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The Cleveland and Eastern Interurban Historical Society and Museum
P.O. Box 34 - Chardon, Ohio 44024
ceihsmu@gmail.com


News and Events

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January Business Meeting Canceled

Due to the recent surge in cases of the new Covid Omicron Variant, our Business Meeting for January 6th has been canceled. Please click Our Home Page to view our schedule for the year.

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C & E Publishes Event Schedule for 2022

The Cleveland and Eastern Interurban Historical Society has set it's Museum and Business Meeting Schedule for 2022. Please click Home Page to view the complete schedule. Due to the Covid situation, you may want to check our website on the day of an event to insure it has not been canceled.

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Another Book Is Published About The Lake Branch of B & O Railroad

For the second time, this year, a new book has been published about the Lake Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (the Chessie System) which ran from Fairport, Ohio to Warren, Ohio. The book,Ghost Rails XIX B&O Lakers, was written by Wayne Cole, an author of numerous books about the interurbans and other railroads which ran in Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

The C & E Interurban connected with the B & O in Chardon and Middlefield in 1899 which was vital for the Interurban's construction and later business. You can find further information on our Museum Shop Page!

   

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Dan Rager To Give Talk About The Cleveland & Eastern Interurban

This presentation is scheduled for March 10th at 7:00pm at the Chardon Branch of the Geauga County Public Library, 100 East Park Street, Chardon, Ohio.

Dr. Dan Rager will be presenting a compilation from his first and second books The Maple Leaf Route (Volumes 1 and 2). These books describe the history of the line in Geauga County. He will include new information not previously published including some recently found artifacts. In addition, the demise of the interurbans and street cars will be discussed and a short film clip will be shown describing the demolition of rail cars and how local politicians benefited from it.

Registration for the talks will open on December 20th through the Geauga County Library System.

(A further description of both books are found on our Museum Shop page.)

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C & E Website Updates Museum Shop Page

We have recently updated our "Museum Shop" page to show what is available about the C & E, other Northeastern Ohio interurbans, and connected railroads.

The page now provides a detailed description of 11 books, 3 DVDs, a large wall map of former Geauga County railroads (including the C & E), and even a C & E Christmas tree ornament!

The items are available from listed publishers or authors. A few items are also available as gifts for your C & E Interurban Museum donations. The page reflects some information gathered over the years by members of the Chesterland Historical Foundation, the C & E Interurban Historical Society, the Chagrin Historical Society, the Gates Mills Historical Society and many others.

Take a look and enjoy!

         

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Final phase of Maple Highland Trail completed!

On September 16th, Chardon celebrated the completion of the Trail, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Trail Head at 320 Park Ave in Chardon, Ohio.

The Maple Highland Trail is the recreational bike trail in Geauga County that runs from Colburn Road, in the north, to Swine Creek Reservation, in the south. It follows much of the roadbed of the former Lake Branch of the B & O Railroad (Chessie System) which ran from Fairport Harbor to Warren, Ohio. (Download Trail Map). There are connections in the north to the Greenway Corridor in Lake County, which runs to Jackson Street in Painesville.

Dan Rager, in his book, All Aboard The Maple Leaf Route, Vol. 2 reveals much about this area.

As you stand at the Park Ave.Trail Head, you are just south of the beginning of what was once a large 14-track rail yard. The Cleveland and Eastern Railway had connections with the yard which enabled the transportation of coal, equipment, supplies, and early passengers, during the construction phase of the Interurban. It also provided a valuable freight interchange in the ensuing years.

Looking north, you will see an odd brick building which Dan revealed was the "brine house" used in the purification of the water for the steam engines. This is the only structure left from that rail yard. The City of Chardon is currently investigating whether it will be practical to preserve that historic building.

At a location a few yards beyond that building on the opposite side of the trail, was the location of a double-spouted 50,000-gallon water tank used by the railroad to fill locomotives.



If you walk south on the Trail, the former B & O right of way will be on your right. Approximately 2/3rds of the way between Park Avenue and South Street (State Route 44) the Interurban crossed the railroad on an elevated trestle bridge and continued east to South Street where it then turned north as it continued to Chardon Square.

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New book about the Lake Branch of the B & O Railroad is published

Dan Rager, a member of the Cleveland & Eastern Interurban Historic Society, has published a new book about the railroad that once ran through Chardon and Middlefield.

The book, Building the Lake Branch, Complete History, 1835-2021, Vol.4, is a comprehensive history of the line that eventually became the Lake Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (Chessie System), and ran from Fairport Harbor through Painesville to Youngstown, Ohio.

The publication explains the complex development of railroads in the region. It describes how the Lake Branch, which had a dozen different names over its 185-year history, evolved from a narrow-gauge passenger and freight railroad into a major standard-gauge mover of iron ore to the steel mills of Youngstown and Pittsburgh and hauler of coal to the port at Fairport Harbor on Lake Erie.

The Cleveland & Eastern had connections with the B & O in Chardon and Middlefield. This allowed the C & E to transfer materials and equipment during its construction. The Chardon connection also allowed the early C & E steam engines to access the B & O's water tank and was later used to transfer coal to its power plant in Gates Mills.

The book contains 300 color and black & white photos, maps, blueprints, and ‘then and now’ photos. It describes the lives of those who lived and worked on the road as well as the events that took place. It has separate chapters detailing the history of each village through which the line passed including current photos showing remnants of the line. In addition, it contains a unique listing of 546 Ohio railroads and 930 Lake Erie vessels.

You can purchase it via email from the Maple Leaf Publishing Company, P.O. Box 144, Chardon, OH 44024, or online from lulu.com. It is also available via email from Mountain Road Bikes, 109 South St, Chardon, OH 44024 or at the Painesville Railroad Museum, 475 Railroad Street, Painesville, OH 44077. The book is 310 pages and is priced at $65.00 plus $4.95 for shipping and handling.

