M.P. 36.3 - 1st Subdivision - Ay

Farmdale was one of those "named" places along the Monon right of way. Officially at MP 36.3, however, it did not appear on passenger or employee timetables. Monon railroad records indicate that in 1905 a class XIII milk shed was constructed. The Gerold Family owns the farm and land at the center of what was Farmdale. The family has have lived there since the mid 1800's. According to our sources, Farmdale was once a milk stop along the Monon and besides the shed, there was a milk platform.


Farmdale Indiana, circa 2007. Left: You are looking railroad north from the driveway crossing at MP 36.3, once known as Farmdale. Right: Loooking south. CSX Cedar Lake defect detector is pictured.

Example of a box culvert at MP 33.8. Lawerence Turnquist, who farms several acres of land, advised me that this tunnel was used so horses could pass under the right of way to plow the fields on the other side of the right of way. Because of the really soggy conditions and drainage from the right of way, it was too muddy to get closer, or get photos inside the culvert. I have been invited back when conditions are better.




M.P. 39.5 - 1st Subdivision - Ay

Paisley Trestle Plans

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Cedar Lake was established in May of 1886 when a post office opened. The name was shortly changed to Armour in 1899 after the famous brother who owned a meat packing business in Chicago. They had developed an ice cutting business at the lake. Armour was a residential area in the 1870ís and thrived until the 1920ís. Ice barns were constructed and the Armour Brothers cut ice and shipped it to Chicago. Other Chicago businessmen, like Cudahy and Oscar Meyer, soon followed and ice harvesting became a big industry. Cedar Lake was also the starting point for a shoemaker named Scholl. This Scholl was the grandfather of Dr. Scholl, of foot care products fame.

M.P. 38.4 - 1st Subdivision - Ay

Armour depot and General Store, 1882. Unknown source of picture. Armour Town was established in 1882 and the depot was built. The depot is the smaller structure off to the right of the photograph. The first Agent was Henry Massoth, also ran the general store. The depot and store once sat where Cedar Lake Concrete Products is today. Between the old line and the new line, relocated in 1948. Courtsey of Kevin Ruble.





NEW 04-19-2011 Left and Right and Below. Photos of the building of a spur for the Cedar Lake Lumber Company. This spur was built in 1931. Cedar Lake Lumber was on the north end of the lake, in what was known as Armour or Armour Town. -Nicholas Mager Photographs. Courtesy of Robert Carnahan-


Samuel Bartlett, a Chicago businessman and Cedar Lake resort owner, approached the Monon Railroad in 1915 with a plan to have a spur track begin at the midwest depot and move over the south end of the lake. The spur would have ended east of the South Shore Country Club to around where the Tasty Freeze ice cream stand is today. Here Bartlette planned to set up another depot. This plan fell through. In 1924, Bartlett bargained with the Monon and he built a depot at Armour Town. This depot was built by Bartlett and, of course, named for him. This depot almost resulted in Armour Town to lose its name and recognition. For five years, from 1924 to 1929, there was a very treacherous grade grossing just south of the Bartlett depot. In 1929 the hazzard was removed when the main road, Lake Shore Drive, was paved and the underpass was constructed. The depot fell into disuse during the 1930's because of the depression. The dream of Samuel Bartlett faded forever when the depot and his resort went under.

The old depots of Cedar Lake are now silent. Over the years Cedar Lake transformed from a community known as a vacation spot to a town of permanent homes. The rise of the automobile and the trucking industry have all taken their toll on the railroad industry. Where once passengers traffic was considered the most important aspect of train traffic, now has been replaced with 140 to 160 car freight trains. Part of our heritage long gone.

NEW 02-21-2011 The Bartlett Depot, date unknown. In this view you are looking East. The CIL (Monon Railroad) crossed at grade level.

Left: Bartlett Depot prior to the viaduct on Lake Shore Drive. Right: Because of some accident, a viaduct was built.


Bartlett Depot , date unknown. Left: Sometimes known as the second Armour Depot, the Bartlett Family of Chicago developed a resort on the north end of Cedar Lake. For awhile the depot along the Monon was named for the Bartletts. Right: Another view of the Bartlett Depot


Depot location, circa 2002. Nothing but overgrown weeds and trees. Photos courtsey of The Lake Of The Red Cedars Museum , Cedar Lake, Indiana.




