Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lake Shore Electric Railway Ad – April 1, 1931

At left is an attractive ad for the Lake Shore Electric Railway, which ran in the Lorain Journal on April 1, 1931 – 84 years ago this month. It's a nice reminder that there was a time when you could board an interurban car and enjoy a carefree ride to destinations all over northern Ohio. As the ad says, "Big comfortable steel cars operated by experts get you there safely and quickly and with the greatest ease and comfort."

It's a real pity we don't have anything like that today. Over the years during my daily commute to Cleveland, I've taken the bus and driven my own car. Neither has been very satisfying, although I could at least sleep on the bus (much to the annoyance of the person next to me).

If you're interested in learning more about the Lake Shore Electric Railway, spend some time on Drew Penfield's Lake Shore Rail Maps website. He has the route from Cleveland to Berlin Heights broken down into separate sections (such as Avon Lake, Sheffield Lake, etc.)

Each section has interesting and informative text along with rarely seen photographs, some from the archives of local historian and archivist Dennis Lamont.

Best of all, each section has its own Google map link with all the stops indicated, as well as a list of the stops. It's a handy reference for historians when the only address available for a long-gone local business along Route 6 is a stop number such as "Stop 109" (which happens to be the location of both the Pueblo and the Lorain Country Club).

My father was born in 1921, so he remembered the interurbans well and used to talk about them. On the other hand, my mother was born in 1927 and rarely got out of Lorain in her early years. So she has no memories of riding the interurbans before they went out of business in 1938, and were replaced by buses.

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