Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company (Louisville, Ky.) Additional Architectural Plans, 1879-1922

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator:  Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company (Louisville, Ky.)

Title:  Additional architectural plans, 1879-1922

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection:  1.77 cu. ft. (in 2 ovsz. boxes)

Location Number:  Mss. AR L888a

Scope and Content Note

The collection is comprised of 79 architectural plans of L&N buildings that include but are not limited to drawings of standardized structures and tools as well as location-specific buildings that include: freight depots, stations, machine shops, and signal houses. This collection also contains a small selection of drawings that cannot be defined as architectural plans, but rather fall under the category of maps as well as land and water surveys.

The majority of plans in this collection date to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and, due to their timelines, are uniquely positioned to illuminate the rapid changes happening not only within the railroad industry but also the concurring social and technological changes.

Of this collection’s 79 plans, 31 are location-specific. These locations include: B’ham (assumed to be Birmingham, Alabama), Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri (St. Louis). Also included in these 31 plans are the aforementioned property map and land and water survey. The remaining 48 plans include plans of standardized projects, including: buildings (laborers’ housing, section houses, and a watchman’s house, to name a few), tools and hardware (hammers, bolts, and lugs), machinery (hog watering devices and rail unloaders) and other miscellaneous plans for furniture, mile posts, and water tanks.

Other points of interest include the signature of L&N figure Frederick R. De Funiak (see: Roll 25), two non-L&N plans drawn by and for the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway (see: Roll 61 and 63)[1], and a property map made by the Madisonville Hartford & Eastern Railroad (see: Roll 71)[2]. In total, approximately 30 plans contain initials of either their creator and/or approver.

Made of waxed linen, most of the plans are in excellent condition. In plans that do show signs of wear and/or damage, these issues are typically confined to the edges of the project rolls and should be carefully re-rolled, minding to roll the damaged portion first rather than leaving the tattered edges exposed on the outer of the roll.

Please see the collection’s Container List and Project Index for more information.


Historical Note

Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company Historical Note:

Chartered on March 5, 1850 by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company (hereafter L&N) set out to “…to build a line railroad between Louisville and the Tennessee state line in the direction of Nashville.” On December 4, 1851, an act of the Tennessee General Assembly authorized the company to extend its road from Tennessee to Nashville.

During the summer of 1853 crews began surveying and clearing routes south of Louisville. In 1855 the $3 million necessary to finance the construction had been raised by the founders themselves—many of them Louisville businessmen. With funding secure, progress on the track line continued and by August 25, 1853 the first eight miles of track was complete. To celebrate passengers rode the line out, taking a total of 27 minutes and back which shaved off seven minutes on the return trip.

Progress was slow due to difficult passages between Louisville and Nashville. Challenges like Muldraugh Hill and Tennessee Ridge required labor-intensive tunneling. The Green and Cumberland Rivers also presented obstacles, as bridges had to be spanned over both, but despite these and other obstacles, the railway prevailed. Six years and $7,221,204.91 later the track from Louisville to Nashville line was complete.

On October 27, 1859 the first train left Louisville, Kentucky and arrived 187 miles later in Nashville, Tennessee. Four days later, regularly scheduled L&N trains began running—and would keep running—until 1976.

In 1971, and at the height of its growth, L&N operated sixty five hundred route miles of main and secondary lines in thirteen Midwestern and Southern states and ranked as the sixteenth-largest railroad. Lines extended from Louisville to: Chicago, Cincinnati, Lexington (eastern Kentucky), Corbin (Southeastern Kentucky), Nashville-Golf Coast, and Evansville-St. Louis.

Given its quick and far-reaching growth, the L&N proved to be one of Louisville’s largest employers; in 1901, L&N’s working population was 20,053 persons and just 25 years later, in 1926, that number had more than doubled to 53,029.


Castner, Charles B., Ronald Flanary, and Patrick Dorin, Louisville & Nashville Railroad; The Old Reliable (Lynchburg, VA: TLC Publishing, 1996).