Dan Rager is giving public talks about this book. See Talks for details.

Table of Contents.



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New interactive map of the C & E available

If you are interested in seeing a current map showing where the Cleveland and Eastern (C&E) once ran, you can now view it with NE Ohio Right-of-Way made with Google My Maps.

This map shows the former railroads and interurbans which once crossed Northeastern Ohio. You can zoom in and out; toggle between map and satellite views; and identify present-day roads, rivers, establishments, landmarks etc.

You can view the Cleveland & Eastern by clicking the NE Ohio Right-of-Way . Once you enter the page, you can zoom within that view or select other views listed under the "untitled layer" or use the search fuction at the top of the page. There are 7 preset views of the C & E; 2 views of the Cleveland and Chagrin Falls Electric (Eastern Ohio Traction Company); and over 475 other views of former railroad right-of-ways.


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The Cleveland & Eastern Interurban Museum was featured at this year's May Open House
at the Chesterland Historical Village

The Museum, which is in the basement of the Historic Town Hall, operates a miniature train display, shows videos about the line, and displays many photos, and artifacts from the C & E and other Northern Ohio interurbans. We also sell books, maps, and other items to support the Society.

Visitors also viewed the original Scotland station that served as one of interurban stops in Chester. A Railway Express baggage wagon, recovered and restored by Interurban Society members, was also on display. Other historic buildings were also open. Members Jim Rivers, Joe Laskowski, and Bill Jackson were available to answer questions.





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The C & E Joins Amazon Smile!

To encourage donations, the Cleveland & Eastern recently joined the list of qualifying charities at Amazon Smile.

Whenever you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to a charitable organization of your choice, at no additional cost to you. Eligible purchases are indicated as Eligible for AmazonSmile donation on the product detail pages under each product listing.

If you desire to select C & E as your charity, go to https://smile.amazon.com/ and search for and select the Cleveland & Eastern Historical Society and Museum. This will become your default charity on your Amazon account. You may always change your choice to another of the many other charities on their list. You will, however, have to contact Amazon to revert to a no charity status.

Until now, the C & E has only received financial support through yearly membership fees, purchases from our small museum shop, and voluntary donations from museum visitors.

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Members Reminded About Dues

     Members were recently reminded to renew their annual membership with the C & E Historical Society. This year you can to send your check to: Jim Rivers, 540 County Line Road, Gates Mills, Ohio 44040. Checks should be made payable to:The Cleveland and Eastern Interurban Historical Society and Museum.

If you are not member, we encourage you to join, and help support our mission! Members receive our monthly newsletter, minutes of our monthly meetings, as well as discounts on merchandise and special events. Even if
you may be outside of our geographic region, your support will be greatly appreciated!

You may find more information at About Our Organization which has a link to our membership form. Please send the form and check to Jim Rivers at the above address rather than our P.O. Box.

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The People's Automobile - A Pictorial History Of Ohio's Early Rail, Volume 3 by Dan Rager,
published last July, adds to the historical record of Interurbans in Northern Ohio.

The book contains hundreds of rare photographs of the Cleveland & Eastern, Cleveland & Chagrin Falls, Lakeshore Electric, and Southwestern System railways. Captions provide a detailed analysis of each photo. The publication covers the interurban era in Northern Ohio, between the 1890 's and 1950's.The 12-chapter, 102-page (8-1/2 by 11") book includes a table of contents, glossary, and system maps.

The book available at the Maple Leaf Publishing Company, P.O. Box 144, Chardon, OH 44024, Email: mapleleafroute@gmail.com. The price is $36.95 USA, plus $4.50 for shipping and handling. The book will also be available at Lulu.com.

Dan Rager has also published two other books about the Cleveland and Eastern Interurban: The Maple Leaf Route Vols. 1 & 2.


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William Meyer and Alex Vayda Donate Rare
Company Ledger to the C & E Museum

      William Meyer and Alex Vayda of Hambden Township recently donated the financial ledger of The Cleveland Interurban Railroad to the C & E Museum. The ledger records cash receipts and disbursements of the company from January 1913 to January 1923.

     The Cleveland Interurban Railroad was a company created by the Van Swearingen Brothers who also developed Shaker Heights, built the Terminal Tower, and acquired vast railroad holdings across the United States until the Depression. The Cleveland Interurban Railroad initially connected the Cleveland street car system, via Coventry Road, to the original right of way along Shaker Boulevard. This company eventually became the Shaker Rapid Transit which is, now, RTA's Red and Green Lines.

     They also donated The Shaker Heights Rapid Transit by James Toman. This book is the history of Shaker Rapid from it's beginning to the present day. The C & E Interurban Historical Society certainly appreciates these two donations that advance it's mission to collect and preserve artifacts of electric rail systems in Northeast Ohio.





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American Railway Express Baggage Wagon
Continues To Interest Museum Visitors!

This type wagon was commonly used by Interurban Railroads to move freight to and from the trolley cars at stops along the line. The Museum's freight wagon was found in the Cleveland flats by member Dick Philpott, who saved it from the scrappers and put it in storage until it could be rebuilt.

      In 2013 Dick gave the wagon to the Museum to be restored and put on display. Dick and fellow Museum member Jim Rivers moved the wagon to Jim's work shop where, over the next two and one half years, the wagon was completely dismantled and rebuilt. All of the wood except one piece was replaced and all of the metal parts were refinished. Even the wheels were completely rebuilt.



On April 2, 2015, returned to its original condition, the wagon was moved to its new home in the Cleveland & Eastern Scotland Station at the Cleveland and Eastern Museum / The Chesterland Historical Foundation.






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UPDATED 12/27/2021