Author Topic: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville  (Read 4259 times)

MDavis

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The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« on: February 25, 2012, 08:16:50 PM »
This should meet the bill of modern and historic, this photo and bridge set off quite a bit of research and history within the Danville IN area. This is a photo I took of the remains with an old image of the THI&E crossing the bridge photo-shopped in. This IS the right location though, as all I did was take the old sky off and adjust transparency. 

Enjoy!

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torgy1962

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2012, 01:53:24 AM »
What a neat idea!

CSX2605

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2012, 12:05:36 PM »
Very nice!  5 stars!

MDavis

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2012, 07:52:34 PM »
Thanks guys, I've got two more I want to try, there are some paintings of PRR power on the Vandailia, staged one lot from the house I'm in right now that I plan to do. One in winter, the other is summer setting, but then we've not really had a real-world winter for me to use.
In accordance with our lease agreements with the Army, graffitists at JPG will be considered tresspassing and a national threat, and shot on sight.
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http://www.sites.google.com/site/cmpaho

Caylorman

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2012, 11:22:46 AM »
So is this supposed to be the bridge over White Lick Creek in Ellis Park? 

indrr

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2012, 12:04:31 PM »
So is this supposed to be the bridge over White Lick Creek in Ellis Park? 
Yes; looking over the various points, I think it is too.
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Caylorman

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2012, 05:31:17 PM »
I still don't think this is the Ellis Park bridge.  Here's why:

1) From what I can see in the photo, the "left" shore of the creek in the historic photo lines up with the "right" side of the creek in the current photo.  Perhaps if the OP can make the historic photo a little more transparent, it might make it a little easier to see how the creek alignments line up. 

2) Also, from having grown up and hiked around and climbed the remaining abutment in Ellis Park in my formative years, if it was originally part of a concrete arch, someone did a heck of a job smoothing and leveling off the face of the abutment when the arch came down, leaving the remaining abutment.  The remaining chunk of the abutment on the west side of the creek also has a pretty smooth face.

3) The remaining abutment has a lip at the top for the setting of a bridge span.  I'm not a bridge builder, but I'm not aware of putting in some type of metal span and then encasing it in concrete as typical bridge construction.

4) Something else about the historical picture also doesn't look right.  Currently, there is a "valley" between the abutment and the north end of the park where the band shell is.  It's just a little creek that drains into the White Lick, but the elevation from average creek level to the level the band shell is on is about 6' or so at the junction of the two creeks, even greater as you move eastward. This isn't readily apparent in the historical photo, but it should be noticeable from that angle.

Some of this detail can be seen in the eastward view in this overhead:

http://binged.it/xC6mfS

Now, could this bridge have been built and then replaced?  Sure, but I think the Danville line only lasted about 20-30 years, and I would think the odds of replacing a concrete arch with a steel span in that time would be unlikely.

E.J.

indrr

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2012, 09:26:38 PM »
Here are my deductions/inferences:

-The Bass Photo Co. caption of the historic photo is "West Fork of White Lick Creek Bridge, Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern Traction Co., 1909 (Bass #15666)", which, if correct, means this photo is either at Danville or Cartersburg. Bass Photo was pretty good at labelling their photos, but I have come across a few errors in other instances, so further evidence will be needed as "proof".

-We assume that the historic photo, which was also discussed in this thread: http://indianarailroads.org/board/index.php?topic=600.0, was really from Hendricks County. If not, it could be anywhere. In my experience, if a Bass Photo caption is wrong, it's likely only a specific detail, so we can reasonably assume this is at least Hendricks County if not Danville.

-Looking at the Indianapolis-Terre Haute line, I know of concrete bridges at Big White Lick Creek in Plainfield, a small creek between Plainfield and Cartersburg, and one over the West Fork of White Lick Creek just east of Cartersburg. All of these bridges are documented, and none of them matches the historic photo. I believe west of Cartersburg, all the bridges were steel, and the line was close enough to the PRR to have shown up in the photo.

-The line to Crawfordsville used steel, concrete beam, and concrete arch bridges. However, nearly the entire line was immediately parallel to the P&E, which also would have shown up in the photo, or at least altered the photo angle.

-The line to Danville used, well, not sure what kind of bridges. That's the point of this, right? Anyway, CERA Bulletin 30 (available to download here http://www.cera-chicago.org/publications.php) shows a photo of a through truss bridge labelled as being on the line to Danville. Examining that photo, I think it is of the Big White Lick Creek crossing, just west of Avon, since that was one of the only places where the interurban was not immediately adjacent to what is now US 36 (at the time of the interurban, the highway went to the south and is now known as Broyles Road). Similarly, the historic photo would show the adjacent highway if it were at any other crossing than Danville.

-So, that rules out the historic photo being simply labelled the wrong White Lick Creek. So, from the above, we can infer that this really should be a photo of the Danville bridge. Again, need some more direct evidence to be certain that it's not somewhere else entirely.

-Now, looking at the one remaining abutment and the historic photo. The historic photo shows a unique angle at the top of the abutment, between the bridge and the abutment. This is most visible on the left side. This unique angle is still seen today on the remaining abutment. The top of the wingwall also matches the historic photo. The cornice trim at the top of the concrete arch also matches the remaining trim at the top of the abutment (which was obviously cut flush with the abutment).

-The 1946 aerial shows a bridge still standing at this location. If it were a steel bridge out of service for 16 years, most likely it would've been scrapped for WWII. So, one can assume that it was a concrete bridge here.

