Roundhouse at North Madison

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Roundhouse at North Madison




James Vawter built his log cabin on the site that the roundhouse would one day occupy. This was not far into the 1800's and the land was first a forest to be cut down and then it was farm and pasture land. The good farmer could not know what the future would hold for this bucolic expanse. The land was nearly on the crest of the hill with what would later be called "the cut" just to its west. State Road #7 would border it on the east in later years. It was called Ritchie Street when the roundhouse was built. Clay Street, now Green Road, would enclose it on the north end. Within these confines would be built machine shops and foundries and forges to service the engines and a grand turntable to maneuver them about. In 1851 the roundhouse would come into being. The newspaper called it "the coliseum" and commented on its size. It would stand for only 55 years, though. In 1906 it would be pulled down. In later years the rest of the complex would go, piece by piece, until in 1938 the last old office building would be razed and the old turntable would be filled in and it would be relatively quiet again.


Ron Grimes (local railroad history authority); Daily Banner; Madison Courier; Historical Files


Date unknown


Madison-Jefferson County Public Library


Permission to reproduce this image for other than personal use must be requested from the Director of the Madison-Jefferson County Public Library. Please contact at 420 W. Main Street Madison, IN 47250 (812) 265-2744


Scanned from a duplicate negative at 1200 DPI using a Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL. Online jpeg image file saved at 72 DPI 800 to 1000 pixels on long edge.


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North Madison, Indiana

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"Roundhouse at North Madison," in Harry Lemen Historic Photo Collection, Item #126, (accessed May 29, 2015).