Railway Preservation News

Tower under the gun!
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Author:  Les Beckman [ Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

Randy Gustafson wrote:
OK, you got my vote with my wallet.

I also kicked in my favorite tower story.

Good luck - I sure hope it makes it!

Randy -

Thanks very much. I don't know how much you donated, and that's okay. The only one who knows at our museum is our Treasurer, and he ain't talking. And that's the way it SHOULD be. Eventually we will publish a list of donors, but their names only, and not including the money amounts donated.

We are making progress toward our needed amount, but our Treasurer says that the individual donations have slowed down. And this is to be expected at this point. I was talking to a friend of mine this weekend and he stated that he would like to help, but that money was tight right now. And I think that points out a problem. People look at what is needed, and they think that their $5 or $10 donation is not enough. Well, I told him to consider giving whatever he can. EVERYTHING helps! With the economy the way it is right now, bigger donations, while certainly appreciated, are going to be beyond the means of a lot of people. And the donation dollar has to be spread out amongst a lot of things that folks are interested in. So, if you are interested in trying to see Grasselli Tower preserved, and you haven't donated, please consider sending us SOMETHING. It will be appreciated, and will give our Treasurer something to do with all his free time.

As always, thanks for your support!

Les Beckman (Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum/North Judson, Indiana)

Author:  Les Beckman [ Sun May 25, 2008 12:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

Well, if Bob Barcus hasn't yet updated the donation amount on the Grasselli Tower website, he should be doing so soon. And although the semaphores won't change on our "donation meter", HVRM has passed a milestone. We are now over 2/3rds of the way toward our goal of $50,000 that we feel we need to raise to save Grasselli and move it to the Hoosier Valley museum site in North Judson. Individual donations, and a very nice gift from the Blackhawk Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, enabled us to get to that significant point.

What else is happening? Well, we have another company coming in later this week to look the tower over, and hopefully give us their quote to move it. Up to this point, we have had only one firm written quote, and HVRM's Board would like to have at least one other for comparison purposes. We are also discussing just where on the museum property the tower should go. There are some strong opinions on this, to say the least. Finally, we may very well start dismantling the interlocking mechanism very soon. We have had an offer of help from some folks who have done this type of thing in the past. One of our problems in this regard, is finding a place to store the various parts. The buildings and rolling stock that we currently have at HVRM are pretty well full. And we have decided that, to make sure nothing gets lost, it would be best to have a separate place for the stuff from Grasselli.

To those who have supported our efforts to save Grasselli, we say thank you. We ARE getting there. But it IS taking time.

Have a good Holiday. Please take a moment this weekend to remember those who have served our country in defending freedom. And especially to those who gave their lives or suffered grevious injuries in doing so.


Author:  Les Beckman [ Wed May 28, 2008 10:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

Bob Barcus just posted a new photo to the Grasselli Tower website...and its led to a bit of a mystery. At least for me! The photo by Nate Beals shows Norfolk Southern B32-8 #3544 leading a southbound freight past Grasselli in the summer of 2007. To the right in this photo is a milepost. I had never noticed it before, and I am not sure if it is even still there. The milepost is numbered 3 with initials which are a bit unclear. Is it IM? Or.....? And what do these initials stand for? If it was IH, I would have said Indiana Harbor. But IM? Anyone know? Thanks!


Author:  Les Beckman [ Fri May 30, 2008 11:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

Well, my bad! I visited Grasselli Tower today and checked out the milepost marker and it DOES INDEED read IH 3. Thus, I am sure that the IH stands for Indiana Harbor, where the Chicago & Indiana Southern Railroad originally started their line south. I guess my eyesight too is headed south!


Author:  rbarcus [ Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

Well we've reached yet another milestone in the Grasselli Tower "saga"... so far we've raised $35,092.39 - which means we have less than $15,000 to go!

The other guys working on the project and myself have been getting a lot of positive feedback about Grasselli Tower. HVRM isn't a large organization, but we seem to have lots of friends out there. I've examined the website logs and I've noted that we've had visitors from 37 countries and nearly every state in the Union. I was impressed by the numbers - especially when I see how many people read the updates that Les and I give periodically on RYPN.

Recently, we had two other companies come in and give their assessments of the project. Both are very interested in helping move the tower. One even proposed the novel idea of possibly moving the tower by rail! All this means is that we're considering every possible avenue.

I look forward to reading comments, emails, and such - keep them coming!

Author:  Les Beckman [ Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

Bob has added another tower story to the Grasselli Tower website; this time from someone who actually was an operator at Grasselli! Check Mr. Wills story out if you get the chance.


Author:  rbarcus [ Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

Time to beat the bushes again! ;D

We're still taking donation for Grasselli Tower, so if you haven't already done so, please make your tax-deductible contribution today!



Author:  rbarcus [ Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

I'm grateful during these tough economic times that people have found the money to help us move Grasselli Tower. At the present time, we're only $13,733.47 away from our goal of $50k! Thank you to everyone that has contributed thus far and if you haven't already made a donation, please do so!


Author:  rbarcus [ Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

We continue to press forward with our efforts to move Grasselli Tower to North Judson and we have now raised $41,276.53. Visit http://www.grassellitower.com to make your contribution!

Author:  Les Beckman [ Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

Thought I would give a short report on our efforts to move Grasselli Tower. First of all, we are continuing our endeavor! We recently had a meeting at the tower with the Indiana Harbor Belt in which the IHB explained restrictions in museum members being on the site to work on the building. Then last week, we met with a mover and had a most constructive discussion on various ideas in just exactly how the tower should be taken apart and moved to North Judson. We are currently investigating a couple of different scenario's. And we continue to try to raise the money we will need for the move, for the new foundation, for the rehabilitation of the building and to make a study on how best to incorporate it into the education of visitors when they come to the museum site.

