Monday, October 17, 2016

Arlington Traction Co. – Part 1

Early last year, a Season Ticket for the Arlington Traction Co. (shown above) turned up on Ebay. As indicated on the ticket, it was located at 223 Foster Park Road, just east of Broadway and operated by Norman C. Muller.

There’s a small illustration of a train on the ticket, which got me wondering. What was the Arlington Traction Company anyway?

As usual, local historian and archivist Dennis Lamont – one of the two gentlemen involved with the planned Lake Shore Electric Railway museum in Avon Lake – had the answer.

As Dennis explained in an email, Norman C. Muller was “the guy that had the little trolley and the Cleveland streetcar out where the church is at Cooper Foster and Middle Ridge."

"He had sort of a “park” railroad, 2 foot gauge with little dinky cars you could just ride on.”

The Toonerville Trolley was featured in the comic strip
Toonerville Folks by Fontaine Fox
Apparently the train ran in a loop around the property, powered by overhead lines, just like a real trolley. It was jokingly referred to by Dennis as “Norm’s Toonerville Trolley.”

But besides operating the miniature train, Norman Muller also maintained a trolley museum of sorts on his property.

“The guy was a real collector of trolley stuff,” noted Dennis.

He must have been if he  had an actual former Cleveland streetcar on the property along with the miniature train. As Dennis explained, “That was his one full-sized car and it didn’t move.”

Here’s a photo of it, courtesy of Dennis.

So how did Mr. Muller end with an actual streetcar as part of his park? “Toon" in tomorrow to learn more about the history of his car.

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