17 November 2009

All aboard! the Bremen Depot


We've all heard of the "last train leaving the station", but how about the last station leaving the train? After several years of hard work, anticipation and even some desperation the folks at Historic Bremen, Inc. had something to blow their train whistle about this past weekend.


The town mobilized several years ago to form the non-profit historic preservation group and they set their eyes first on the long forgotten and neglected 1929 town depot on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Their major obstacle? Moving the multi-ton beast built like Fort Knox. Surely that made working with CSX, FHWA, INDOT, SHPO and the rest of the alphabet in the can a cake walk. With the unstopable fury of a raging locomotive, people like the Henkes plowed through and what has resulted is something generations of Bremenites, now and forever, can be grateful.


This was one of those projects I hated walking away from when I left last year, just before groundbreaking....or should I say foundation breaking? Working through the morass of red tape there were pleasant memories too...such as meeting the last station manager, who happened to know my grandparents and dad whose nickname was "Railroad Jack" for less than dignified reasons. The wait was unbearable until finally one day the small fortress-like building along with its extraordinarily thick terrazzo and concrete floor inched its way about a half mile to Bremen's entry way park, practically on Doc Meyer's front lawn. Restoration on the building reinstalled two impressive porches on the front and track side of the building. Alas, dollars ran out to finish the restoration but the group has already received some federal dollars to stimulate the remainder of the restoration that will include recreating the dormers, a new roof and refurbish the interior.



Historic Bremen has plans to use the building as a small visitors' center, town museum and meeting hall. This past weekend they had the building open for public viewing prior to full restoration.....and a steady stream of visitors were either reminiscing, or possibly seeing the building for the first time since passenger service ended many decades ago. With roots that run almost 180 years deep in the Good Town's soil, I couldn't be more happy for them. Congratulations!

5 comments:

Nathan Crawford said...

Hey I just ran into this from Adam Thada's blog. Are you in Plymouth or around that area? I am in Plymouth and find a lot of what you talk of here quite fascinating.

peace,
nate

hoosier reborn said...

it just dawned on me who you are...small world and even smaller town! Tell your wife's cousin I won't be at Starbucks for coffee Thursday

Troy said...

It seems very strange to see something that I saw on a daily basis as a child (I lived on Center Street, just a couple blocks north of it) move to a different place. It looks so strange!

hoosier reborn said...

Strange....true...but much better than it did grown over with brush and neglected, right?

Nathan Crawford said...

yes, i'll tell him.

and, it just dawned on me that i actually know you as well.