Cleveland, Southwest and Columbus Railway Company Interurban
The history of the community as well as that of a nation advances by its means of transportation.
There was a time in the history of Crestline when street cars
running on rails through the town and the countryside were of
utmost importance. to people living in the area. Railroads did
not touch many of the small communities because the cost of so
doing was beyond the recompense that could be demanded for its
service to is passengers. So a network of iron rails and electric
power lines and light weight cars for carrying the traveling
public were constructed to fill this need.
Many of those living in Crestline at the present time (July 1959) are unaware that an Interurban Electric Line was at one time a feature of the village life.
On November 12, 1891, the commissioners of the county granted
a franchise for the building of an electric road from Galion
to Bucyrus, to be known as the Suburban Electric Railway Company.
The financial depression of 1893 put a stop to all improvement
investments, but later the matter was taken up, and the work
of building commenced at Galion and gradually extended to Bucyrus.
On August 26, 1899, a regular train service was started from
Galion and ran as far as the T & O.C. tracks in Bucyrus.
On September 11 the track had been completed to the public square
and half-hourly service was established. Although the two cities
had a combined population of about 14,000 the business did not
justify so frequent service and it was soon reduced to hourly
Later the road was extended to Crestline and the following
year to Mansfield. It became the Cleveland, Southwest and Columbus
Railway Company, with through trains from Cleveland to Bucyrus.
The headquarters of the motive power and the car barns were located
There was "a tempest in the teapot" in our town
when the planned route of the Interurban through Crestline became
known. The Interurban officials wanted their line to run through
the center of Crestline. The Crestline Council objected to that
and the P.R.R, officials would not allow the line which was coming
from South Thoman Street to cross their tracks. So the station
was built at the corner of S. Thoman and Lincoln Ave. The building
which was the station is now occupied as a dwelling.
Later an electric road was incorporated which was known as
the Columbus, Marion and Bucyrus Elec., Ry. On August 10, 1908
regular interurban trains started from Bucyrus to Columbus which
made which made the connecting link at Bucyrus of and electric
Interurban line from Cleveland through Crestline, Bucyrus, Columbus
and Cincinnati. At first the road bed was rather rough and bumpy
and there were many grades and fills. Young passengers were thrilled
when they crossed "Shafer's Hollow" east of Crestline
on their way to Mansfield and the big overhead bridge south of
town above the Big 4 tracks (now the N.Y.C.) on their way to
Now this thrilling road of 50 years ago is gone. The only landmarks remaining to tell the story of Interurban Street Car days consists of two scarred and battered cement abutments on either side of South Wiley Street, and two larger and higher ones near by on either side of the N.Y.C. tracks. A large earth incline covered with trees and shrubs as well as poison ivy leads to one of these. When the road was in operation steel girders joined these two abutments and wooden tressels supported the longer bridge span between the pairs. The Albert Spanglers who live on South Wiley Street have these interesting landmarks as interesting background to their home with its beautiful lawn and orchard. Mr. Spangler grew up with the interurban and has a wonderful fund of stories concerning its development, its operation and its decline.