The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway in Miller,
"From 1869 to 1914, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway was the route
of empire as the young American nation began its expansion westward. It's tracks,
laid by several of its predecessor lines, were the first rail connection between
New York City and Chicago. Thereafter, the rail line became the crucial link and
backbone of the burgeoning industrial and agricultural heartland...For generations
after the Civil War, the LS&MS was the best way West."1
The annotated photo below shows the LS&MS RR tracks on what is now Miller
Ave in Miller, Indiana in 1906. Click on the image for a larger image that
is not annotated.
In 1869 the LS&MS Railway was formed by the consolidation of four
smaller railroads into one complete line between Chicago and Buffalo. It's predecessor,
the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana RR, laid the first tracks
through the Calumet region in 1851, through the most difficult terrain on the entire
road. Before that time the route overland, through marshes, wetlands and sand, was
laborious in the extreme.
The town of Miller, Indiana was settled when the Michigan Southern established a
coaling and watering stop at that location. In 1874 the B&O Railroad pushed
it's tracks through to Chicago crossing the LS&MS at Miller. When the mills
were built at Gary in 1906 the tracks that ran down Miller Ave were torn up and
moved further north. And in 1914 the LS&MS RR, which was by then owned almost
exclusively by Cornelius Vanderbilt, was absorbed into his New York Central line.
Over the tracks that used to run down Miller Ave ran Lincoln's funeral train in
1865 and in 1904 those tracks saw the first running of the 20th Century Limited,
perhaps America's most famous passenger train.
1McLellan, David and Warrick, Bill,
The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway, (Polo, Ill, 1989), p 9.
I'm indebted to the authors of this book for bringing this railway alive and back
from the ashes, as well as the help that they have given me.