-The above points lead me to believe the historic photo is the same as the one in Danville.

-However, and this is the biggest negative point, there is no evidence that the concrete arch ever connected into the remaining abutment. There is no cut off rebar, no crumbling concrete, not even any discoloration where concrete touched concrete. I cannot find any standard practice where the abutment would have been poured, then an arch added to it. It would have been formed and poured as one. The only evidence that the concrete continued over the water is the cutoff trim mentioned above.

So, I cannot rectify this discrepancy, but my intuition sides with the probability that the historic photo is of Danville. However, the arch might have been "photoshopped" in.

The easiest way to solve this question is to research the news of the demolition of the bridge and embankment in the late 40s or early 50s, which should indicate what kind of bridge was there, and might give some insight as to why the remaining abutment appears as it does now.

The best way to confirm this location, of course, would be to find another photo from a reliable source that correlates with this one.



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robert_b1

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 11:15:02 AM »
http://images.indianahistory.org/u?/dc012,10943
Quote
West Fork of White Lick Creek Bridge, Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern Traction Co., 1909 (Bass #15666)

http://bridgehunter.com/in/hendricks/bh47597/
Quote
Lost concrete arch bridge over West Fork White Lick Creek on former TI&E Traction in Danville

I see two seams.  One between the arch and each of its abutments.  Perhaps, the concrete was poured at different times.
http://bridgehunter.com/photos/19/19/191906-L.jpg


This is what I saw in Bing, before I used the "curved arrows" to rotate it for an eastward view...
http://binged.it/wafXMG

Parke County is known for "covered" bridges.  Perhaps, Hendricks Co. ought to be known for its concrete arch bridges...

http://bridgehunter.com/in/hendricks/

« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 11:27:24 AM by robert_b1 »


Caylorman

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2012, 11:23:48 AM »
This should meet the bill of modern and historic, this photo and bridge set off quite a bit of research and history within the Danville IN area. This is a photo I took of the remains with an old image of the THI&E crossing the bridge photo-shopped in. This IS the right location though, as all I did was take the old sky off and adjust transparency. 

Enjoy!



Can you post just the current shot that you overlaid the historic photo on?

Thanks.

robert_b1

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2012, 11:59:37 AM »
Can you post just the current shot that you overlaid the historic photo on?

Thanks.

Here are other detailed photos of THI&E bridge abutement in Ellis Park in Danville.
http://www.angelfire.com/in4/believe/danvillebridge/danvillebridge.html

indrr

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2012, 12:16:44 PM »
I take back that the Avon bridge was a truss. In this photo of the Rockwood TB Sanatorium, http://images.indianahistory.org/u?/dc012,12266, you can see in the distance an embankment and bridge. Rockwood was located just west of what is now CR625E, so that is definitely the crossing of the Big White Lick Creek, and definitely not the same as the photo in the CERA bulletin.

So...this opens the possibility that the historic photo was Big White Lick Creek, not West Fork White Lick Creek.

However, the 1946 aerial photo (attached) shows that the bridge over Big White Lick Creek was definitely missing, but abutments still remained. So it's likely that the bridge was a girder bridge, not a concrete one.

The only major bridge on the line not removed in 1946 was the one in Danville...
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indrr

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2012, 12:27:53 PM »
1946 aerial showing Danville and the park and the bridge, since I didn't attach it above.
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MDavis

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2012, 03:19:09 AM »
Everyone's got such cool shots, thanks for sharing those. I don't think this is the Rockwood bridge. The reason I say that is that there's a curve behind the bridge, visible under the arch. Today, that's where the music clamshell is (Not thinking of the right term here). When I did the overlay, the wings were slightly off, but the only problem I really ran into was the height of the creek. White Lick does get fairly high it took out the old park swing bridge once) and the abuttments do show BAD erosion up almost high enough for the old photo. (As in, if in twenty years you told me that thing just fell over, I'd believe you straight up...) I'd have to study the other creek more, I'm usually zipping through there at speed, but I don't think that's it at all.  

Here's the two photos I overlaid, look under the arch in the black and white, that wasmy secodary anchor. The first being the abuttment to the right.  

EDIT: Took a look on Google Stree view, would that have been a fill, ause otherwise the terrain's not high enough. If it's where I think that photo was taken, then there's a house there now on the bluff behind the storage facility...
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 03:31:39 AM by MDavis »
In accordance with our lease agreements with the Army, graffitists at JPG will be considered tresspassing and a national threat, and shot on sight.
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Racecar52

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2012, 02:07:23 PM »
whether its correct or not.... I NEED TO TRY THIS! ;D
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robert_b1

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #15 on: February 29, 2012, 02:35:42 PM »
whether its correct or not.... I NEED TO TRY THIS! ;D

If you live near Crown Point, bring us back some photos of
the Northern Indiana Railway...
http://indianarailroads.org/board/index.php?topic=7783.0

Valporaiso and Northern (to Chesterton)...

Gary and Eastern (to south of Chesterton)...

and

Chicago, New York, Electric Air Line (south of Chesterton to LaPorte)...




indrr

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2012, 04:15:42 PM »
whether its correct or not.... I NEED TO TRY THIS! ;D
Overlaying photos?
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IndyAnna81

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Re: The "Ghost" of the THI&E in Danville
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2012, 01:32:18 PM »
Amazing work/research! It's kind of eerie when you do the layover like that. LOVE IT.