The Old Elkhart Road, known today as Wilden Avenue, County Road 45 or Hammond Avenue depending on where you are, used to be the main driving route between Goshen and Elkhart before U.S. 33 was built. It paralleled the old Big Four Railroad, which was once known as New York Central Railroad and is known today as Norfolk Southern. It also paralleled the Winona Interurban Railway.
Tim Ashley is a history buff who lives in Goshen and works for an area newspaper. You can read more of his work on his community blog
for The Elkhart Truth, Local Remnants
Before the 1920s, it was a lot less safe to drive on the Old Elkhart Road. It had numerous railroad crossings, as it went back and forth across the railroad tracks several times. One can easily imagine that several automobile vs. train crashes occurred – especially considering there were probably not any crossing arms or safety devices commonly found today on rail lines.
Shown in the photo is a former railroad crossing near Ox Bow Park in Elkhart County. It is one of several that were removed many years ago. Today the road is safer to drive on, assuming one pays attention to the road signs and their speeds, of course.