The Rise and Fall of River and Rail transportation in Madison, Indiana.

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Station Bell

Bell at Lanier MansionThe bell was cast at the Gerret Foundry in Cincinnati in 1849 and was installed in the cupola of the newly constructed passenger depot that same year. The upper part of the bell is decorated with an ornate frieze of allegorical figures representing the progress of the world in art, letter and transportation. The bell was rung half an hour and again five minutes before the departure of passenger trains from Madison to warn travelers to make their way to the station.

At some point in the 1880’s the bell was diverted to Richmond, Indiana by John F. Miller, a PCC & ST. L Railroad official. For many years it languished in an obscure spot at the old train station there. The town benefactress, Drusilla Cravens, granddaughter of one of the original signers of the 1832 charter, obtained the bell and restored it to the town. Arriving here in time for the Indiana Centennial, the bell was placed on display next to the railroad station and in 1935 it was moved to City Hall where it resided until 1944. It was then placed in storage at Clifty Falls State Park but in 1953 it was located on the lawn of the Lanier Home atop a stone burr from Clifty Falls Mill. In 1991 the bell was given by the State of Indiana to the Jefferson County Historical Society and it now resides in the restored railroad depot.

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