Monday, May 9, 2011

Bremen Depot Rededicated

This is the last in a series about the Bremen B&O Depot that was rededicated on May 1st under sunny skies with the Bremen Band playing to a crowd of over 120 well-wishers.

The Bremen depot was located on one of several historical railroads in Marshall County. These include the Pennsylvania Railroad (or Pittsburg-Ft. Wayne-Chicago) that runs east/west through the center of the county through the communities of Bourbon, Inwood, Plymouth, and Donaldson. The Vandalia Railroad and the former Nickel Plate Railroad (or Lake Erie-Western) also were located in the county and essentially ran north/south through the communities of Argos, Plymouth, and Tyner (Nickel Plate) and Culver, Plymouth, and LaPaz (Vandalia). Another east/west railroad (New York-Chicago-St. Louis) is located in the southern part of the county and goes through the communities of Tippecanoe, Argos, and Burr Oak. The railroad also went through a number of small railroad villages that never developed full railroad stations.

Bremen’s depot is one of only four train depots that remain in Marshall County. The Pennsylvania Station and Nickel Plate Depot both exist in Plymouth. The Pennsylvania Station is a brick building constructed in 1914 and the Nickel Plate Depot was constructed in 1889 in the Stick Style. Both of these buildings are used for railroad storage and unfortunately are in deteriorating condition. Culver’s Vandalia Railroad Station was constructed in about 1925. It has been converted to a meeting hall for the Culver Lions organization. The other county’s depots, most of them small wooden structures, have been demolished.

In 1914 there were 123 depots on the three B&O lines through Indiana; the number had dropped to 27 by 1986. About the same time there were only 11 depots remaining on the Chicago (Bremen) line of the B&O. The B&O Railroad constructed wood depots in LaPaz and Teegarden west of Bremen in Marshall County; these no longer exist. West of Marshall County the B&O Railroad constructed wood depots in Walkerton, Miller and other smaller communities prior to the rails’ junction with the Grand Trunk leading into Chicago. Only the Miller depot, constructed in 1910, exists; it has been renovated and is in use as a restaurant. Gary’s Union Station, a large Classical Revival building, was constructed by the B&O in 1910 and remains today.

East of Bremen the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad constructed a depot in Nappanee in 1910 and remains an active passenger station. East of Nappanee the next B&O town was Syracuse. It retains its historic depot that was constructed in 1913 in much the same style as Nappanee’s depot; it is in deteriorating condition. East of Syracuse a wood depot was constructed in Wawasee in 1908; it was relocated to Benton, IN. East of Wawasee only two other B&O depots remain in Indiana. One is in Garrett, a town founded by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and named for its president; the building is the railroad’s freight depot constructed as a simple side gabled building in about 1910. The other is the Auburn Junction Depot that was constructed about the time the B&O Railroad was constructed through Indiana, in 1874. It was built in the Italianate style and relocated from its original site. Most of the remaining B&O depots in Indiana date to the infrastructure improvements between 1910 and 1917; Bremen’s construction in 1929 came considerably later.

Many congratulations to the folks in Bremen and with Historic Bremen, Inc. for the restoration of yet another Marshall County landmark.

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