Herr, Kincaid A. The Louisville and Nashville Railroad, 1850-1963. Lexington, KY. The University Press of Kentucky, 2000.

Kleber, John, ed. The Louisville Encyclopedia. Lexington, The University Press of Kentucky, 2001: 528-530.


Architects and Engineers Biographical Notes:

Colonel Frederick R. De Funiak (1839-1905) was born in Rome, Italy and emigrated in 1862. Shortly after arriving in the United States, De Funiak enlisted in the in the Confederate Army and was named captain of its engineering department, later he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel. Before working at the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, De Funiak served as the resident engineer for the Memphis and Charleston Railroad as well as Chief Engineer of the Ripley Railroad. In 1871 Colonel De Funiak was sent abroad to study European railroad construction methods. Upon his return one year later, De Funiak accepted the position as the Superintendent of Machinery at the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. He would go on to serve as general manager. The duration of his service with the L&N is unknown, but papers found in the Filson’s Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company Records, 1836-1912 (Mss./BB/L888g) show that as of January 18, 1883 he was serving as President of the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad Company. De Funiak retired in 1884.


Castner, Charles B., Ronald Flanary, and Patrick Dorin, Louisville & Nashville Railroad; The Old Reliable (Lynchburg, VA: TLC Publishing, 1996).

 Louisville Courier Journal. September 8, 1891.

 Herr, Kincaid A. The Louisville & Nashville, 1850-1963. Lexington, University Press of Kentucky. 2000.

Kleber, John, ed. The Louisville Encyclopedia. Lexington, The University Press of Kentucky, 2001: 528-530.

Meeks, Carroll L.V. The Railroad Station: An Architectural History. New York, Dover Publications, Inc. 1995.


Arrangement Note


1. Architectural Drawings, 1879-1922

This collection is comprised mainly of two types of drawings: L&N standards (buildings, tools, machinery, etc) and location-specific buildings (watchman houses, signal towers, depots). Researchers will also find examples of drawings that fall into these categories but are a bit more unique, including but not limited to: a train car “Camp Car No. 40098” (Roll 58), three drawings related to railway mail (Rolls 37-38 and 43) and an electric lighted danger signs (Roll 62). The series is arranged as follows:

Series I: Architectural Drawings (1879-1922): This series contains architectural drawings organized into project rolls, organized first by project type (Box 1 location-based projects and Box 2 standardized projects) and the drawings are then listed in chronological order. From this classification schema, rolls are assigned a number (e.g.: 1-73). Some rolls contain multiple plans and users should reference the project index’s folder list in order to determine combined objects.

The project rolls have been separated by project type within two over-sized boxes.  The project names assigned to the roll labels are the original titles supplied by the creator on the plan itself (e.g.: “Line Graph Showing Water Pumped at Dortha, Hazard, Guthrie and DeCoursey, Kentucky as well as Paris and Leewood, Tennessee”).  Following the title, the location (if given) is listed in city and/or state form, and dates (if known) are given.  Other relevant information such as creator detail (initials and/or full name), origin of plans (e.g.: Office of Chief Engineer, Louisville, KY), detailed description and original classification number can be found within the project index. Additionally, if digital images are available, this too, is listed within the project index.


Container List

Box 1:

Roll 1: Passenger Station — McLeansboro, IL,  no date

Roll 2: Details for Safety Gates at the B’Ham Train Shed,  no date

Roll 3: Fence for B’Ham Train Shed,  no date

Roll 4: Sheltered Platform,  April 1884

Roll 5: Depot at Wallace and Sanford’s Mill, M&M,  December 1887

Roll 6: Machine Shop — Howell, IN,  October 4, 1888

Roll 6: Stationary Engine and Boiler House for Machine Shops — Howell, IN,  October 6, 1888

