Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Death at the Rossow Crossing … Again

Two years after witnessing a deadly train-vs.-automobile wreck at the Pennsy crossing near his home on present-day Wisconsin Street, William Rossow was among the first on the scene of another, equally horrifying, at the same crossing.

2018-10-16. Rossow crossing, Gaz, 6-22-1923
(Click on images to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette, June 22, 1923

This story establishes that it was indeed Herman Harms who bought the cottage being moved from New Street, although here its destination is given as the "H. & S. subdivision." So Herman, along with his father Henry, his father-in-law William Rossow, and his brother-in-law Ed Niksch (Miksch is a misprint) were at work on the house a short distance southeast of the Wisconsin Street crossing.

♦    ♦    ♦

An item in the next column to the right mentions the filming of a 1915 celebration in Hobart. That film still exists, I am told, somewhere in the archives of the Hobart Historical Society. It hasn't been digitized, and trying to run the original through a projector would be foolhardy. Someday, perhaps, when both the film and the money to digitize it are found, we'll be able to view motion pictures of Hobart in 1915.

In the right-hand column, we find T.H. Grabowski building an addition to his home — an addition that, fortunately, is identifiable on this current sketch from the Lake County Assessor's website.

2018-10-16. Grabowski house sketch 2018

This confirms what I conjectured: that the old Carlson house is at 6430 Grand Boulevard. Per the county records, it was built in 1879.

Finally, a new bridge was going up over the Deep River where Ainsworth Road crosses it, known as the Nolte bridge since the road passes through the Nolte property there. When I first moved out here in 1990, there was a metal truss bridge similar to the one at 73rd Avenue — I wonder if that could have been the 1923 bridge? It was replaced within about a year of my moving here, and I never thought to take a photo of it.

I am curious to know what sort of bridge was there before 1923.

Additional Source: "Two More Victims of Grade Crossing Saturday When Mrs. John Clark and Daughter Margery Meet Death," Hobart News, June 21, 1923.


Rachel said...

Hopefully someday they can digitize that film and put it on Youtube.

Anonymous said...

I do know the Niksch family had a house on the south end of Michigan Ave in the 60s, my brother was a classmate of Steve N. Any westbound Broadway Limited would be going 80-90 mph. The curve at North Lake Park was banked and rated @ 100 mph. Maybe there was a stop coming in Hammond, last before would have been Valpo. Cottage was probably being moved from site of new power plant. I would think there was a good view to the east of the oncoming train as they approached from the north, but driver was unable to stop. We can't really judge accurately anymore, but I remember in the 70s, two mail trains daily, an eastbound that passed at noon, and a westbound at midnight. Then two Amtraks, eastbound about 6 PM, westbound about 8AM.. They all used to fly 80 plus through Hobart, and the gates had long advance warning to come down early enough for fast trains.

This ended in the 90s as fast trains were gone. Now normal timing for 40 mph trains.

Wish I taken a picture of the steel truss bridge at Deep River, I guess I figured it would be there a lot longer.

Ainsworthiana said...

The cottage had been moved from the site of the new school building, later to be called the Roosevelt Gymn.

The carnage at railroad crossing in those days was just astonishing.