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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Wayne in Allen County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Earliest Railroad

 
 
Earliest Railroad Marker Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., December 30, 2008
1. Earliest Railroad Marker
Inscription. The Wabash & Erie Canal was instrumental in the construction of the first railways in Fort Wayne, which quickly became a railroading center in the Midwest. In 1852, along the canal at the present-day railroad elevation that borders the south edge of Headwaters Park at Lafayette Street, the first locomotive was unloaded from a canal boat. The locomotive was placed on tracks that were laid on Lafayette Street and led to the south side of town where the main line of the new Ohio and Indiana Railroad was due to be built. Later, this became the Pennsylvania Railroad system for which Fort Wayne was a major hub. When railroad competition reduced the effectiveness of the canal, surveys for a rail line extended north of Fort Wayne. However, in 1881, officials of the New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad, known commonly as “The Nickel Plate Road”, purchased the Wabash & Erie Canal right-of-way through central Fort Wayne. It became possible for the company to build a railroad through a Midwestern city, passing less than two blocks from the courthouse, without having to raze one building. The railroad elevation, completed in 1955, allowed the north side of the city to develop and grow rapidly. Today, the railroad elevation is a landmark structure between the downtown portion of Fort Wayne and Headwaters Park.
 
Erected by
Great Meadow in Headwaters Park Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., December 30, 2008
2. Great Meadow in Headwaters Park
Several markers along path circling the Great Meadow, looking south with downtown Fort Wayne in background. Earliest Railroad marker is visible south of lamp post.
City of Fort Wayne and Glenbrook Square and Commons.
 
Location. 41° 5.163′ N, 85° 8.284′ W. Marker is in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in Allen County. Click for map. Marker is one of a series that ring the Great Meadow in Headwaters Park. This marker is about 200 feet SE of the Hamilton Women Plaza. Marker is at or near this postal address: 333 S. Clinton Street, Fort Wayne IN 46802, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Duck Creek: Early Industry and Business Development (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wabash & Erie Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); Jail Flats (within shouting distance of this marker); Little Turtle (within shouting distance of this marker); Emerine Jane Holman Hamilton (within shouting distance of this marker); League Park (within shouting distance of this marker); These are the Hamilton Women of Fort Wayne (within shouting distance of this marker); Miami Legend of the Sandhill Crane (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Wayne.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 1,932 times since then and 93 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Picture of railroad elevation mentioned on the marker. • Can you help?
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