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M.P. 293.4 - 5th Subdivision - P

Pekin was the first town in Washington County to be reached by the New Albany & Salem Rail Road as it built north from New Albany. Construction trains were passing through Pekin by 1850. The town’s last depot was built about 1915 and served the community until closing in 1970. It was torn down in 1977.

In the early part of the 20th Century, Pekin gained fame for its annual July 4th celebration. For years, the Monon ran special trains to Pekin, bringing in literally thousands who lined the streets of the small town to witness a patriotic parade; walked to the town park to hear speeches and entertainment, enjoyed games and plenty of good food. Today, the Pekin Fourth of July celebration is recognized as the oldest, continuous celebration of its kind in the United States. Some communities have challenged that claim, but none have ever unseated Pekin from that position of honor.

The platform at the Pekin depot is crowded as folks welcome the arrival of the Monon Special delivering passengers for the Fourth Of July festivities.





Locomotive #102 on a southbound passenger as it sits on a siding at Pekin, around 1910. The depot is in the background. This photo was donated to the Depot Museum At Salem by Eleanor Smith of Salem, Indiana.





Pekin was also one of the loading points for carloads of berries shipped by the Borden-Pekin Berry Growers Association. For years the president of the association was H.C. "Happy" Littell who served as the Monon's station agent at Pekin for 32 years, from 1909 to 1941.

-Thanks To Cecil Smith for the background information.-

Damage to a passenger coach at a rear end crash that happened at Pekin.





Damaged front end of steam locomotive that took place at Pekin.






Pekin depot, early 1900. 4-4-0 104 makes a stop at the Pekin depot. Classic small town scene.








Pekin depot, circa late 1890's early 1900's.


Downtown Pekin Indiana. Left: Looking southeast down Main Street, exact date unknown but appears to be early 1900's. Right: Almost the same view, circa 1950's. The large building on the right is Ralph Callam's Bargain Store. In February 1960 it burned to the ground. The fire was so large and intense that it delayed two Monon trains for over an hour. Eight fire departments were involved in fighting the fire. -Background information courtesy Dennis Miller, from the Archives of the Salem Leader.

Aftermath of the fire which destroyed Callam's Bargain Barn, February 6, 1960. The fire destroyed several buildings in downtown Pekin. Firefighters from seven other communities assisted Pekin in battling the blaze, which also destroyed a grocery and several other buildings. The railroad right of way is too the right side of the picture. -MRHTS Archives Collection -






Left and Right Above and Below: Derailment and wreck at Pekin, June 9, 1924. Train #71 involved and fourteen freight cars left the tracks in downtown Pekin. No injuries, but property damage was high. Two wrecking crews, one from the Southern Railway and one from Bloomington were called to clean up the wreck. -MRHTS Archives Collection-



Eugene Wolf and family pose in front of the Pekin depot in 1956. Wolf was the long time agent for the Monon at Pekin.






Another view of the depot at Pekin. Date unknown. -MRHTS Photo Archives-


Left: The Monon’s small depot at Pekin was torn down in the late 1970s. This trackside view was taken after it was abandoned and about a year before it was demolished. Photo courtesy of The Depot Museum, Salem, Indiana. Right: Another picture of the depot after it was closed.



Left: Another depot photo, circa 1967. Right:Running southbound, extra #22 arrives in Pekin, September 1966. The four businesses along the route generated 600-900 carloads each year.

Northbound freight with unusual A-B-B-A consist near Pekin, early 1960's.






Left: 1964, Monon passenger, with F3 #210 in the lead southbound at Pekin. Right: Another image from Pekin. Train #72, with 3 F3A and an F3B power their way through Pekin, October 20, 1962.


Left: RS2's working the mainline at Pekin, circa 1966. Right: Local working the mainline passing the Pekin depot in 1966.


Left and Right: Southbound freight with interesting A-B-B-A power. This location, I believe, is just railroad north of town, the year is 1963.

Rumbling into Pekin. Freight lashup moves tonnage through Pekin in 1967.






Pekin Today

Pekin 2004. May 15, 2004. Looking south along the former Monon mainline on a cold rainy morning.






Left: May 2004 Industry once thrived in Pekin. Right: Looking north along the mainline.


Left: 2004. Looking along the mainline to the south. Elevator and feed company to the left of picture. Right: Tracks from industrial spur still visible. These tracks are south of the mainline in Pekin.


