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Railroads

Perhaps no one single change had more effect upon our area than the coming of the railroad.

Millburn had been relatively isolated, since travel was limited to horse drawn modes of transportation over very poor roads.

When railroads were planned for the area, the people of Millburn did not want those smelly noisy things in their back yard. Local folklore details how our citizens worked to make sure that the rail lines were located far enough away so as not to be a nuisance. This action, of course, turned out to be a BIG MISTAKE.

As even the most casual observer of history knows, towns and industry developed along the railroad tracks. One rail line went through four miles to the west of Millburn. Another went through about four miles to the east. Communities grew and prospered along these railroad tracks.

Many of our citizens adapted to the railroad with surprising ease. Many became frequent travelers to Chicago. Our storekeepers made frequent buying trips, bringing many new products to town.

A service was started to haul passengers to and from the depots. Young men and women began to marry outside of the local area, since travel back to visit the "home folks" was fast and easy. Our town doctor began to take seriously ill patients to Chicago, where the very latest in care often meant the difference between life and death.

Read about the railroad to the east, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company, from a book written in 1890.

Read about the railroad to the west, the Chicago & Northern Pacific Railroad, from a book written in 1890. This western line has had a number of names over the years. Until recently it was known as the SOO Line, and today is known as the Wisconsin Central. Metra passenger service uses these tracks carrying commuters between Antioch, Illinois and downtown Chicago.


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