Cedar Lake itself was not incorporated until 1969. John Sweeney, builder of the Monon railroad, camped along the railroad right-of-way as he supervised the building of this stretch of rails that was soon to transform the lake's tranquil shores to those of an era of hotel industries and ice farming. The first post office opened in 1890 under the name of Paisley. In 1899 it was changed to Cedar Lake, The community was established a a resort town. The lake was originally called "Lake of the Red Cedars", because of a large number of red cedar trees along the shore line. Originally there were 42 hotels around the lake. The "hotel era" lasted from 1890 until the beginning of the Great Depression. Cedar Lake was a popular spot during the 1920ís for people from Chicago. They flocked to the lake for swimming, fishing and dancing at the pavilion on the lake behind the Monon Hotel, at Monon Park. During one winter, part of a hotel was moved across the ice to the other side of the lake. It was also a popular spot for employers to bring their employees. Marshall Fields, in 1907 brought 7,000 employees to the lake on an outing.

Southbound Monon steam locomotive at Cedar Lake. This location may be near Monon Park. Exact date unknown, but it is possible as early as 1900. -Photo courtesy of the Carroll County Historical Museum-





Cedar Lake, Indiana, picture date unknown, taken by C.R. Childs of Chicago. This appears to be the mainline at what is now the Conference Grounds, or Monon Park. It appears as if the pedestrian bridge has not been constructed yet.




Steam locomotive at Monon Park, Cedar Lake, Indiana. Exact date unknown.






Looking at a northbound at Monon Park. The unknown photographer is standing under the footbridge that led from the beach to the park, circa 1937.


Left: Northbound along the Cedar Lake shoreline near Monon Park. Right: Southbound passenger with Business Car on the end passing Monon Park at Cedar Lake, circa 1937

Footbridge over the Monon mainline tracks at Monon Park. To protect guests from being struck by tains, a footbridge was built from the park, whcih sat on the bluff west of the tracks. It allowed bathers to get to the lake shore.

This is probably one of the best pictures of the Cedar lake depot that I have seen. The odds are preety high that the crowd pictured is part of a group that came to Cedar Lake on an outing. Note all the excursion boats on the lake.




Cedar Lake depot and facilities. Picture taken late 1800's or early 1900's. Photo courtsey Kevin Ruble.





Another view of the Cedar Lake depot, 139th Street. Date of picture is unknown. Courtsey Kevin Ruble.







Cedar Lake depot, early 1900's. Left: Shot of the depot and water tank, looking northeast. Right: The front facade of the Cedar Lake depot.


Cedar Lake depot, picture taken in 1912, by C.R. Childs of Chicago. View is looking southeast.





NEW 04-19-2011 Panoramic View of the depot area. -Cedar Lake Historical Association Collection-


Shot of the water tank at Cedar Lake. Also pictured is the north wall of the depot.








Left and Right: November of 1918. Fire of unknown origin destroys building near the Cedar Lake depot. It also involves the Monon water tank, north of the depot. These photos were taken by Beatrice Z. Echterling, who worked for L. Monte Bieseker's, in his store from 1917 to 1919. The store was west of the Monon depot. The date may be November 30, 1918. - Beatrice Z. Ecterling photo, Kurt Pearson Collection-


Left: Looking at the scene from the lake shore. Right: Structure is a total loss. - Beatrice Z. Ecterling photo, Kurt Pearson Collection-


Left and Right: Fire in the water tank. Does this mean the tank was empty at the time? Additional research is being performed to obtain more information on this incident. Stay tuned. - Beatrice Z. Ecterling photo, Kurt Pearson Collection-

Water tank is moments from collapse.- Beatrice Z. Ecterling photo, Kurt Pearson Collection-






Cedar Lake depot interior, picture early 1900's?. This photo was in very bad shape. With some digital trickery I was able to make it viewable. There was no indication of the date taken originally or the name of the station agent in the photo.






MP 40.1 1st Subdivision -

To the south side of the lake, there was a town, at one time called Paisley. Named after someone connected with the Monon Railroad, Paisley was instrumental in the ice trade. Many ice barns and harvesting companies called Paisley home. This picture is of the first "official" business on record for Paisley, the John Mitch Hotel. Founded by John Mitch, according to information on the picture, the Mitch Hotel, sat east of the railroad depot. During the heyday of Paisley there were two hotels. The Mitch and the Webber Hotel, both sat just north of present La Tulip Harbor boat dock. The hotel name may have been later changed to the Dubruiell. We are still investigating this.



And speaking of the old Paisley Depot, here is a picture of it. Though exact data is scarce, it was rumored to be only six foot by six foot. This is the only known picture of the depot. The man standing in the doorway is, according to the information on the back of the photograph, Harrison Ford. No relation....we think. Once again I would like to thank Ann Zimmerman and the Lake Of The Red Cedars Museum for the use of the pictures displayed here. I am forever grateful for their assistance.



Ice Harvesting On Cedar Lake


Left and Right Above and Below: Harvesting ice was at one time a big business and industry at Cedar Lake. Huge operations once flourished on the north and south shores of Cedar Lake. These pictures are of ice harvesting. The photo on the left above is of the conveyor operation at the Cedar Lake Conference Grounds. The photo to the right is the conveyor system of the operations on the north end of the lake. The Armour Brothers operation.