"The Knobs"

MP 298.0 5th Subdivision -


Left: Turn of the century. Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville Railroad is just an infant. Pictured is #203, a 4-8-0 challenges "the knobs" between Pekin and Bordon. This location is still visible today. Right: March 1972. Facing a shortage of motive power, the L&N leased, or borrowed Clinchfield motive power. Pictured is an A-B-B-A set taking on "The Knobs" between Pekin and Bordon. Train is northbound.


The Knobs. Exact date is unknown, but a reasonable guess would be in the 1920's.





Northbound #72 passing through the Knobs near Pekin, April of 1960. -J. F. Eudaly Photographs, Steve Hill Collection-


Working through the Knobs, circa 1971. Northbound freight with multi-lash up c-420's labors through the knobs.






Monon action around the Knobs between Pekin and Bordon. Left: #407 on the point of a local freight laboring through the Knobs in 1966. Right: Image claims Salem, but this picture was taken at the Knobs.


More Monon through the Knobs. Left: A trio of F units labor through the Knobs with a northbound freight, circa 1960. Right: 1971 and Monon freights still labor the grade at the Knobs.


October 15, 2003. UP SD70M leading a southbound freight over former Monon mainline at the Knobs. Chris Kilroy photograph, courtesy of .





Knobs 2005


From the crossing at The Knobs. Left: Looking to the RR north, towards Pekin. Right: Close of one of the cuts. You are about 100 yards from the crossing, looking again toward the RR north.


Left: Looking to the RR south back at the crossing at Knobs. Right: Looking RR south along another cut south of the crossing.

Looking to the RR north from the south end of the larger cut. The scenery and view is really special.





Tight S-curve one mile north of Borden. UP SD70M on the point, October 2003.

M.P. 299.5 - 5th Subdivision - P

Borden Indiana depot. Exact date unknown. The town was founded in the 1820's and was originally called New Providence, after the capital of Rhode Island. In the late 1800's the Borden Institute was founded by John Borden as a college. The town honored him by renaming the town, unofficially, Borden. The town became officially known as Borden in 1994. Borden is served by the CSX (formally Monon) rail system. In the 1960's several dams were constructed along the tributaries leading to Muddy Fork, which runs through the town. This helped keep Borden from being flooded during heavy rains. On April 3, 1974, a massive F4 tornado struck the west side of Borden before moving into nearby Daisy Hill,



Left: The Bordon depot, late 1800's early 1900's. Right: Loading strawberries in Bordon. The berry and produce industry was very dependent on the Monon Railroad to transport the product to market. Northbound passenger train would stop in Bordon and pick up the produce and transport it to Chicago. -Larry Johnson Collection-


Left: Looking down the right of way at Borden. This is the view the Engineer would see. Circa 1960's. Right: Siding remains but the depot has been removed. Unknown date. -MRHTS Photo Archives Collection-


Left: Monon action around Bordon. Left: F3 #207 on the point of a passenger around Bordon, circa 1963. By the 60's, the red and gray passenger cars were rare. Right: Freight action near Bordon, circa 1967.

Local freight near Bordon, circa 1960.






Directors special inspection near Borden, 1968.






Left: May 2004. Former Monon mainline. This creek and bridge are on the west (?) side of Borden. Being directionally challenged, I believe you would be looking north, or back in the direction of Salem. Right: Street running in Borden. Looking south, or towards Louisville.

Borden, October 1976. Milwaukee Road freight southbound, on the former Monon mainline, through the streets.






Left and Right: More images from downtown Borden.


  Left: October 15, 2003. Southbound freight on the former Monon passing through town. Chris Kilroy Photograph.






Left: Borden Cabinet Company, the original plant building. This plant burnt down in 1962. Larry Johnson collection, courtesy of David Longest. Right: The new building that housed Kimball plant. Reuss-Kimble Collection, courtesy of David Longest.


Left: Red signal along the mainline. Right: The former Kimball plant at Borden. This facility closed recently. This industry was originally known as the Borden Cabinet Company. The company produced cabinets for radios and televisions. A fire destroyed the original building in 1962.


Left: Along the mainline east of town. Block signals. Right: December 2003. Northbound freight passing milepost 297 near Borden.


Northbound freight grinding on up the grade here at Deem Lake passing the 303 milepost, east of Borden. Randy Moore photograph.





MP 303.6 5th Subdivision -

This area was also known as Broom Hill

NEW 05-24-2005 Deam Lake. Looking RR north towards Borden.







Left: Deam Lake. Looking to the RR south down the mainline. Right: Close up of the bridge south of the highway crossing at Deam Lake.


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