Interurbanland ~ Monday, August 05, 2013
Ice skating took us back to Ohio this summer. In particular, to Troy Ohio, near Dayton. A little research revealed that these cities were once joined by the Dayton and Troy Electric Railway, which extended farther north to Piqua, and ultimately became part of a joint multi-line north-south service through western Ohio, called the Lima Route.
There's not much left of the D&T but getting a copy of this book to read on the plane gave a better idea where the line ran. (And a local booklet by the chamber of commerce, which I expected to just list restaurants and so forth, actually added some useful historical details and maps). There are a lot of interesting buildings in Troy OH that go as far back as the interurban era.
From across the river, here's the county courthouse and an old powerhouse.
There's a mural commemorating transportation history, including an interurban car and a canal boat.
And other interesting details around town.
Dayton has a trolleybus system, which we saw the overhead for, but did not actually see any trolleybusses running. It also has a very nice Museum/Park, the Carillon Historical Park, which specializes in things invented or manufactured in Dayton, of which there have been quite a few (most famously the Wright brothers built their airplane in their bike shop in Dayton). There are several well-preserved pieces of railroad and trolley equipment.
Including a classic wooden interurban that you can walk through.
Here's a canal lock:
There's also a big exhibit about cash registers,
And lots of other local products and inventions. This colorful building is nearby and an interesting place to get lunch.
We happened to hit a weekend with a railroad-themed festival, so there were some special things to see and do.
After the skating was done, we headed to Ft Wayne, IN to meet some friends with kids at the local Children's Zoo, which I have to say is a pretty respectable zoo for a medium-sized city.
It also has a train, merry-go-round, and various other things you can ride.
It was a pretty hot afternoon, and ice-cream seemed to be called for. An internet search showed that Zesto's is a local favorite, so we decided to check them out.
I noticed some tell-tale curving lines in the pavement, which proved to ghost-tracks, paved over streetcar rails that actually poked through to be visible in one place.
(Zesto's web page's "then" picture shows tracks already paved over, but overhead still up for trolleybusses).
Next we turned back east towards Washington DC, but that's for another post.
I'll just add that the Skating team put on a pretty awesome show, which I only got a few quick phone-pictures of because I was working props.