P.O. Box 353  Wabash, IN  46992  |  ungerdeanna@gmail.com  |  Tel: 260-571-2879

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Big Four Depot Passenger Station

While the Big Four Depot station was torn down many years ago, it's history as a gateway to travel into the area is rich.  From the time of the arrive of the Cincinnati Wabash and Michigan railroad in 1872 until the 1950's when the railroad was known as the Cleveland Cincinnati Chicago and St. Louis railroad nicknamed the Big Four the railroads provided a passenger station and passenger service at Wabash.

 

There were several different passenger stations through the years, some located near the Hanna Spring and some at the very east end of Canal street, but the most well known, grandest, and photographed station was the one that stood at the end of Market street by the Big Four cut. Complaints began to grow at the beginning of the 1890 for a new passenger station. The Big Four by 1895 promised to build a new station but in was not built until 1902. Between 1895 and 1901 there were several proposals made for the station. An early ambitious plan called for a five story building, several floors to be used for a railroad hospital. Other plans that followed were less ambitious. There were some with three stories and some with two.

 

In 1901 a “final” plan was submitted by a prominent Cincinnati architect, but the plan was deemed too expensive, and so the president of the Big Four M. E. Ingalls rejected the plans. He instructed the Big Four's Engineering Department to come up with new plans. The Engineering Department drew up plans incorporating some of the Cincinnati architect's ideas, but the drawing was largely based on the C.C.C.& St. L's standard type VIII single floor station plan with the addition of a second story to house the offices of the division. This plan was the one used for the station that is often pictured. Work on the station was begun late in 1901 and finished in May of 1902.

 

Passenger service from Wabash ended in 1950. The station stood until 1966.