One of the Ice Barns on the Lake. This may be the warehouse of the Knickerbocker Ice Company on the south end of the lake. I apologize for the clearity of this image. I hope to find the original.





NEW 04-19-2011. Left: Cutting blocks of ice on Cedar Lake, unknown date. Workers used hand, or horse drawn saws to cut the ice into blocks that were then moved to the conveyor systems that took then to the huge ice barns. Right: Not 100% certain, but the ice barn in the background may be the Knickerbocker Ice Company's Ice Plant on the south side of the lake. -Cedar Lake Historical Association Collection-


NEW 04-19-2011 Left: Photos of the harvesting operations. This is the Armour operations north of Monon Park, Cedar Lake Conference Grounds. Right: The conveyor system to take the blocks of ice from the lake to the ice barns. Later the ice would be loaded into boxcars and shipped. -Cedar Lake Historical Association Collection-


NEW 04-19-2011 Left: The aftermath of the fire which destroyed the Consumer Ice Company's warehouse. This company was owned partly by John G. Shedd. The same Shedd as in the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Right: Railroads needed ice, but so did families. Blocks of ice were delivered for the family "ice box". Looks like very back breaking labor. -Cedar Lake Historical Association Collection-


At Cedar Lake the line ran immediately along the west shore of the lake. Management originally considered Cedar Lake the equal of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the famous retreat of millionaires. They had hoped that Cedar Lake would develop in a similar fashion. Instead it developed as a drab resort, patronized by working class people from Chicago. It has also be said that the Chicago Mob had very "extensive" ties to Cedar Lake. Passenger business was quickly lost to automobile traffic. Chairman John Barriger, in 1948, recognized the potential problems associated with running so close to the lake. The line undertook a bypass, called the Cedar Lake cutoff. The cutoff would circumvent the lake for about four miles and relocate the tracks to higher ground to the west. The new line was opened November 30, 1948 by the southbound Tippecanoe. The cutoff would remove any risk of a bather being struck, or killed. Even though passenger traffic had almost disappeared, large number to bathers were still crossing the tracks and poising potential problems and risks of lawsuits.



Above Left: John Humiston photo showing passenger train arriving at Cedar Lake. Train is south bound. One can see the potential threat to bathers and residents. Above Right: Another view of the mainline north of the depot. Bottom: Freight activity Cedar Lake. Illustrates the potential danger and threat. Photos John Humiston.



Left: October 10, 1948, Paisley Trestle. A southbound passenger crossing the trestle over Paisley bog. Right: Another picture of passenger trains at Cedar Lake, also October 10, 1948. This northbound passenger is about to make a station stop. The building in the distance, over the lake, was north of the depot.


Left: October 10, 1948, one more view of a southbound passenger. Right: July 20, 1948. Southbound freight #72 passing through Cedar Lake enroute to Louisville. This location would be just north of the Conference Grounds, also known as Monon Park.




Left: Construction on the Cedar Lake cutoff. This picture shows the mainline and the eventual cutoff grade veering off to the right. Right: This picture shows the cutoff line and new bridge over Lake Shore Drive. Also the original mainline can been seen in the background.

Ballast train on the new cutoff line, circa 1947. This train is spreading ballast on the new line.






Opening of the new cutoff in 1948. Frank VanBree photo.






Ribbon cutting ceremony opening the Cedar Lake cutoff November 30, 1948. Those pictured: Left to Right, F. C. Burghaus, Vice President Operations, Monon, Earl C. Martin, Asst. To Traffic Manager, International Harvester Company, Mrs. Martin, John W. Barriger, President, Monon, Mrs. Ocar Ahlgren of Whiting who has traveled 100,000 miles on the Monon and Warren Brown, Vice President Traffic, Monon. Date, November, 30, 1948. Additional information on the cutoff: Grading, Strom Construction Company, Gary, Ind., Bridges, American Bridge Company, Track work and ballast, Kershaw Company, Montgomery, Alabama. -Photo Courtesy of Mahlon Eberhard. Information courtesy Steve Dolzall-




NEW 11-14-2010 Left and Right: Southbound on the new Cedar Lake cutoff, circa 1949. Note "American Bridge" stenciled on the bridge. John Picket photos-



Left: The new Cedar Lake depot along the new mainline, circa 1948 after the opening of the new line relocation. Right: The former 1948 relocation line Cedar Lake depot. It appears to have been converted into a garage when this picture was taken. Exact date unknown.

Picture of the first Monon train operating over the new cutoff in 1948. Mahlon Eberhard photo.






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