Monon Shops Memorial
It Is Official.
October 9, 2004
The dream of the Monon Neighboorhood Association and the City Of Lafayette came true as the ribbon was cut and the Monon Monument to honor the Lafayette Shops and the workers was officially dedicated. A concrete slab is painted with the Monon logo and is ringed by benches and new landscaping. The focal point is a picture-board display that includes a written history of the shops and Monon Neighborhood. The project was a joint effort of the neighborhood association, the city, Purdue University and the Wabash Valley Trust for Historic Preservation. A federal grant paid for the memorial.
The weatherman cooperated and we had a great day. Left: The completed memorial, before the ribbon was added. On the other side of the plaque there is an enclosed case where pictures can be displayed. Right: Monon Neighborhood Association President, Tom Pierce Sr. and Vice President Paul Hensley address the crowd prior to the invocation. "The memorial is trivial compared to what was done here," said Paul Hensley, neighborhood association vice president. "They literally made Indiana strong."
Left: The Honorable Tony Roswarski, Mayor of the City of Lafayette, offers his praise of Monon workers and their dedication. "This neighborhood has a rich history of dedicated, hardworking people who love their community and their state," said Roswarski. "They cared about their neighborhood, their family and were loyal to their country and day in and day out they did what needed to be done." Right: All former Monon employees, in attendance, were then asked to join in for the official ribbon cutting. At its peak in the late 1940s, the shops employed about 1,000 workers who built boxcars, cabooses and passenger cars and repaired and rebuilt locomotives. Purdue's Boilermaker nickname stemmed from other schools claiming that Purdue recruited its athletes from the Shops' tough workers.
"Ladies and Gentleman, we dedicate the Lafayette Monon Shop Memorial."
Mayor Roswarski urged those in attendance not to make this memorial a one time visit. The gounds and memorial need to become a gathering point to meet new friends, talk over old times and teach our younger generations what hard work and dedication mean for their city, their state and their country. That is the true meaning of what we honor here today. That hard working dedication of all the Shops workers. Next time you find yourself in Lafayette, stop by the memorial. Take time out of your busy schedule to rest a few moments. This memorial should be a great place to do just that.
Clarence Bufkin and Joseph Woziniak watching the crowd after the ribbon cutting. Both were long time employees. Both expressed their happiness with the memorial.
"When it was the old Monon it was like a family, everyone took care of each other." Don Adams, 77, of Monticello said afterwards.
Additional Pictures. Railroads Of Madison County
(Photos of the dedication at the bottom of the page.)
@2004-2006 Monon Railroad Historical-Technical Society, Inc. All rights reserved.