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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Historical Markers > Find a Marker > Lake Iola Interurban Site Lake Iola Interurban Site

Lake Iola Interurban SiteLake Iola Interurban Site

Location: East shore of Lake Iola, William H. Graham Park, N. Bond Street, Scottsburg. (Scott County, Indiana)

Installed: 2002 Indiana Historical Bureau, Preservation Alliance, Inc., and Scott County Community Foundation

ID# : 72.2002.6

Text

Side one:

Indianapolis and Louisville Traction Company organized to build track between Seymour and Sellersburg as part of the interurban line which extended from Indianapolis to Louisville; track completed 1907. First railway in the country to operate on 1200 volt high tension, direct current system powered by generators at this site.

Side two:

Car barn and water tower also built on site. Artificial lake--later named Lake Iola--created as water source for power equipment. Indiana Railroad abandoned operation; last train October 31, 1939. Building foundations and some track remain. Land around Lake Iola is now property of Scottsburg, serving the city as park and interpretive center.

Keywords

Transportation, Business, Industry, and Labor

Annotated Text

Indianapolis and Louisville Traction Company organized to build track between Seymour and Sellersburg as part of the interurban line which extended from Indianapolis to Louisville; track completed 1907.(1) First railway in the country to operate on 1200 volt high tension, direct current system powered by generators at this site.(2)

Car barn and water tower also built on site. Artificial lake -- later named Lake Iola -- created as water source for power equipment.(3) Indiana Railroad abandoned operation; last train October 31, 1939.(4) Building foundations and some track remain.(5) Land around Lake Iola is now property of Scottsburg, serving the city as park and interpretive center.(6)

Notes:

(1) Jerry Marlette, Interstate: A History of Interstate Public Service Rail Operations (Polo, Illinois, 1990), 47, 225; Clifton J. Phillips, Indiana in Transition: The Emergence of an Industrial Commonwealth, 1880-1920 (Indianapolis, 1968), 253-55; Carl R. Bogardus, Centennial History of Austin, Scott County, Indiana ([Austin, Indiana], 1953), 110. NOTE: Date of organization not stated because sources conflict on whether Traction Co. organized 1905 (Bogardus) or 1906 (Glen A. Blackburn, "Interurban Railroads of Indiana, " Indiana Magazine of History (September, 1924), 20: 250.

(2) General Electric Co. Railway Department Bulletin, No. 4574A, July 1910.

(3) GE Co. Bulletin, July 1910.

(4) Ralph Gray, editor, The Hoosier State (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1980), 102; Marlette, 58, 227; Bogardus, 115.

(5) Melinda Lowry photographs, 2001; "Old interurban railway, " Louisville Courier-Journal, December 15, 1996; Lake Iola, William H. Graham Park brochure (Scottsburg, 1999).

(6) Lowell L. Lowry, President, Scottsburg Park Board to Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, September 12, 2000, and aerial view map; Lake Iola, William H. Graham Park brochure; Louisville Courier-Journal, December 15, 1996.