In order to relieve the odor caused from decaying meat, cheese and molasses buried in the ground from the wreck, Monon officials are considering spreading lime over the entire area.
To show their appreciation for the fine new station which the Monon added to Lowell's business district, local business people closed their establishments at noon and joined in the dedicatory service.
Loyal Alyea, president of the Commercial club of Lowell, was master of ceremonies. He introduced Rev. E.L. Worley, who in his dedication vocation, praised God for the many blessings with which He favors Lowell.
Principal speaker was Warren W. Brown, president of the Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville Railroad. Mr. Brown has been a railroad executive since 1924, soon after his discharge from the Marine Corps. On January 1, 1953, he assumed the presidency of the Monon.
Mr. Brown told of the comfort and convenience train travel offers and urged local citizens, business people and students to make their trips to Chicago, Hammond, and down to Purdue University and Indianapolis via the Monon.
Alyea presented Fred Kuhn, Monon vice-pres.of traffic, John Stewart, assistant treasurer, Carl Bick, vice-pres. of operations, and Mr. John Clark of Northern Indiana Public Service Co., who pointed out Lowell's progressiveness in obtaining new mercury vapor lighting.
Alvah Pletcher, president of the town board, on behalf of the community, congratulated Monon officials on their splendid new depot which is an attractive addition to Lowell.
A recording of the national anthem concluded the ceremony and Mr. Alyea, through the courtesy of the Monon, invited the large assemblage of interested folks to enjoy free refreshments served in the Legion building. Members of the Lowell Garden club, wearing their Centennial costumes, acted as hostesses for the occasion.
Perhaps Melvin A. Halsted's (founder of Lowell) greatest achievement was the securing of a railroad for his town. The drive was begun in 1874 and through Halsted's persistent efforts and unselfish financial losses, the town and community has long enjoyed the benefits of the Monon railroad. In April of 1881, when the first train crossed the main street in Lowell, Halsted was saluted as the "Railroad King" of that day. He had invested $20,000 of his personal funds in the construction of the Lowell to Cedar Lake right-of-way.
Lowell grew rapidly after the coming of the Monon and via its rails went lumber, grain, and livestock. Veal calves and milk were shipped daily into Chicago on the "milk train." The Monon featured special excursions to Chicago for week end cruises on Lake Michigan, attendance at latest stage plays as well as for shopping. In the 1890's, Cedar Lake was the Chicagoans week end rendezvous, so the Monon's passenger traffic was heavy to and from that city.
Lowell's old depot, a landmark for more than 70 years, was destroyed in the historic train wreck which rocked Lowell on May 22, 1952.
For information on other Monon Railroad events in the area, go to Happenings on the Monon Railroad.
Go to Fires--1952--train wreck, "Pioneer History Index," for more information.
Return to Lowell History