Author Topic: Kokomo, Frankfort & Western: Russiaville Station Renovation  (Read 3565 times)

robert_b1

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Kokomo, Frankfort & Western: Russiaville Station Renovation
« on: February 25, 2010, 08:00:12 AM »
http://www.kokomotribune.com/local/local_story_292234848.html
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Published: October 19, 2009 11:47 pm        

Plans get under way for Russiaville Interurban Station

By Daniel Human
Tribune staff writer

RUSSIAVILLE – A red-brick building sits back from Ind. 26, camouflaged by the warm-toned leaves on the trees surrounding it.

Around the one-story building, which is void of windows, lights and human life, lie broken bits of concrete. The limestone and mortar ruins serve as a reminder to Russiaville residents of what the building once was and many hope it will be.

It has been almost eight decades since the last interurban passenger train passed through the town of about 1,200.

Between 1912 and 1932, the rail line connected Russiaville with Kokomo, Frankfort and Marion.

Since the passenger lines halted, the station has been attributed as home to freighters, a lumberyard and apartments.

It currently sits gutted and abandoned on the town’s east side, but the Russiaville Historical Society plans to spend the next several years restoring it to its original state.

The widow of the building’s previous owner donated it to the town. It traded hands over to the historical society last year.

Since then, plans have been under way to transform the building into a museum dedicated to the history of western Howard County, Russiaville and the station itself, historical society president Marsha Berry said.

The historical society contracted last month with Indianapolis-based architecture firm Brenner Design Inc.

Brent Mather, an associate director for the firm who specializes in historic restoration, met with the historical society and other Russiaville residents late last week to discuss what will need to be done to transform the building into a museum and to convince the National Register of Historic Places to declare the station one of its own.

“It’s already a historic landmark, as far as our community is concerned,” Joe Scott, a historical society board member, said during the meeting. “... A lot of people are familiar with it. The structure is solid, so we’ve got a place to start.”

Plans for the building will consist of a complete restoration of the building’s exterior to what it was like in 1932. Inside, the building will be a mix of the old train station’s layout with historic artifacts and modern amenities, such as restrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Mather said.

The building has a design that is “unique to America,” he said, because it went up before World War I and World War II.

When soldiers went to Europe to fight in the wars, many of the ones who went on to be architects brought back designs that were nostalgic of buildings overseas, Mather said. The interurban station was built before the war, which gives it a native appearance, he said.

“It’s an interesting study in what was going on in 1910,” he said.

Structurally, the biggest projects for the building will be work on the roof and replacing the windows, he said.

The roof and window work will be part of the first of three phases for the project.

The first phase will stabilize the building, the second will transform the interior into a museum and home for the historical society, and the third will landscape the area around the building.

Once the first two phases end, the building can open as a museum, Mather said.

But before the first phase can begin, Russiaville needs to find the funding.

Mather and Berry estimated the project would cost between $200,000 and $500,000.

Brenner Design and the historical society have been working with Kieser Consulting LLC in Indianapolis to track down grant money for the project.

But eligibility for most of the grants requires matches from the community. Most of the matches require between 20 and 50 percent, Berry said last week.

“A $12,500 investment for a $500,000 project is a small investment,” Mather said during last week’s historical society meeting. “... If you’re going to go and request money, it needs community support.”

In order to cover the required matches for the grants, Mather suggested to his audience they consider seeking smaller grants for a few thousand dollars each. The small grants could be used to pay for the matches for the bigger ones, he said.

Once the work is complete, the historical society plans to move its artifacts out of the organizations 10-foot by 10-foot room in Russiaville Town Hall.

Displays will include scale models of the interurban rail line, highlights of Russiaville’s and Howard County’s origins, clippings from the town’s former newspaper and exhibits detailing the 1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak that leveled almost the entire town. The interurban station was one of the few buildings that survived the storm.

Berry and Mather said they plan to schedule another meeting to discuss the interurban project and update the town on its status before the next regularly scheduled historical society meeting in December.

