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Jim Baker Collection

James Baker

April 9, 1917 - June 22, 2001

On June 22, 2001 Jim Baker passed away. My condolences to his family.

From 1944 to 1960 Jim served his community as a member of the The Lowell Volunteer Fire Department and was one of the first firefighters on the scene the night of the derailment and fire. Between shifts fighting the fire, Jim was able to shoot a few photographs. I remembered Jim from my childhood and when several Lowell Firemen advised me that Jim had several photos of the fire and aftermath, I contacted him. I was impressed with his collection and the story of what his part was in the diaster. We spoke a length on several occasions and every time I left Jim's house, there was a smile on his face and one or more additional pictures for my collection. The pictures displayed here are those he gave to me to use and keep. Thank you Jim. First for the pictures and second for taking the time to provide some memories of how it was down there that morning. He was proud of his contribution to my website and spoke about it often. Jim, the pleasure was all mine.

All pictures are courtesy of Jim Baker and used with his permission.

(Click on image to view full size.)

Lowell Depot, circa 1950.......


Before the accident.



The Lowell Depot...1952...


After the accident.




This was the scene after the engines from the Lowell Fire Department arrived at the crossing.





Just another morning at the office? Any one bring the hotdogs? Another picture of the fire.




This picture was taken by Baker at the "Wye". This is where Commercial jogs off to the left and Washington Street heads straight. This picture was taken around 7 am according to Jim.




Here is another impressive shot. According to Jim, he was standing just south of where the destroyed depot would have been and snapped this picture the evening of the wreck. The Monon was attempting to clear and repair the mainline and just made piles of debris on either side of the tracks.




This picture was of a group of townspeople dressed in costume for the Lowell Centennial embarking on a trip to Chicago in 1952. Look closely at the left side of the photo. As a temporary depot, the Monon, used an old passenger car. The roof of the temporary depot is visible in this picture.




New pictures will be added if they become available.


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