The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum is pleased to announce that the National Park Service has added the Chicago & Erie Railroad bridge in Pulaski County, Indiana, to the National Register of Historic Places. This is the first item of national significance submitted by the museum for consideration that has been successfully added to the National Register.
The unique lattice through-truss bridge was constructed by the Chicago & Erie Railroad and spans the Tippecanoe River near Monterey, Indiana. While the original part of the abutments and pier date to 1882, the truss was constructed about 1913 at the time the railroad expanded its rail line into a double track.
“Few railroad bridges have been listed on the National Register in Indiana, which makes this honor so much greater for the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum,” said Kurt W. Garner, of Plymouth, Indiana.
The museum contracted with Garner to perform extensive research on the structure and submit it for consideration to the National Register. He has been instrumental in securing hundreds of other historic designations across Indiana.
“Listing on the National Register is official recognition of the significance of the site and provides a measure of protection for the property,” stated Daniel W. Borner in a statement provided to the museum. Bortner is the State Historic Preservation Officer with the Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Museum representatives will be on-hand at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis this August. The museum will be presented with official State and National Register certificates during a special ceremony recognizing the achievement.
“This is a significant accomplishment for the museum,” said Treasurer Robert Barcus. “I’m very excited to see it added to the National Register so we can help preserve this unique piece of railroad history for future generations to enjoy this marvel of engineering.”
The bridge is not currently connected to the museum by rail but using the structure for future trail use is always a possibility. The museum owns the entire right-of-way between North Judson and Monterey, Indiana, and has worked with the Prairie Trails Club in opening the corridor for public use.
“The bridge is part of a rail-banked corridor with interim trail use,” said Barcus. “While the museum currently does not have any plans to relay tracks to Monterey, the PTC may want to use the bridge. It could be a huge draw for cyclists and hikers in the future.”
About the Museum
Founded in 1988, the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization dedicated to the preservation of railroad history in northwest Indiana. The museum educates the public through interpretive displays and its tourist railroad operations. Additional information about the museum can be found online at hoosiervalley.org or on the museum’s Facebook page at @hoosiervalley.
Photo: The Hoosier Valley Railroad is pleased to announce the addition of the Chicago & Erie Bridge near Monterey, Indiana, to the National Register of Historic Places.