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Photo taken Oct 2005...
http://indianarailroads.org/board/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=291.0;attach=647;image
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« Last Edit: February 28, 2010, 11:34:22 AM by robert_b1 »


Howard Pletcher

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Re: Kokomo, Frankfort & Western: Russiaville Starion Renovation
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2010, 07:40:54 PM »
This depot looked a bit worse for the wear as of last month.  There was a  large opening in the back wall for construction access.

Howard

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Re: Kokomo, Frankfort & Western: Russiaville Starion Renovation
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 01:45:13 AM »
Robert and Howard, thank you for this thread. I have probably driven by there over a thousand times and never really thought about that building being a station. I figured it was long gone. Interesting how they want to move stuff from the town hall to the interurban station when completed. Isn't the town hall in the same building as the police station, which happens to be the old Cloverleaf depot? That depot was moved a decade or so ago to a location North of Indiana 26 on a side street off of 750 West. Jay

Howard Pletcher

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Re: Kokomo, Frankfort & Western: Russiaville Starion Renovation
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2010, 08:18:43 PM »
I'm not sure, but I think the town hall may be in the building west of the old NKP depot, with a maintenance garage between.  At least, the sign in front of the depot just says "Police Dept."

Howard

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Re: Kokomo, Frankfort & Western: Russiaville Starion Renovation
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2010, 02:08:20 AM »
Howard, I remember it was moved originally to be utilized as the town hall, but perhaps it is only the local police station now. I took pictures a few years ago, but can't remember if it was a dual use then or only the police. I remember the Kokomo Tribune having a big write up about the restoration after it was moved. That would have been probably in the mid 90's. Still hard to believe that it and the interurban depot survived that horrible Palm Sunday 1965 tornado that took so many lives in that town. Jay

robert_b1

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Re: Kokomo, Frankfort & Western: Russiaville Starion Renovation
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2010, 10:17:01 AM »
First time that I have used Google Archived News...

From a pay-per-view site...
http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/426521301.html?dids=426521301:426521301&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic&date=Jul+20%2C+1901&author=&pub=Chicago+Tribune
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Pay-Per-View - Chicago Tribune - ProQuest Archiver - Jul 20, 1901
13 blew open the safe of the National Express com- pany at Russiaville. They secured but 30 cents. the safe was demolished and the Clover Leaf depot damaged ...


http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=YQEoAAAAIBAJ&sjid=7QQGAAAAIBAJ&dq=kokomo%20frankfort%20western&pg=2981%2C1591307
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Bluffton Chronicle - DEC 13, 1911

WORKMEN UNCOVER BODY OF INFANT

MEN UNDER FRED DAVENPORT ON NEW INTERURBAN MADE GREWSOME FIND.

A number of workmen employed on the grading crew for the new Kokomo, Frankfort, and Western traction company, of which Fred Davenport, of this city is engineer, made the grewsome find of a frozen body of a female infant Thursday morning when they were grading near Frankfort.  The men were engaged in plowing the ground along the right-of-way, when the plow came in contact with a small bundle buried in the ground.  As the plow moved along the object rolled out onto the solid earth, and unwrapping it, the laborers were horrified to discover the small body of an infant.  The child was wrapped in two old towels, several newspapers and a piece of oil cloth.  To all appearances, the body is that of an infant which died after about eight months gestation.  Opinions differ as to about how long the body had been interred.

The recent cold weather has evidently helped preserve it.  As soon as the discovery was made, the workmen informed their foreman, who in turn notified Coroner Carter.  After obtaining the facts of the case, Coroner Carter turned the body over to the undertaker.

