M.P. 29.0 - 1st Subdivision - Ru/Dy
In approximately 1830, the first permanent white settlers came to northwest Indiana, which was then occupied by Potawatomi Indians under Chief Pokagan. By 1838, when the original State Line House was built facing Sauk Trail, the trail named after the Sauk Indians, records begin to record the early beginnings of what is now know as Dyer, Indiana. The State Line House was used to house travelers going to Chicago, and became the overnight stopping place for Union soldiers during the Civil War.
Early days in Dyer, circa 1909. Looking north on Hart Street.
NEW 02-22-2011 Left: Looking south along Hart Street, circa 1910. Right: Shot looking east down Joliet Street, 1910. -Steve Shook Collection-
NEW 02-22-2011 Left: Downtown Dyer, Indiana, early 1900's. The area now US 30 and Hart Street. Right: Looking down Joliet Street, US Highway 30, 1938. -Steve Shook Collection-
The early settlers identified themselves as farmers from Prussia with a few carpenters, millers, saloon keepers, shoemakers, masons and a doctor also being identified. In 1857, the Michigan Central Railroad established a station at Dyer, and built a grain elevator nearby. The Monon Railroad (Lousiville, New Albany and Chicago) started building from Dyer in 1880 to finish the line started by the Chicago and South Atlantic, and the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway, and east-west route, was built a little while later.
National attention was focused on Dyer in the early 1920's when an experimental model highway was constructed stretching three miles from Dyer to Schererville. It was call the "Ideal Section of the Lincoln Highway". This experiment, financed by the federal, state and county governments and United States Rubber Company, set the standards for highway construction throughout the United States. So in a small way Dyer played a role in the demise of railroads and passeneger traffic in the United States.
Left: U.S. 30 crossing in Dyer, September 14, 1934. Looking to the east. Right: U.S. 30, another view. Picture is looking to the east, towards the crossing. C.C. Pontius photos. Courtsey of Kevin Ruble.
Southbound Monon passenger on the north side of Dyer, April 1948. Train is near Sheffield Ave, south of the GTW/ PRR crossings. Not sure of the train number. Charles Huffer Collection, MRRHTS. Courtsey of Kevin Ruble.
This image is courtesy of the Dyer Historical Society and Jim Dumbsky of Crown Point. Left: Monon depot and tower, Dyer, looking north across EJ & E double tracks. Not too far in distance is junction with Michigan Central. It is believed the tower pictured was owned by the Michigan Central and control both crossing.
Another look at the Dyer Tower. Date is unknown. The Monon right of way is pictured to the left of the tower.
Left: Another view of the Dyer Tower, circa 1909. Note controls rods, so it logical to assume that this tower controlled both crossing. Right: Dyer depot, circa 1909. Unknown original photographer.
Left: Dyer depot, date unknown. Judging from the vehicles in the background, mid 1960's. Photographer was standing on the southeast side of the mainline looking toward the northwest. Paul Stringham photo, courtsey MRRHTS. Right: May 1965. Train #6, with two F3A's leading approach the interlocker at Dyer. The EJ&E diamonds are just in front of the engine. The depot is off to the right side of the picture.
Left: Many people have asked if any photos exist of the west wall of the Dyer depot. Thanks to Tom Rankin, yes. This photo was taken September 27, 1976. Right: Dyer depot, circa 1976. Gary Clark took this photo of a southbound L&N frieght at the depot.
Dyer, Indiana, circa 1948. A trio of F3's at work on the EJ&E. Like many of the railroads that dieselized early, the Monon, used units semi-permanently assigned to each other. This trio is probably off to pick up cars.
Fellow Monon Railroad Historical -Technical Member, and friend of Bygone Places Along The Monon, Tim Swan, took this and many other pictures from the vestibule of a Monon passenger coach. The train is northbound and has just left the depot in Dyer. The year was 1964. This picture and many others are available on a picture CD which can be purchased from the Company Store at www.monon.com . Order one and help support the Monon Railroad Historical-Technical Society, Inc.
Wandering northwest Indiana in search of what remains of the former Monon railroad eventually led me to Dyer, Indiana. Once the Monon reached this town, it essentially reached Chicago. Trackage rights could have been secured with existing railroads to complete the run to Chicago. Dyer was one of my initial stops on my weekend wander fests.
Today, 2002, the CSX still operates over the former Monon. The former Michigan Central line is also active. The Norfork and Southern operates a local B10 (Conrail WDHA) over the line nightly. The job usually runs 6 or 7 days per week and on occasion you can see them coming back from Chicago Heights in the morning after sunrise, sometimes as late as 8 or 9 am. The rails and diamonds are still there and accessible. The depot is no longer there. The site is accessible as long as the owner of the auto shop does not mind you parking in front of his business. The Saturday that I shot my photographs the business was closed. The EJ&E crossing is still there and active. It does not appear that any business, or industry in Dyer, along the line are still serviced by rail. Although the Monon depot no longer stands, Amtrak has one south of the Sheffield Avenue crossing. It is the only place in northern Indiana along the former Monon where Amtrak makes a stop.
Left: U.S. 30 crossing in Dyer, circa 2001. Looking north toward EJ&E crossing and former depot location. Right: U.S. 30 crossing, July 5, 2003. Northbound Cardinal is about to pay a call on Dyer, Indiana.
Northbound Thoroughbred coming up on Highway 30. Exact date unknown, but we do know it is prior to September 30, 1967.
Southbound freight on the southside of town. This local freight is south of the US 30 crossing, headed to Lafayette, circa 1971.
Michigan Central diamond. Picture taken from EJ&E diamond looking north. Photographer was standing at the location of the old depot and passenger platform.
EJ&E diamonds looking south over Plum Creek. Area in foreground, right side of single track mainline was location of former depot.
Passing track and siding south of U.S. 30 crossing, circa 2001. Kevin Ruble photo.
Start of the passing track south of U.S. 30. Looking north towards Dyer.
Foundations of old buildings south of U.S. 30 crossing. Believe these were for maintenance of way equipment.
Passenger varnish on the Monon. Today (2003) Amtrak still uses the former Monon mainline through Dyer. Pictured here is the Cardinal making its final stop before Chicago.
While wandering the old Monon, a chance meeting with a northbound CSX freight. Taken at the Sheffield Avenue crossing, north of Dyer. It marked the first time while doing any photographing of the former Monon that I had ever seen any trains.
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