Building on a main road more than 100 years old

I saw the General Crafts Corporation building in Goshen, which sits next to the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks where they cross U.S. 33 (Madison Street) near Ninth Street, and I wondered if this building originally was a railroad building. But after checking different maps, apparently it wasn’t. A Sanborn fire insurance map of 1901 shows there was a manufacturing of machinery business of some type in the building. Then in 1905 there was a brass foundry and in 1910, a cement block factory. It has been the General Crafts Corporation since about the late 1950s, I believe. Metal fabricating takes place within the building. Interestingly enough, in its earlier years there was an entrance for coal in the back of the building indicating it was powered by coal in some way. The Indiana Landmarks historic structures inventory for Elkhart County indicates the building dates to 1890, but the Sanborn maps for 1892 and 1896 showed no building at that location. So it must have been built between 1896 and 1901. Though it was not used by the railroad, because of its location it was likely a business built because of the railroad and may have utilized the line for shipping.

General Crafts building in Goshen.

General Crafts building in Goshen.

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About historynut11

My name is Tim Ashley and I am a newspaper editor/reporter/photographer in Milford, Indiana, and live in nearby Goshen, Indiana. A deeply held and sincere passion of mine is history and learning from the past. I enjoy a wide variety of history topics, but particularly local history, noted American highways (Lincoln Highway and Route 66), railroad history and the Civil War. I believe we can learn much from the past and that past shapes who we are today. I also enjoy visiting museums and historical sites, as well as taking photos of remnants from the past still standing.
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