The body from all appearances, according to statements made by the workmen, who found it, had been buried in a grave about two and a half feet deep and about two feet square.  There are but slight hopes that it will ever be known who the mother of the infant is, or who buried it.


http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=tS4oAAAAIBAJ&sjid=dgUGAAAAIBAJ&pg=1183,3253536
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Bluffton Chronicle - Google News Archive - Jul 11, 1889
Charles Glass, working in the telegraph at the Clover Leaf depot, met with a serious, though not fatal accident, while signaling a gravel train, going west, last Friday evening at the Market street crossing. ... His leg was badly bruised, which will confine him to his bed for several days.  His escape was certainly miraculous.


robert_b1

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Re: Kokomo, Frankfort & Western: Russiaville Starion Renovation
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2010, 10:53:43 AM »
More from Google Archived News...
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=WAIoAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CwUGAAAAIBAJ&dq=marion%20kokomo%20traction&pg=2604%2C3835623
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Bluffton Chronicle - Nov 30, 1904

RIVAL INTERURBANS

Two Companies Organized to Build Line From Marion Through Bluffton Into Ohio.

From a dispatch sent out from Marion Friday it appears that there are two companies organized for the purpose  of building an interurban from Marion, through Van Buren, Warren, Bluffton and Decatur into Ohio, and there will be a fight between the two for the right of way and to see which can get its line built first and keep the other out.  Yesterday the News told the organization of the Inter-state Traction Co., which included serveral Bluffton business men to build a line from Marion to Lima, Ohio, a dispatch from Marion to the Indianapolis News yesterday as follows.

Another electric interurban railway, the Marion & Eastern, will be constructed from Marion to an important oil and farming district.  The proposed new line will extend east from Marion, passing through Van Buren, Warren and Bluffton, and into the Ohio oil field, with its eastern terminal at Van Wert, Ohio.  The line will pass through the best of the Indiana and Ohio oil fields and through an excellent agricultural country, thickly populated with many small towns and villages.

The promoters of the line are the same men who promoted and built the Marion & Wabash traction line, recently completed, and now in operation.  The company is composed of G. A. H. Snideler, R. E. Breed and W. B. Dodds, of Marion; Jilson J. Coleman, formerly of New Jersey, president of the Northern Traction Company, who now lives in Marion; George Breed, of Philadelphia, and Harrison Williams, of Philadelphia.

The Marion & Eastern Traction Company has an abundance of capital at its disposal, and if the line is carried forward as fast as the one built by the same company from Marion to Wabash, cars will be running within a few months.  The road just finished is a well-equipped traction line, and is to be paying a good per cent on the investment.

The Kokomo & Marion Traction Company's officers held a meeting with the Marion City council for the purpose of determining what streets the company will use in coming into Marion from Kokomo, as the line is completed from Kokomo to Greentown, and cars are in operation.  The company recently financed the road and has started on the construction work from Greentown to Marion.  A representative of the company stated to the city council last night that the workmen will be sight of Marion within three weeks, and that the line will be completed within a short time.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=XAIoAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CwUGAAAAIBAJ&pg=4893,4156918&dq=marion+kokomo+traction&hl=en
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Bluffton Chronicle - Dec 28, 1904

Four After Franchises.

There are four companies making more or less strenuous efforts to build an electric line from Marion through Bluffton into Ohio.  The Interstate traction company, composed of Bluffton people; the Kokomo Marion & Western, which is now operating its line between Kokomo and Greentown and in which R. F. Cummins is a stockholder; a Marion company at the head of which is Hol Sheidler and S. H. Breid; and Dan Boles and a man named Robinson are all after franchises and promising to build.  Only one line will be built and the other three will sell anything they may get to the one best fitted to survive.  Dan Bolds, one of the men working on one of the four projects is the ex-treaurer of Adams county and his partner Robinson is connected with the Huntington Light & Fuel Co.  The have petitions for a franchise Rendering at Warren and Van Buren.  Dr. Sharpe of the Interstate has also asked those towns for franchises.  The Kokomo Marion & Western is now building its line from Greentown into Marion and will be complete that division by spring.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 11:17:51 AM by robert_b1 »


rrnut282

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Re: Kokomo, Frankfort & Western: Russiaville Station Renovation
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2010, 06:43:38 PM »
Didn't know my hometown was so full of robber-baron wanna-bes.
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