top of page

"Up and Down the Monon" Town Gallery

All Aboard! Step right up and explore the French Lick West Baden Museum's newest exhibit - "Up and Down the Monon", an adventure through the history of the Chicago, Indianapolis, and Louisville Railroad, the Monon.

The Monon, founded in 1847 in New Albany, Indiana, came to the French Lick and West Baden in 1887, and quickly spread across the entire State of Indiana, eventually gaining the title “The Hoosier Line”. The Monon was the lifeblood of Hoosier industry and transportation, from the limestone quarries of Oolitic and Bedford creating buildings and skyscrapers across the country, to the thousands of travelers visiting the mineral baths in French Lick and West Baden Springs. The Monon operated until 1971 and has since become legend in Indiana’s history.

In 2021, the Museum was contacted by Larry O’ Connor Sr. of Austin, Texas, about his personal, extensive Monon Railroad Collection, collected over the course of 50 years. From signs and uniforms, playing cards and napkins, the collection is one of the most extensive and impressive private railroad collections in the country. Mr. O’Connor wished to find a new home for his collection for its continued preservation, with wishes for public display. The French Lick West Baden Museum stepped up to assist, and members of the Museum family traveled to Austin, TX, and received the collection of over 10,000 pieces, and returned them home to the Hoosier State.

The Museum has extensively archived and preserved the thousands of artifacts, and has selected just a quarter of the pieces to be placed on display for the first time in our next very special exhibit;

“Up and Down the Monon” - The Larry O’ Connor Monon Railroad Collection