Les Beckman, Towers Committee,
Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum,
North Judson, Indiana

Author:  Les Beckman [ Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

Although we have received a number of donations or pledges from organizations and businesses (both large and small) in our efforts to save Grasselli Tower, we have also received support from many individuals. In our current museum newsletter, a listing of those donors was published. Here is a slightly abridged version of that list:

Donors from Indiana; William Gustason, Betty Jean Lucas, Mildred Schmicker, Randy & Jennifer Zimmer, Janet M. Landato, Tom Troike, David E. Cook, Harold H. Matzat, Marla & Victoria Vanek, Dr. Richard Lochner, Eula Kelly, Jerry & Linda Dolezal, Dave Spencer, Marvin Good, David J. Schnurlein, Todd & Kris Flanigan, Andy Wroblewski, Frank Asselborn family, Karl & June Master, Linda Lewandowski, Marilyn Roysdon, Rick Harty, Les Beckman, Francis Parker, Nancy Dembowski, Teri Radulovich, Dale & Amy Phillips, Doug McGill, Stephen Dye, Juanita Bennett, Jason Lambert, Jim Metzger, James H. Koontz, Mr. & Mrs. George Jachim, Mae Roysdon Memorial, Jim Menis, Steve Rody, Anthony Parini, Joe Gasiorek, Melvin E. Dice, Kevin Heggi, John Schnurlein, Eli & Cleta Roska, Ken Tomak, John M. Fetter, Frank Criswell, Merritt Webb, Thomas W. Tittle, John & Pat DeGan, Alan F. Felchuk, Richard W. Flaningam, Mark Knebel, Leo Anthony Pauwels, Tom Troike, Alan Cotner, Rich Wiltfang, Jon Wiltfang, Dennis Sensenich, Larry & Sue Mitchell, Robert & Elsie Shedrow, Charles & Betty Hucker, Greg Overby, Dennis C. Krzemien, Jeremy B. Coffman, David D. Jones, Thomas J. Szerencse, Chuck & Doris Ness, Joseph E. Vargo, Roger Davies, Anna C. Koleszar, Melvin J. Shinn, Kenneth A. Swett, Mary LeVan, Joseph A. Gasiorek, Brian & Anita McMillin

Donors from Illinois; Mark Llanuza, Adam E. Robillard, Phil McIntosh, John LaMonica, Edward Faloona, Dennis Slone, Ken Morrison, J. D. McKibben, Doug Beckman, Thomas M. Hickman, Timothy E. Wills

Donors from Ohio; Steve Klipfel, Ron & Sandy Brezinski, Chuck White, Richard Scheurer, Robert Edward Carter Jr., James S. Keith, Brad Sherman, Phillip Albano III, Bill Haines

Donors from Missouri; Charlene Smrt

Donors from Kansas; Louis Droge

Donors from New Mexico; John R. Gerbracht

Donors from Pennsylvania; Rich Ballast, Randy Gustafson

Donors from Maryland; Allen R. Brougham Jr.

Donors from Nebraska; Mike Koehler

Donors from Florida; Frank & Lillian Bollini family, Jeff Schackart

Donors from Massachusetts; Tom Schalton

Donors from Washington; Michael Q. Heavener

Donors from New York; Michael Dault

Donors from Virginia; Christopher C. Manthey

Donors from California; Margaret Monroe

Donors (state unspecified); Dennis King, Roger Noppe

Some of these donors are members of our museum. Others were visitors to HVRM. But there are others who are readers here of RyPN. We are grateful for the support shown to us by these donors. For whatever the amounts given (none are shown, or will be shown, on the donors list). We eventually plan to recognize all donors somehow in the Grasselli Tower building after it is moved to North Judson and restored. That may be by a plaque, or perhaps a listing on one of the walls. Whatever is eventually decided, the listing of these names will be done.

Thanks again for your help.


Author:  Les Beckman [ Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

Folks -

It's been a while since there have been any postings concerning Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum's efforts to save the Indiana Harbor Belt's Grasselli Tower in East Chicago, Indiana, and move it to the museums site in North Judson, Indiana. So to keep you abreast of what has been happening, here is a short report. We have made arrangements to have a local company move the tower. They have moved a number of other structures including other railroad buildings. We have also secured a contractor to pour the foundation, and the hole will hopefully be dug this week. The company who is moving the tower has told us that they may be able to have it done as early as April. Museum members have been working at the tower recently, and have removed all of the towers levers. There are additional work dates scheduled, to do the other jobs that have to be done before the movers can begin their work. But, we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, donations toward the impending move and restoration at HVRM, are always welcome.


Author:  rbarcus [ Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

The foundation for the tower is ready to be poured. The foundation contractor should be finishing the walls today. Check out the website for further details: http://www.grassellitower.com.

Author:  Les Beckman [ Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

rbarcus wrote:
The foundation for the tower is ready to be poured. The foundation contractor should be finishing the walls today. Check out the website for further details: http://www.grassellitower.com.

Bob -

I got a report that the cement was poured today. Hope that is true. I guess we will find out for sure tomorrow.


Author:  Les Beckman [ Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tower under the gun!

Folks -

I just realized that I kind of left things hanging by my last entry. So...yes, the concrete WAS poured last week as scheduled. Check the Grasselli Tower website for photos:




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