Old railway crossed CR 450E

I want to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year. My post today is another trace of the former Syracuse-Milford Railway. As a reminder this was a short-lived railroad line running only between Syracuse and Milford in Kosciusko County. It was formed in the early 1900s and was abandoned by about 1923. The purpose of the railway was to haul marl dug out of Waubee and Syracuse lakes. Connections could then be made on the Syracuse end with the B & O Railroad and on the Milford end with the Big Four Railroad. The total length of the line was only 6 or 7 miles. It’s interesting there are traces of the line still remaining after more than 90 years. The photo shows where it crossed County Road 450 East near Syracuse. You can see in the photo a slight elevation in the terrain. I confirmed the location on a map dated 1914 for Kosciusko County. There are very few photos still in circulation that were taken of the railway when it was still in existence. Most of the ones I’ve seen show the locomotive used by the railway.


Trace of Syracuse-Milford Railway near Syracuse.


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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10 Responses to Old railway crossed CR 450E

  1. Nathan says:

    This railroad line has always piqued my interest having grown up on the corner of Camp Mack Rd and 150. I always heard stories when I was younger from my dad that there used to be a railroad line in the area and there are actually train tracks in the bottom of the lake that he had seen when scuba diving. I can’t attest to this, as I have never personally seen them. I always wondered if the stone pillar at the corner of Camp Mack and 150 was part of this or even the land ridge that is across the street from the Waubee park in the woods was part of it. I can’t find any one definitive source for the route laid out on a current map.

    • historynut11 says:

      Nathan, thanks for your comments. The only way to see the route is by looking at a 1914 map. It can be found online by going to the county surveyor’s web page on kcgov.com. Or through historicmapworks.com. You could then compare the 1914 map to a current map. That’s the only way I know to do it, but someone else may know something different.

      • Nathan says:

        Thanks for the reply. I looked it up on the historic maps site and found that the stone pillar would most likely been on the route for the railroad line. I had always assumed it was an old marker for the Camp since it had a Camp Mack sign on it when I was younger and matched the ones located at the entrance to the camp. I still wonder about that land ridge across from the park though. It goes back into the land that is owned by Camp Mack then stops.

      • historynut11 says:

        Nathan, which corner is that stone pillar on? I would like to get a photo of it sometime.

      • nathancoy00 says:

        If you go to 1488 e camp mack rd., at the T close to the stop sign, coming from the lake there was a stone pillar there.

      • historynut11 says:

        You said “was.” It’s not there anymore?

      • Nathan says:

        I haven’t been by there for awhile so I can’t say for sure. I would think it still is since it marks the corner of a property line now between a field and farmhouse. It looks like it shows up on the beacon GIS map.

      • historynut11 says:

        I’m going to drive by there sometime soon and will check it out. I also saw a while back where somebody posted they had walked through the woods there somewhere west of 150 and saw what looks to be an old RR telegraph pole, but they were not sure it was part of this railway or if that railway even had them. This would be somewhere west of 150 East along the right of way. Also, as far as the ridge you are talking about, it depends on which side of the park you are talking about.

  2. Nathan says:

    The ridge I am talking about would be located in the area of 41.39620783 and -85.83425045 back into the woods.

  3. historynut11 says:

    Nathan, apparently there is some confusion as to where the line actually ran. The 1914 map clearly shows it followed the contour of Waubee Lake and then looped to the northeast where it then followed what is now 150 East before turning back to the east. So I would be inclined to believe the ridge you are talking about was not part of the route unless the route was different at one time. I drove out there this afternoon and saw the stone pillar. I’m not sure if it was connected to the railroad. The railroad was abandoned before Camp Mack started. I contacted Camp Mack to see what they say about it.

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