Then & Now
September 4, 2013 10:06PM
Rock Island Railroad Depot, Mokena, looking west from Mokena Street. | Photo courtesy of Robert Horras of Princeton and the Local History Project's digital collections.
Updated: October 7, 2013 12:54PM
Rock Island Railroad Depot, Mokena
The arrival of the Rock Island Railroad in 1852 led to the plotting of the village of Mokena the same year by Allen Denny. The town of Mokena developed quickly in the 1850s, with numerous businesses opening for customers, including a blacksmith shop, a steam mill and a general store. In time a grain elevator was built adjacent to the railroad in town and catered to the needs of local farmers. Over time, the Rock Island Railroad became valuable to the region’s farmers who brought milk, livestock and other produce into the village for shipment to Chicago and other distant markets. The Then image shows a view of the old train depot looking west from Mokena Street. The Bowman dairy plant can be seen in the distance. The Now photograph shows a similar view of location today. The present-day Metra commuter station is out of view to the left in the image.
Image Credit: The Then photograph is courtesy of Robert Horras of Princeton, and the Local History Project’s digital collections. The Now photograph was taken by Christine O’Brien.
David Belden is a history teacher at Minooka Community High School and is currently publishing local postcard books with Arcadia Publishing in his Local History classes. He and his students are looking for old Joliet photos and postcards, and images from Joliet’s parks, for a new publication. If you are interested in contributing a postcard image, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call 815-467-2140, Ext. 260.