La Porte County Historical Society
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Chicago-New York Electric Air Line Railroad

The initial stage of the proposed trans-continental electric short line took place September 1, 1906, when a special Pere Marquette of a dozen coaches from Chicago by way of New Buffalo, landed its passengers near the picnic ground on the Hall Farm in Scipio Township.  President Alexander C. Miller brought with him a silver spade which was used "to turn the first earth in the construction of the Chicago- New York Electric Air Line Railroad."  Eight years later, the Air Line was a 19.6 mile stretch between La Porte and Goodrum, Indiana and at that rate of construction, it would have taken about 112 years to complete the entire 750-mile line to New York.

Although a great many persons in this area invested quite a sum in the way of buying common stock, about the only good that came from the line for local persons was in 1908 when the Air Line Park was constructed six miles south of La Porte and the line carried excursion merrymakers to the grove each Sunday.  An average of 1200 passengers would ride the line to the park on Sundays at a cost of ten cents round trip.  The park was located on present-day CR 500 West between Joliet Road and CR 250 South.

A million dollars disappeared from the company's accounts in 1912, and the company went into receivership in 1915.  In 1917 the Gary Street Railway Company was formed to buy the Air Line properties when they were sold under foreclosure.

A spur line crossed present-day SR 39 and ran down I Street to a depot in downtown La Porte at Jefferson Avenue. 

Information regarding the Air Line and this marker may be researched at
the La Porte County Historical Society's  Museum Research Area.  Numerous
photographs may also be viewed at this facility.


La Porte County Historical Society Museum
2405 Indiana Avenue, Suite 1
La Porte, IN 46350
Tel: 219/324-6767
Fax: 219/324-9029

Admission Charge: La Porte County Adult Residents $3
Out-of-county Adult Residents $6
Out-of-County Seniors 60 and over $5
Children/Students 12-17 $3
Commercial bus tour participants $3

Children under 12, La Porte County Historical Society, Inc. members
Time Traveler affiliates, School Tours FREE

  OPEN TO PUBLIC
Tuesday thru Saturday
10 A.M. to 4:30 P.M
Handicapped accessible



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Site Last Revised: Friday, December 17, 2010 8:52 PM
Phone: (219) 324-6767