Roll 6: Smith and Boiler Shops — Howell, IN,  October 10, 1888

Roll 7: Smoke Stack — Howell, IN,  April 1889

Roll 8: Freight Depot at Evansville, Indiana,  June 1, 1889

Roll 9: Highland Park Station,  October 1891

Roll 10: Freight Depot — St. Louis,  May 1892

Roll 10: Freight Depot — St. Louis,  May 1892

Roll 10: Freight Depot — St. Louis,  May 1892

Roll 11: One Room Dry Kiln — Howell, IN,  July 1893

Roll 12: Proposed Improvements in Station Building at Cami, St. L. Div — Cami, IL,  April 1894

Roll 13: Proposed Improvements in Station Building at Cami, St. L. Div — Cami, IL,  May 1894

Roll 14: Shanty for Draw Tender — Wabash River,  May 1894

Roll 15: Proposed Union Station — Eldorado, IL,  June 1895

Roll 16: Waiting Room — Swansea, IL,  January 1896

Roll 17: Mildale Transfer Shed,  October 1897

Roll 18: Semaphore Signal House for Draw Span of Bridge No. 38 — Cumberland River,  June 1898

Roll 19: Interior Detail for Passenger Station at Evansville, Indiana — Evansville, IN,  July 22, 1902

Roll 20: Ticket Office and News Stand Windows — Evansville, IN,  August 1902

Roll 21: Freight Depot at Cincinnati — Cincinnati, OH,  April 1904

Roll 22: Electric Signal Power House — Carmi, IL,  July 23, 1907

Roll 23: Toilet Room Addition to Toll Taker’s Cabin — Ohio,  July 23, 1909

Roll 24: Line Graph Showing Water Pumped at Dortha, Hazard, Guthrie and DeCoursey, Kentucky as well as Paris and Leewood Tennessee,  1922-1945

Roll 71: Property Map of J.C. Wiar and J.W. Cates made by Madisonville Hartford & Eastern Railroad,  January 14, 1909

Roll 72: Hamilton County Survey,  August 1, 1904

Roll 73: Garage and Servants Room  January 20, 1937


Box 2:

Roll 25: Plan of Shanty for Labourers,  August 1879

Roll 26: Watchman’s House,  September 3, 1881

Roll 27: Roof for Train Shed for Passenger Depot,  June 20, 1882

Roll 28: Section House,  June 23, 1882

Roll 29: Standard Plan of Laborers Shanty,  November 1883

Roll 30: Standard L&N Track Bolt,  Septebmer 25, 1886

Roll 31: Watchman’s House,  April 1887

Roll 32: Laborers Shanty for Southern Divisions,  June 9, 1887

Roll 32: Laborers Shanty for Southern Divisions,  June 9, 1887

Roll 33: Standard Section House for Southern Divisions,  April 1893

Roll 34: Lumber Inspector’s Hammer,  October 16, 1894

Roll 35: Sand House,  February 1895

Roll 36: Signal Tower,  December 29, 1898

Roll 37: Mail Sack Holder,  December 2, 1907

Roll 38: Directons for Erecting Columbian Mail Crane,  October 22, 1908

Roll 39: Proposed Train Order Telephone Booth  January 12, 1909

Roll 40: Standard Malleable Iron Lugs,  February 16, 1909

Roll 41: Standard Creo. Frame and Tank,  February 8, 1910

Roll 42: Warning Post,  March 3, 1911

Roll 43: Columbian Mail Crane Sketch,  May 8, 1912

Roll 44: Design ‘A’ Details of Station Settee for the L&NRR Co.,  June 17, 1912

Roll 45: Design ‘B’ Details of Station Settee for the L&NRR Co.,  June 17, 1912

Roll 46: Design ‘C’ Details of Station Settee for the L&NRR Co.,  August 1, 1912

Roll 47: Standard Scale House,  October 10, 1913

Roll 48: Standard Rail Crossing and Plank Crossing,  November 24, 1913

Roll 49: Ellis Patent Passenger Bumping Post,  January 28, 1914

Roll 49: Ellis Patent Freight Bumping Post with Concrete Foundation and Stand,  January 28, 1914

