Early-20th-century Indianapolis was developing into a major transportation center. The extension of rail lines operated by the “Big Four Railroad,” the Cleveland, Chicago, Cincinnati, and St. Louis Railway, invaded farmland 5 miles southeast of the busy Indianapolis Union Station. By 1904, the native beech trees neighbored the construction of the Big Four Shops, a facility charged with the production of steam locomotives. The shops brought jobs, an immediate draw for commercial and residential development, culminating in 1906 when the unnamed, adjacent community incorporated as the town of Beech Grove. A century later, the city of Indianapolis has grown to entirely surround the vibrant community, yet Beech Grove retains its small town atmosphere. Anchored by a vibrant Main Street, the charm of Beech Grove is found within quiet residential neighborhoods, distinguished schools, diverse churches, and major employers, including Amtrak and St. Francis Hospital.
About the Author
With a foreword written by Beech Grove mayor Donald “Joe” Wright, authors Jim Hillman and John Murphy explore Beech Grove history through more than 200 rare, seldom-seen images, many from the Beech Grove Public Library. Hillman and Murphy’s previous collaborations include three Images of America series books from Arcadia Publishing: Indianapolis Social Clubs (2009), Indiana’s Catholic Religious Communities (2009), and Greenwood (2010).
Table of Contents
1 Train to Town 11
2 Locomotives Drive the Future 19
3 More Than Just a Train Stop 37
4 Chug, Chug, Chug 57
5 Beyond the Train Station 109