Wandering The Northern Division
Lowell, Indiana and Vicinity...Page Two. Bygone Locations Around Town.
Click on images to enlarge. Photos courtesy of Kevin Ruble, unless otherwise indicated.
Louisville, New Albany And Chicago 1886
Diagram Of Depot Area, Lowell, Indiana.
Chicago, Indianapolis And Louisville 1903
Diagram Of Original Cedar Creek Channel.
Lowell depot, circa 1948-50. This is the depot that was leveled and burnt during the 1952 Train Wreck. The railroad replaced this depot with a brick structure which is still in use by the CSX.
The Lowell Depot, circa 1956. This brick depot replaced the one pictured about. The Lowell American Legion building is in the background to the left.
Scenes from Downtown Lowell
Sidetrack Saloon, formerly known as Kep's Tavern. Our family constructed the original building in 1964. John Black was the General Contractor. The Grand Opening was held in January 1965. The business was sold in 1967, ending 36 years in the Hepp/ Kepshire Tavern history. Since then, some additions and remodeling have taken place both inside and outside.
Building which housed Hepp's Tap. Picture from Sesquicentennial Book, circa 1942. Looking southeast from Commercial Avenue. Monon depot and gas station are also pictured. I apologize for quality of the picture.
Mahlon "Cookie" Eberhard found this negative in his collection. This picture, circa 1956-57, shows the west wall of the tavern. The construction in the picture was the final relocation of Cedar Creek.
Left: Former location of Hepp's Tavern, circa 2001. Grandfather's tavern occupied this land until 1963. The building, a circa 1880 hotel building was torn down in 1963. It housed "Pete's Place" for a time, with Peter Seramur as proprietor. Through the years many other businesses used the building, including the Ciega Hotel, Tanner's Place and Grandfather's Tavern.
The site was landscaped and a flagpole was placed in the center. The pole, moved from a site closer to the Legion building, was originally dedicated to the memory of Edward M. Berg, a World War I veteran. It was later re-dedicated to all World War I veterans. Today, the park serves as a memorial to all Veterans.
Right: The Town of Lowell recently dedicated another park, officially named "Legion Park", on the former location of Hepp’s Tavern. This picture was taken sometime prior to the official dedication.
Left: 1955 look at Grandfather's residence. Hardings Inc., is the bigger building. Right: Hardings Inc, 2002. Looking southwest from Commercial Street crossing. Driveway at west end of building marked the west property line of my Grandfather's house. His property started about where the second pole is. Hardings purchased the property a year after his death and expanded the business. His house sat between the second pole and driveway on left side (south side of the street) of the picture.
American Legion Post 101. A center of activity for many residents of Lowell. Grandfather was a Charter Member. My Grandmother and Mother were both Presidents of the Ladies Auxiliary. Growing up, the Legion figured prominently in my life. From the Labor Day celebrations to an ROTC Military Ball, I retain very fond memories of the Legion. From countless games of bowling to buying my first pack of "smokes" from a vending machine. Some very good times were enjoyed within the walls of that damn building. I’m glad to see they changed their plans to demolish it.
The grounds behind the Legion was, during my childhood, the scene for the Lowell Labor Day celebration. It marked the official end of summer and "yuk" the return to school. The smell of burgers cooking at the Legion food stand. The endless sounds of the barkers crying..."bingo, bingo, bingo, we’re going to play bingo." The rides, the games and all the junk food a kid could devour. I will never forget the summer I took the ring toss game to the cleaners. Won so many quart bottles of pop, they made me leave. We could not finish drinking all of them. Oh yea, learned to gamble there too. Big Six wheel, started out with two dollars and after several lucky picks, had parlayed that two into forty dollars. The rides and burgers were on me for the rest of the day. The best place to be when the Monon came calling to Lowell was on top of the Ferris Wheel. Great view of the depot.
The Legion grounds also played a role in the 1952 train wreck. The area pictured in the second photo, in 1952, became a quagmire of fuel oil, molasses, Vienna sausages and other canned meat. Fireman Jim Baker related stories of what a mess the grounds was. According to reports, the mess would not wash off the some of the fire hoses, so they were just buried at the Town Dump with the other debris. Some people claim to still catch the stench of burning Vienna sausages and molasses when the wind is right. My most vivid memory of the dump and the area, the sulfur "rotten egg" smell of the pumping station.
Lowell Feed And Grain. When the Monon built through Lowell in 1881 a siding, which began at the Washington Street crossing and traveled at a northwest angle to Washington Street, across from the pumping station. C.E. Nichols Hay and Grain Co., located at the northeast corner of Washington and Liberty Streets. Built by Charles Elmer Nichols, the elevator has changed hands many times. The firm was sold again in about 1959 to Mr. and Mrs. Lester Holley. Back in the sixties the elevator sat to the south of the water tower, pumping station and former town dump.
