Monday, May 28, 2018

Throughout Indiana

- Mentor, Ohio


Another year, another Memorial Day Weekend, another brief road trip throughout Indiana. Some quick photographs made on a solitary day on the road, edited at a truck stop while stopped for coffee. Another reminder that, despite all the times I've been to Fort Wayne in my life, I need to make a better effort to spend more time exploring that city. It's a great place in the Midwest.




- Fort Wayne.

- Fort Wayne.

- Fort Wayne.

- Chili at Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island.

- Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island.


Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island is a bit different than Cincinnati-style chili. The chili's a bit thicker, the onions are way bigger, and if you want cheese, it comes in the form of an American slice wrapped under the hot dog rather than shredded. Nevertheless, it's damn good food served in a classic spot rife with all the stereotypical trappings of a dinner: regulars sipping coffee in the morning, old photographs on the wall next to articles about the place being a local institution, and a friendly staff featuring a big guy affectionately called "Tiny." I ate four coneys. The guy sitting next to me ate twelve. His "usual," he said.

- Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island.

- The maps business isn't what it used to be.

- Headwaters Park, Fort Wayne.

- Headwaters Park, Fort Wayne.

- Fort Wayne's former city bus depot. Replaced by a more modern facility across Downtown in 2012. 


Immediately adjacent to the aforementioned, shuttered bus station, there's infrastructure for a rail station. All the stairs and nearby buildings are sealed. The city's former Amtrak service actually served a different spot up until 1990. This shuttered station sits along an aboveground rail line that looks similar to Chicago's "EL," although more industrial and concrete. You won't see subway cars or light rail trains rolling by, though. Even Amtrak is gone too. Passenger service on the Nickel Plate Road served at a depot here in the 50's. When the rail line was elevated to above ground, the depot remained in use, but had the stairs pictured here built to connect passengers to their trains. The historic depot was later razed in 1969.

The Nickel Plate Road (New York, Chicago, and St. Louis Railroad) was once a heavily trafficked passenger service throughout the Midwest, connecting cities like Buffalo with Chicago, Cleveland, and Cincinnati through smaller cities like Ft. Wayne and Toledo. The line went out of business in 1964, but a model of its trains runs around my Christmas tree every year.


- Former Nickel Plate Road station.

- Fort Wayne.
I left Fort Wayne for an uninspired, uneventful backroad drive through Auburn and up to Angola. I last visited Angola years ago to see the place where my grandparents used to live, where I spent many summers, and where we explored the abandoned Fun Spot Amusement Park. Fun Spot has been mostly demolished. A few buildings still stand, but all of the rides are gone.

After a quick stop to see family in Clear Lake and enjoy good conversation, I headed back to Cincinnati.
- Brokaw Theatre, Angola.

- Monument, Angola,

- Ice cream, Angola.

- Clear Lake.

4 comments:

  1. Enjoyed the post. Native of Ft. Wayne, and it was a train town. Took the train to Chicago several times in the sixties. Sad it isn’t a traintown now.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Cindy! I grew up always visiting family in Fort Wayne. I really enjoy that town. Totally agree that it’s sad that it’s not a train town anymore, it’s situated perfectly to connect with Cleveland, Columbus, Chicago, and even Cincinnati. Would be a great stop along the route.

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  2. Holy cow... Clear Lake!!! My grandparents had a place up there through the mid '70's. Many happy childhood memories there!

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    1. I only got to see it very briefly on this day, but hope to get up there again. I grew up going to Crooked Lake all the time back in the 90s. When my Grandparents passed away, their house was sold. Some family continue the tradition with their own place up on Clear Lake. Love that area of the state!

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