The Lake Shore Electric Interurban

The Lake Shore Electric interurban made the first trip on July 18, 1893 from Sandusky to Milan, illuminating sparks and electric arcs along its path, and sounding a shrill bell. The Lorain & Cleveland Railway Co. and the Sandusky, Milan & Norwalk Railway together became the Lorain & Cleveland Electric Railway, reaching from Cleveland to Toledo-Detroit, a 116 mile path. By 1907, the line operated 114 cars and 196.2 miles of track and carried over 5 million passengers. The entire trip took six hours, traveling at a speed of between 60 and 80 miles per hour.
After leaving the Lake Shore Electric Railway’s Cleveland Station at Public Square, the train started up West Superior Avenue. The route crossed the Cuyahoga River to Detroit Street and then Lake Avenue before running downhill to Edgewater Park. The Clifton Boulevard run lasted five miles, then reached the Rocky River station at Sloane and Detroit Roads. Turning under the Nickel Plate underpass, it skimmed through Bay Village and over the two longest trestles in the system, Cahoon and Huntington. The station canopy and car barns were located at Beach Park, Avon Lake.
Dover Village passengers were a mixed group of commuters to the city and country dwellers enjoying recreation. Sundays were the busiest days since picnickers had a choice of spots, such as Scenic Park in Rocky River Valley, Dover Bay Golf Course, Eagle Cliff, Avon Beach Park, Oak Point Pavilion, Crystal Beach Park, and Linwood Park. A trip all the way to Sandusky connected to ferries to Cedar Point, Kelley’s Island and Put-in-Bay. Special excursion fares ran to local lodges, county fairs, fishing trips, and theater parties.
The interurban changed the life of the Dover Village farmer. The trek opened sparsely settled land to real estate promoters. Cars clicked the rails through the western suburbs at a quick and reliable pace. Trolleys were luxurious for their time with natural cherry woodwork and wide leather seats. The smoking compartment was equipped with spittoons, water coolers, and card tables.
Lake Shore Electric filed bankruptcy on October 5, 1932. The last car left Public Square on May 15, 1938. Although only a few remnants of the routes remain today, the interurban will long be remembered. Perhaps, on a long summer night, the conductor’s pull of the shrill bell can still be heard in the distance.

I remember riding on the

I remember riding on the last trip from Avon Lake. Grandma B. as she was known then (Mrs. Burmiester mother of Fred Burmiester of Burmiester Funeral Homes) said we should all take this trip as it was a memory not to be forgotten. What I remember the most was those itchy mohair seat backs!

Interurban Electric Railways

Nice writeup on the Lake Shore Electric but few folks remember the "Green Line", The Cleveland & Southwestern, that ran right in front of where the library is today. Wave a rolled-up newspaper at the next car headed in the direction you wished to go and the motorman would stop, pick you up and away you'd go. Cleveland to the east and Elyria, Oberlin & Norwalk to the west, the outside world beckoned.

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