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 Post subject: Mystery Depot
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:15 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 6:30 pm
Posts: 160
Location: Illinois
Hi,

Just north of Pontiac, IL in the small community of Cayuga is a derelict grain elevator and accompanying scale house. The scale house was most definitely a railroad station at one point in its life, but according to historic photographs, it is not the Chicago and Alton depot. Could this be from the Bloomington Pontiac and Joliet interurban railroad?

Any help with identifying this structure would be greatly appreciated.

Thomas


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Depot
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:29 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5357
Thomas -

Well it looks like it COULD have been a railroad depot. Might also have been BUILT as the grain elevators scale house. If not the GM&O (Alton) Cayuga depot, it might have been a depot moved from another line when that station was closed. This was not unheard of, especially if the depot was in good condition at the time. There was an Illinois Central line that ran west from Kempton, Illinois, through Saxony, Griswold, Eylar, Rugby and Swygert before reaching Pontiac. Some of these locations between Kempton and Pontiac might have had depots at one time and are not that far from Cayuga, where a sale and move could have been a possibility. There was also the Wabash Railroad's main line between Chicago and St. Louis that operated east of Cayuga and ran through a couple of locations (such as Emington, Illinois) that might have had depots at one time. And yes, it might have been the Cayuga station of the Bloomington, Pontiac & Joliet Electric Railway which was abandoned in the mid-1920's. Who owns the structure now? Even though the elevator is no longer in business, it appears that the building has an address posted and there are other buildings that appear to be being used. Any chance you could talk to the owners and get a look inside?

Good luck in your search. Keep us posted if you find out anything.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Depot
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:34 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 410
Location: Milford,Mass
Hi
I was just up on the Railroad Station Historical Society, website, to see if I could find any information dealing with the depot. Basically, the depot is not the original, according to the society.
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File comment: From the Railroad Station Historical Society
Livingston County IL(1).jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Depot
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5357
Pat -

Thanks for the info. I've seen a photo of the Cayuga, Illinois depot taken in the early 1900's, and I agree that it is not the structure currently near the old grain elevator. However, I got to thinking about this a little bit and realized that there IS the chance that it still might be the Cayuga depot! Small frame depots were always subject to destruction, such as by fire or derailment. So if something like that happened, it could be that the Chicago & Alton replaced the original depot with the structure in question, either as new construction or by moving a depot not needed elsewhere to Cayuga. So Thomas....sorry; another possibility!

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Depot
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:21 am 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 6:30 pm
Posts: 160
Location: Illinois
Pat Fahey wrote:
Hi
I was just up on the Railroad Station Historical Society, website, to see if I could find any information dealing with the depot. Basically, the depot is not the original, according to the society.
Attachment:
Livingston County IL(1).jpg


That entry to RRSHS was submitted by myself a few months ago, but I was told about the possibility of it being a BP&J depot after that was published.

I'm almost certain that it was never an Alton depot. By the looks of the Cayuga structure I can tell you that, if it is a depot, it was built in the late 1800's or early 1900's, and at that time the Alton was using designs for much larger buildings. But there is always a possibility.

Thomas

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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Depot
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:49 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 815
Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies
If that were not a depot, I would be very surprised. I doubt it is the depot from Cayuga, as that has been historically a very small community. It is small and easy to move, so it is an excellent candidate to pick up a take a few miles. Nice to see it relatively well preserved.

My guess would be that it is a Wabash depot from the branch that ran through Pontiac, possibly the Pontiac depot itself. There were hip-roofed depots on the Wabash. Good Luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Depot
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:30 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5357
Since there have been statements that the surviving "depot" at Cayuga cannot be the original C&A Cayuga depot, I thought I would try to post a photo of that original station. Unfortunately, the only place I found such a photo was in a website devoted to following the "old Route 66" route. The old Cayuga depot photo is at the very bottom of this entry:

https://www.theroute-66.com/cayuga.html

I can't figure out how to remove the photo from the entire entry, so if interested in seeing the old depot, you'll have to scroll the entry down until you come to it. It's obvious that this depot is NOT the structure currently at Cayuga.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Depot
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:37 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:47 pm
Posts: 43
I backtracked the image to the LOC site and downloaded it.

https://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/det/4a2 ... 20201v.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Depot
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:14 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Ontario, Canada
Hi gang...
Am I the only one who thinks this depot could very well be the original C&A Cayuga Depot with an addition? To me, the structure to the left of the bay window looks to be exactly the same proportions as the C&A depot in the black and white photo (the left 3/4 of it anyways).
Maybe at some point the depot was either moved and added onto, or just added onto??
Thge roof was obviously modified, and the building was lengthened, but even the brick chimney seems to be in the right location.
If you could get into the attic of the building, it might become apparent if there had been an addition, and if the roof had been modified.....
Other than that, maybe it is a C&A depot from another nearby town?
Smaller details like the door, window trim, siding etc... could all have been changed or altered over the years

Peter.


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Depot
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 257
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Trainkid456 - There is a chance that the elevator and building will show on a Sanborn fire insurance map of the city. If that area was covered, the map would show the location and footprint of buildings every 5-10 years from the late 1880s until about 1930. I'm in Alaska and can't access them, but typically the digital images are available on line through your local of state library to residents of the state with a library card.


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Depot
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:46 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 257
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Maybe supporting a moved and enlarged station, an end view shows that the end door and window are placed similarly.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/thedefini ... 6242331592

The author of this site says the depot was moved to the grain elevator.
https://www.theroute-66.com/cayuga.html#old-depot


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Depot
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:01 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:56 pm
Posts: 88
It was not uncommon to move or enlarge/rebuild existing stations. This station was originally built for the Mont Alto RR at Mont Alto Furnace, then moved to Mont Alto and finally rebuilt into a larger station there by the Cumberland Valley Railroad in about 1912. Note the rebuilt/enlarged station had a hip roof installed. Photos from Pennsylvania Railroad Stations Database.


Image

Image


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