Toledo Talk

Interurban Rail history

Since there is a good deal of historical knowledge on this board, I thought I would start here with a little history digging that I want to do in my free time.

Does anybody have any information or know where to look for information for the old Interurban Rail line that served NW Ohio in the early 20th century? This is the line that utilized the old Interurban Bridge in Waterville and I've been told that this line went through the front yard of the house I grew up in as the line went from Maumee to Downtown Toledo.

What I'm looking for are sites or books that contain system maps, photos, and locations of the old stations. One of the things I love doing is charting old routes and lines over a current map to picture a "before and after" setting. It would be neat if there are any remnants of the system (besides the bridge) still around or even in use as something else.

Thank you in advance for any information regarding this subject. I'm looking forward to spending a lot of my free time on this!

created by clt212 on Mar 04, 2014 at 03:16:45 pm     History     Comments: 19

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Comments ... #

ebay usually has copies of old publications devoted to local rail and interurbans

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Mar 04, 2014 at 03:53:27 pm     #  

Check with the Toledo History Museum, they can help you.It also was part of the old "Teeter and Wobble" see the historical marker at Sauters in Sylvania, location of the old roundhouse and station..
Toledo Edison bought the right of ways , closed the rails and kept the power lines running from Adrian to the river downtown. This power railroad provided electrical service to Sylvania and out before many rural area had the "high line"

posted by zeffer1940 on Mar 04, 2014 at 04:19:53 pm     #  

The Center for Archival Collections at BGSU has quite a few interesting items related to the history of regional transportation and the interurban system if you do not mind the drive from Toledo.

posted by historymike on Mar 04, 2014 at 04:37:36 pm     #  

enjoyeverysandwich posted at 02:53:27 PM on Mar 04, 2014:

ebay usually has copies of old publications devoted to local rail and interurbans

I'll check it out and see what I can find. Thanks.

posted by clt212 on Mar 04, 2014 at 04:51:16 pm     #  

zeffer1940 posted at 03:19:53 PM on Mar 04, 2014:

Check with the Toledo History Museum, they can help you.It also was part of the old "Teeter and Wobble" see the historical marker at Sauters in Sylvania, location of the old roundhouse and station..
Toledo Edison bought the right of ways , closed the rails and kept the power lines running from Adrian to the river downtown. This power railroad provided electrical service to Sylvania and out before many rural area had the "high line"

I used to work very close to there on Monroe Street and saw the historical sign by the tracks for the Kalamazoo line everyday. Is that the marker you're referring to or is there something in the Sautter's parking lot or on Main Street? Is the present line today the same path taken by the interurban line? Thanks.

posted by clt212 on Mar 04, 2014 at 04:53:26 pm     #  

historymike posted at 03:37:36 PM on Mar 04, 2014:

The Center for Archival Collections at BGSU has quite a few interesting items related to the history of regional transportation and the interurban system if you do not mind the drive from Toledo.

Some of the items in that link are exactly what I'm looking for. Unfortunately, I'm not living in the area currently. Thank you for that info and if I have some time when I travel up to Toledo in the near future, I'll see if I can make a visit to this part of BGSU.

posted by clt212 on Mar 04, 2014 at 04:54:51 pm     #  

You may also find this collection of interurban maps, station descriptions, and photos of use in your research too, clt212.

posted by historymike on Mar 04, 2014 at 06:18:52 pm     #  

The old interurban line used to go through the neighborhood I grew up in. Of course it was long gone by then. With Google Earth, it's pretty easy to see some areas of the line.
In my old neighborhood, it was pretty obvious. They built a road along to old right of way, and it's the only street in the area that doesn't follow the usual grid pattern, instead, it runs diagonally.

If you bring up Google Earth, zoom in on Reynolds Corners, (Reynolds road at Dorr St).
You can easily follow where the line ran south and west from there. Some of the roads that were built along the old right of way are, Adelbert, Blackburn, Tampa, Dulton, and Clarion.
I find it fascinating.

posted by JeepMaker on Mar 05, 2014 at 10:39:33 am     #  

BTW, when I was growing up, there was a nice old man, Mr. Edson, who lived at the corner of Sloan and Eton roads.
He used to work on the electric railroad, and he had, in his backyard, a full size working electric railroad, complete with overhead electric lines. He had several working trolley cars, including passenger cars as well as flatbed work type trains.
He even had Burma shave signs along the tracks, working switches etc. He would give neighborhood kids rides.
You can imagine how cool we thought that was.
He died sometime around 2005 or so, when in his 90's.

posted by JeepMaker on Mar 05, 2014 at 10:51:37 am     #  

Combining HistoryMike and JeepMaker's posts, the old Holland station was located where Clarion Road ends today. I can see way too much free time being spent on the information posted already.

posted by clt212 on Mar 05, 2014 at 11:06:52 am     #  

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Interurban+Rail+history

posted by a_fan on Mar 05, 2014 at 03:56:37 pm     #  

hey a_fan... where exactly does that link lead... i hit it and it seemed to go to a bogus site... i closed that window as fast as i could

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Mar 05, 2014 at 05:14:07 pm     #  

a_fan was being snarky, enjoyeverysandwich.

To a_fan: no need to play the snark card in every thread, bro. This was a friendly discussion about the history of the interurban system, and the original poster was looking to speed up the research process. I posted two links that would not be easily found without existing knowledge or sheer luck in picking the right search terms.

Peace out.

posted by historymike on Mar 05, 2014 at 05:25:13 pm     #   6 people liked this

Yeah, the "let me google it for you" got old quick.

posted by justread on Mar 05, 2014 at 07:12:33 pm     #   5 people liked this

I don't know all of the details, but I believe there was an interurban line from Toledo to Adrian. On the corner of Sylvania-Metamora & Allen roads, in Sylvania, there is an old electrical substation for it that is now in use as a house. Look at it in google maps, and you can see an unnatural curve northward in the trees, where the tracks turned toward Adrian. On streetview, you can barely see the building through the trees.

Hope this helps...I'm sure there is more info out there somewhere...

posted by Sohio on Mar 05, 2014 at 09:07:59 pm     #  

That Interurban that ended at Hill & Clarion was the T&I (Toledo & Indiana Electric Railway) which operated from 1903 to 1939. For years afterward the above corner was known as "Stop 16". There was a dance floor there where local polka bands entertained.

About a mile north-east is a grade where the tracks used to be in an area that was flood prone. It's on Tampa Street, which runs from Harrow to Fryer and Eton. The grade now has Toledo Edison poles and AT&T telecommunications equipment on it.

On the corner of Harrow and Fryer are two old train stop markers built of concrete blocks.

posted by flinty on Mar 08, 2014 at 02:01:58 pm     #  

Tampa, Harrow, Eton, that area was my neighborhood growing up. I used to live on Vanderbilt.

posted by JeepMaker on Mar 10, 2014 at 09:38:20 am     #  

Good stuff guys. All in good humour...Where is Dr. Sheldon Cooper when you really need him?

posted by Mariner on Mar 10, 2014 at 09:48:29 am     #  

This building at Wayne and West Dudley in Maumee is a former inter-urban station.

As a kid, the tracks and the original brick pavers used to pop through the asphalt surface all the time.

Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interurban_Bridge

https://www.toledoblade.com/frontpage/2007/05/27/Toledo-was-hub-of-interurban-100-years-ago.html

posted by SavageFred on Mar 12, 2014 at 12:09:20 pm     #