barely recognize the place, let alone see any sign of a railroad.
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Eel_River

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2013, 10:15:29 PM »
Mike:

StJV had a lot of non-matching equipment that included several gasoline-powered doodlebugs.  People thought they were interurbans. 

This is a photo of a gasoline car at Inverness, between Crooked Lake and Lake Gage.  The StJV had a nasty wreck here involving a heavily over-loaded passenger train hit from behind by a freight train, with several people killed. 

Get this: some of the engines in the gasoline cars were started by placing a 12 ga. shotgun shell into a hole in the cylinder head and hitting it with a hammer to make a piston move.  Really.  I guess the lead pellets mixed with the gasoline to lube the moving parts.

Crai

mp 126

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2013, 11:03:03 PM »
who and where was the largest customer on the St Joseph Valley Railway ? Orland appeared to be a busy place..

MFromholt

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2013, 06:44:45 AM »
Craig,

  Thanks for the information, I've been reading about this line for a time now, find it interesting.

MP,
   No idea who the largest customer was, or if they had any large customers at all...which could account for the line never making any money.

Mike

Eel_River

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2013, 09:36:33 PM »
There were granaries at Columbia, Ohio, and at Orland and Mongo.  I don't know what was at or west of LaGrange.  There was a minor agricultural facility at Berlien, west of the Ohio Line.  It was not supported by revenue generated on-line.

Craig

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2013, 10:04:36 PM »
CRAIG: RE: STARTING ENGINES WITH A SHOTGUN SHELL: THERE WERE SEVERAL BRITISH MADE FARM TRACTORS THAT WERE STARTED IN THIS FASHION. THE LEAD WAS REMOVED.  I SAW ONE OF THESE AT THE LAGRANGE ANTIQUE TRACTOR SHOW IN 1998. STRANGE, BUT TRUE.

KEITH

rrnut282

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2013, 09:42:16 AM »
Where was Inverness?
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MFromholt

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2013, 12:44:24 PM »
Inverness, according to the 1912 plat map of Jackson Twp, Steuben County, was located along Orland Road north of Kimball Road. Doesn't look like it was all that big, and looking at google earth, not much there now. 
GPS would be N41.700574 w85.095867

Eel_River

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2013, 10:45:35 AM »
Inverness is located at the intersection of CR400N, CR550W and Orland Rd.  On the north side of CR400N are concrete bridge abutments.  I can't find my photos of them.

I think the village was located in the NE corner of intersection.

Craig

MFromholt

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2013, 03:59:06 PM »

Eel_River

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2013, 07:43:15 AM »
Great find.  It looks like the village was in the grove of trees at the right edge of the aerial posted above.  Time to drive there again and see if anything remains of the original buildings.

The 1898 plat map shows the road layout on the 1912 plat, but doesn't show the village.  It was apparently created when the railroad was built.

Here's the link to the report on the Inverness accident:

http://dotlibrary2.specialcollection.net/scripts/ws.dll?websearch&site=dot_railroads

Pick 1916 and scroll down to St. Joseph Valley.  It was an operational mess.

Craig

mp 126

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Re: St Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2013, 06:30:07 PM »
St Joseph Valley, here is a link to some more pictures

http://www.flickr.com/photos/digitalrail/sets/72157638727144436/