Cardinal Greenways savors it rails-to-trails roots. It’s been quite the journey, starting at the 1901“Beauty of its day” Wysor Street Depot, continuing to our “Excellent” (Trip Advisor) Cardinal Greenway, and on to present day undertakings.
The Beginnings – Railroad Lines and the Wysor Street Depot
- 1901 – The Wysor Street Depot, 700 East Wysor Street, Muncie, IN was opened by the Cincinnati, Richmond, and Muncie railroad line. Built to attract more passengers for train travel, it was “one of the most modern and substantial structures of its kind ever created by a railroad company in Indiana.” The depot was built in the Victorian Queen Anne style, with wide white oak woodworking, maple floors, granite walls, and marble fixtures. Architect William A. Kaufman of Richmond, IN designed the depot, and the company of Locke and Hill, also from Richmond, built the depot at a cost of $15,000.00. A “sister depot,” an exact replica of the Wysor Street Depot, was built in Richmond, IN.
- 1910 – The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company acquired the Chicago-Cincinnati rail route and subsequently the Wysor Street Depot
- 1910 – 1948 – Emphasis on moving freight progressively surpassed carrying passengers on the C&O line.
- 1949 – After passenger service was discontinued, the Wysor Street Depot was not used by the railroad. Muncie Gear Works, Inc. leased the building for office space.
- 1973 – In a business transaction, C & O successor, Chessie Systems, acquired the Wysor Street Depot. The depot serviced Amtrak passengers traveling on the Cardinal, but only the outside platform of the depot was used. The depot itself was not open to passengers.
- 1985 – The Cardinal was rerouted and the Wysor Street Depot was abandoned.
The Creation of Cardinal Greenways
- 1993 – Cardinal Greenway, Inc. becomes an incorporated not-for-profit organization.
- 1993 – Cardinal Greenway, Inc. purchased 60 miles of former railroad corridor from CSX Transportation Corporation to develop a rails-to-trails recreational linear park covering five counties in Eastern Indiana: Wayne, Randolph, Henry, Delaware, and Grant. Knowing of the abandoned rail corridor from Marion to Richmond, local residents had hoped for years to create a rails-to-trails greenway; in 1993 that hope became a reality.
- 1994 – Cardinal Greenway, Inc. selected a design team, which specifically addressed trail issues of management and planning strategy, site analysis, project development, and funding.
- 1997 – The Wysor Street Depot was placed on the National Registry of Historic Sites.
- 1998 – The first section of Cardinal Greenway was opened from the Wysor St. Depot to CR 532, for a total of 10 trail miles.
- 1998 – Cardinal Equestrian Trail was created, a 2 mile horse trail for the community.
- 1999 – Phase I of the White River Greenway opened
Moving Into 2000
- 2001 – The Cardinal Greenway section from Jonesboro/Gas City to Marion opened. This added approximately 8 miles to the trail.
- 2002 – Wayne County section of 2.5 miles, from Industries Road to North “D” Street, of Cardinal Greenway was completed.
- 2002 – McCulloch Blvd. to Gaston, 10 miles of northern trail on the Cardinal Greenway, opened.
- 2004 – The 1901 Wysor Street Depot was restored to its magnificent beauty of old.
- 2005 – The Phase II of the White River Greenway was completed.
- 2007 – Another section of Cardinal Greenway, from CR 532 to Losantville opened, adding 7 miles to the trail.
- 2007 – The Cardinal Equestrian Trail expanded, with an additional 7 miles parallel to the Losantville section of the trail.
- 2007 – The Cantilever Walkway section of White River Greenway was opened.
- 2008 – The Grant County section of Cardinal Greenway was added.
- 2008 – The Marion to Sweetser segment, 1 mile in length, opened.
2010 and Beyond
- 2010 – The Marion to Sweetser trail was completed.
- 2011 – Richmond to Losantville, a 20 mile section of Cardinal Greenway, opened.
- 2011 – White River Greenway Phase III and IV was finished.
- 2013 – Cardinal Greenway, Inc. celebrated its 20th Anniversary!
Cardinal Greenways is extremely proud of its history and accomplishments through the years. We thank everyone who has contributed to its creation, realization, and success.