Roll 50: Mail Bag Catcher and Mail Crane,  May 2, 1914

Roll 51: Standard Steel Standpipe,  July 6, 1914

Roll 52: Plan of Preposed Steel Standpipe,  July 10, 1914

Roll 53: Car and Method for Arranging Tracks for Coal Delivery — Nashville Pumping Station,  August 22, 1914

Roll 54: Standard 10,000 Gallon Water Tank,  September 17, 1914

Roll 55: Kevel for Tying Boats,  Septebmer 29, 1914

Folder 56: Standard Tie Inspection Hammer,  August 11, 1915

Roll 57: Pneumatic Derrick Car,  December 10, 1915

Roll 58: Plan of Camp Car No. 40098 — Valuation Department,  October 27, 1916

Roll 59: Standard Dipper Tooth,  June 12, 1918

Roll 60: Hog Watering Device,  August 22, 1918

Roll 61: Standard Watchmans House,  October 1918

Roll 62: Details and Mounting Methods for Electric Lighted Danger Signs,  December 12, 1918

Roll 63: Standard Section House for Foreman,  February 1919

Roll 64: Standard Tie Inspection Hammer,  March 7, 1919

Roll 65: Standard Tie Inspection Hammer,  May 14, 1919

Roll 66: File Case for Chief Clerk Office of Chief Engineer L&NRR Co.,  June 3, 1919

Roll 67: Standard Hog Watering Device,  June 5, 1919

Roll 68: File Case for Bridge Engineering Department L&NRR Co.,  June 7, 1919

Roll 69: Plan of Rail Unloader,  July 24, 1920

Roll 70: Standard Concrete Mile Posts,  January 25, 1922

Roll 71: See Box 1

Roll 72: See Box 1

Roll 73: See Box 1


Subject Headings

Architects – Kentucky – Louisville.

Architecture – Designs and plans.

Architecture – Alabama

Architecture – Illinois.

Architecture – Indiana.

Architecture – Missouri.

Architecture – Ohio.

Building trades – Kentucky – Louisville.

Business enterprises – Kentucky – Louisville.

Construction industry – Kentucky – Louisville.

Engineers – Kentucky – Louisville.

Industrial buildings – Alabama.

Industrial buildings – Illinois.

Industrial buildings – Indiana.

Industrial buildings – Kentucky.

Industrial buildings – Missouri.

Industrial buildings – Ohio.

Industrial design.

Industries – Kentucky – Louisville.

Louisville (Ky.) – Buildings, structures, etc.

Madisonville Hartford & Eastern Railroad (Railroad)

Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway (Railroad)

Nashville (Tenn.) – Buildings, structures, etc.

Railroad stations.

Railroads – Alabama.

Railroads – Illinois.

Railroads – Indiana.

Railroads – Kentucky – Louisville.

Railroads – Missouri.

Railroads – Ohio.

Railroads – Tennessee.

Railroad tracks.

Railway mail service – United States.


Technological innovations.


Transportation – Alabama.

Transportation – Illinois.

Transportation – Indiana.

Transportation – Kentucky.

Transportation – Missouri.

Transportation – Ohio.

Transportation – Tennessee.

Water-supply engineering.

[1] In 1880 the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway experienced an aggressive and hostile stock take-over by the L&N. The two companies operated separately until 1957 when the two railways finally merged.

[2] The Madisonville Hartford & Eastern Railroad was formed by L&N in 1905 and operated under this name until 1912 when it was subsumed by the L&N. The L&N owned all of the MH&ERR stock and the line operated as a connection with the Morganfield Branch (near Madisonville, through Hopkins, Muhlenberg, and Ohio counties) crossing the Owensboro and Nashville Line at Moorman to a connection with the Fordsville Branch of the Louisville, Henderson and St. Louis Railway (L.H. & St. L.) at Ellmitch, Kentucky. The line was a total of 55.49 miles. The line was created with the intention of creating a shorter route between Louisville and the coal fields western Kentucky.