Lowell Feed and Grain, 2001. Left: Photo shows main elevator building and feed house. The larger and taller elevator building, with its huge grain bins and lower rooms full of heavy equipment, served the farming community of Lowell for a hundred years. There was also another building on the site which burned down many years ago. The elevator building was constructed of heavy beams, some thicker than a foot square, while the storage compartments were constructed of solid walls of two-by-fours and two-by-sixes laid flat. The building was covered with large sheets of corrugated steel. Mr Holley would never allow us to play in the elevator building proper because of all the dangerous machinery. The feed house was a favorite spot. Originally part of a hay barn, that once stood at the end of the siding that stopped at Liberty Street, as kids we loved climbing the sacks of feed. Playing games of hide and go seek, tag and whatever else we could dream up. Occasionally however, one met a rat or two while hiding back among the sacks of feed. The elevator was torn down in 1994. Town Historian Richard Schmal witnessed the demolition. Read his account of the demolition and general history of the structure. Pioneer History, Old Landmarks Are Gone. The old building resisted the big crane for a time, but bite by bite the big jaws won the battle. As the big jaws of the crane chewed into the buildings many confused bats came flying out, zooming from one building to another until there was nowhere left to go.
Right: another look at main elevator building. Believe it or not, the elevator sat high above the siding which serviced it. The north wall of the elevator sat on top of a retaining wall. As a kid, it seemed like it was a mile high. I would not even attempt to state how high it really was. On inspection in 2002 it was all filled in. The tall structure has been torn down.
More views, Left: Looking at the main building from Liberty Park, looking southwest. It appears as the photographer would be standing at grade level of the siding that serviced the elevator. The siding has been taken out and is overgrown.
Right: another view from Liberty Park, looking southwest. The brick building to the west of the main structure was the seed building, I believe. During our games of "good guys verses bad guys" that building was always the saloon. Many a pretend gun fight happened at that "OK" Corral.
More views, Left: Seed Building, backside of north wall. This building also sat above the siding. One can see that it has been filled in.
Right: Seed House, looking at the front of the building. Just one look at the structure says "wild west." I believe the building dates back to the to the early 1900's. 1904 to be exact, according to Lowell Historian Richard Schmal. The heavy stone lintel over the front door bore the words "C.E. Nichols 1904." It was salvaged and will be preserved. The brick building had four levels, three bricks thick. The upper floor was full of wooden bins with chutes that opened on the lower level, where bags were filled. I know that it was a pretty neat place to play in back in the 1960's.
Two more views of the elevator. Left: Picture from the Lowell Sesquicentennial Book. Shows Lowell Elevator, circa 1974. Construction of Liberty Park has just commenced. Right: Another view of the elevator taken from the former Monon tracks. Shows the buildings of the elevator and park construction.
"During 1880 and 1881, at the time the Monon railroad was under construction in the Town of Lowell, an important commercial building was also erected near the railroad right-of-way. The DuBreuil-Keilman Elevator and Planing Mill came into existence during those years. Located on the west side of the Monon Tracks near the Lowell Depot. The Hardings, Inc. storage building now occupies a part of the site. The original building was 32'-by-60' in size, 70 feet high, and had a capacity of 60,000 bushels. The large smokestack was a clue to its steam powered system.
The DuBreuil-Keilman Elevator and Planing Mill, dates of photos unknown. Left: Looking south from Commercial Avenue. Right: This view appears to be looking southwest. A good guess was that it was taken from the roof of one of the downtown buildings. Photo courtesy of Darlene Rigg and Richard Schmal, Lowell Public Library and Lowell Town Historian.
In 1902, a large lumber shed was added to the Keilman-Kimmet firm, which then sold grain, tile, brick, cement, lumber, glass, paints and all kinds of building materials. Shipments were made to Chicago, Chicago Heights, Frankfort, Madison, and many other points in all directions. In the 1920's the Keilman-Kimmet Flour Mill was condemned and torn down in 1927.
This business and structure were long gone by the time of my arrival in Lowell...LONG GONE! But I digress. I have included it because it is a bygone piece of both Lowell, Indiana and Monon Railroad history. I remember Hardings, Cunningham Fuel Oil, the County Highway depot, Globe Annex and Babcock Fuel where this business once stood. Illustrates how times have changed. Many thanks to Darlene and Richard for sending me the pictures.
| Bygone Monon Main | 1952 Lowell Train Wreck |