Throwback Thursday: Auburn Junction in the John Martin Smith Collection

Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on!

Today, let’s take a look at Auburn Junction, a little community that once lay about a mile and a half southwest of Auburn.


Auburn Junction got its name because of the three major railroads that crossed there: the B & O, the Lakeshore, and the Vandalia Line. A rail depot, signal tower, and freight house also marked the junction as a railroad community. Even the Interurban stopped at Auburn Junction.

Trade Card

The Junction had its own creamery, a post office, store, hotel, and filling station. Two factories—the sauerkraut and canning factories—employed Junction locals to grow cabbage for sauerkraut and to help with canning. Indiana Fuel & Light also had a plant at the Junction, which extracted “artificial gas” from coal. In addition to working at these places, people kept busy with farming, hunting and fishing.


Life at the Junction wasn’t all work, of course. Every evening, the “old timers” gathered outside Henry’s store, swapping stories while local kids listened. Square dances were popular events, as were “auction sales,” the Auburn Junction version of a garage sale, where locals auctioned off their belongings to enthusiastic bidders. Kids swam, played baseball, and (mostly) kept out of trouble.

As Junction resident Floyd Link said, “It was quite a thriving little community in the early twenties.”

Want to learn more about this little community? Click here and search “Auburn Junction.” You can also read about it in Floyd Link’s book, Looking Over the Shoulder, at the Genealogy Center.


About Jenny

I am the Associate Director of Eckhart Public Library. My office is in the Administrative Annex, but I can often be found roaming the Eckhart Public Library Campus, performing acts of librarianship in every department! I love to read and learn about history. I'm also a huge fan of movies, TV and pop culture in general, and I love to read books of all types. Currently, I'm working my way around the romance section, with some historical fiction and graphic novels thrown in for variety! But you never know what I'm going to pick up next.
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