M.P. 106.2 - 1st Subdivision - Bs
The town of Brookston is located near the center of Prairie Township, on the line of the old New Albany & Salem Railroad (later the Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville or "Monon"). Benjamin Gonzales, Isaac Reynolds and Joel McFarland laid out and platted the town on April 26, 1853. Brookston is named in honor of James Brooks, who was President of the Railroad. It was from Brookston that journalist Horace Greely, in 1853, started north by handcar. He had missed the northbound passenger the previous day because he had gone to the wrong location in Lafayette. A northbound cattle train took him as far north as Brookston before breaking down. The depot was built in 1898.
Eli Meyers built the first house within the plat and a person named Kane opened the pioneer store. John Bross soon opened another store and John Best established a blacksmith shop. The first store owner in the town was also the first Postmaster and the first railroad agent. Early businesses included: blacksmith, dry goods stores, grain elevators, grocers, boots and shoes, hardware, confectioners, drug stores, barber shops, furniture, harness, lumber and lath, livery and feed stores, cigar and tobacco, meat markets, stoves and tinware, an undertaker, hotel, millinery, and 3 doctors. There were two saloons, and also a calaboose (jail) in the town. The first election of corporation officers in the Town of Brookston was held at the schoolhouse on March 23, 1867. After incorporation of the town there were substantial advances, including: a newspaper, a tile factory, a canning industry, cigar factory, bowling alley, bicycle shop, two jewelry stores, a bakery, a telephone company and an opera house. The opera house (now Jessup Paper Box), built by the French brothers, brought many plays and concerts to the community.
NEW 03-03-2010 North of Brookston. New bridge and fresh paint adorn this bridge. -Mahlon Eberhard Collection-
Brookston, Indiana, 1959. Typical picture of small town America. Mailbag hangs from the trackside crane as "The Thoroughbred" races past the depot in April of 1959.
NEW 05-31-2008 Meeting at Brookston. Left: Wreck Train with #511 in the lead on the mainline. Right: Northbound local takes the siding. -Dave Ritenour Photograph-
Left: Brookston depot, September 1959. Looking to the north. Steve Long Collection. Right: Brookston Depot, February 1964. Great shot of the depot, obviously taken from the train, looking toward the south. Tim Swan Collection. Both photos courtesy Tom Rankin
Brookston, Indiana depot, date unknown. Courtesy George Lortz.
Left: Great shot by Terry Hand. Brookston depot, June 1967. Train #6 making a stop. Looking to the north. Steve Long Collection. Right: Brookston Depot, August 1969. Another shot of the depot looking toward the south. Both photos courtesy Tom Rankin.
One more look at the Brookston depot, circa 1950's. You are looking towards the north.
Monon F3 81-B and caboose on display at Brookston, Indiana. Exact date unknown, but we believe it could be late 1940's early 1950's. The track behind (east) of the depot was called he Post Office Track. The south switch of the pass came out onto the main just north of the highway. It is possible this exhibit was set up in conjunction with a local festival, or street fair, because that was the practice of the day.
Southbound local south of Brookston, May of 1960.
Left and Right: Street scenes postcards, circa early 1900's. Left: Residential street scene Brookston. Right: Main Street, circa 1914. Courtesy of George Lortz.
Another postcard of Main Street, Brookston, date unknown.
September 17, 1909. Steam locomotive #91 after a wreck at Brookston. More details to follow.
Brookston, November 2003. St Rd 18 (3rd Street) Crossing, looking north along the former Monon mainline.
Brookston, November 2003. Another shot looking north. This shot was taken from 1st Street crossing.
CSX action at Brookston. While driving home, I came upon a CSX local switching at the elevator. Left: Pair of locomotives have just come off the passing siding onto the main. This is the 3rd Street crossing. Right: After coupling to the hopper cars, the southbound heads towards Lafayette.
Left: On more shot of the southbound local grain train at Brookston. The photos were all taken from the former depot location. Right: Looking at the former depot location. The depot sat between where the two trucks are parked now. You are looking to the railroad north.
CSX action on the former Monon mainline south of Brookston. This is a great shot, however, I have it on good authority that it was staged. The bridge is at MP 106.7 and the creek is known as Moots Creek. Many thanks to Dave Randolph for staging this picture.
Monon Main | 1952 Lowell Train Wreck |