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Rare Goose Island Photos

  • Posted by tom burke
  • on 05 September 2008
  • 3 images

Recently rediscovered slides from 1990 show glimpses of Goose Island industries National Tea, Klemp Corporation, and the track arrangement used to access the building used by Pickens-Kane.


Goose Island had some interesting trackwork. At the southern end of the island the track running down Cherry Avenue and North Branch Street joined with the track that ran down Hickory Avenue near the Ogden Avenue overpass. This arrangement allowed crews two different routes back to the Division Street Yard to the north if either of the two lines were blocked by parked trucks, freight cars spotted for drop-off in the street, or derailment. The tracks came together at the site of a scrap yard, the Ozite Corporation, which used to receive gondolas into the early 1980s. On the right is the track in this 1990 photo that came in from North Branch while the track on the left went into the Pickens-Kane warehouse building formerly used by Lissner and Wieboldts. The 1991 rebuilding project of North Branch severed these tracks. Out of view and in the distance the tracks from Hickory and North Branch joined together.

A large customer for the Milwaukee Road was National Tea with its warehouse on the south side of Division Street between Hooker Street and Hickory Avenue. In this photo from the summer of 1990 the tracks across Division Street were already paved over and the ramp up to Ogden Avenue is closed for the eventual demolition of this overpass. However you can still see the enclosed area with the roll-up door where trains entered the National Tea warehouse along Hickory Avenue. The track ran the length of the building and exited onto Hickory Street south by the Ogden Avenue overpass, rejoining the main track on Hickory. The main track continued south on Hickory to where it intersected with the track from North Branch just south of the Ogden Avenue overpass


On a snowy February in 1990 we are looking east down Blackhawk Street. To the north or left is part of the Klemp Corporation site, a one-time customer of the Milwaukee Road. Note the “DANGER TRAIN” sign on the building. By this date the Klemp Corporation was already out of operation though an active track ran through its property, passing through the open gate, and across Blackhawk to reach the two spurs at National By-Products to the south or right. This whole scene has changed dramatically over the years.