Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Winter Races on Central Avenue

An earlier blog entry reported on horse racing at the original Erie County Fairgrounds, located at what is now Cable Park in Sandusky. But there also has been horse racing on the other side of town, but of a different sort. For a few winters around 1900, Central Avenue, between Monroe and North Depot Streets, became known as the "speedway," where local stables brought their best horses and drivers for races on the snowy pavement. (Central Avenue had only recently been paved.)

An article in the Register newspaper on December 18, 1901 described plans for a season of racing on the Avenue, described as "without a doubt one of the best in this section of the country. It is about a half mile long and is plenty wide enough for four horses to come down abreast." (You can see from the photo above that this was an accurate claim.) It described the leading stables in the area, and the prospects for racing that season.

Do you think today would be a good day for a sleigh race?


Jason Werling said...

Central Ave is still known as the "speedway" except is now cars that see how fast they can get before they get to Tyler from Monroe.

It would have been neat to see those horses running down the street.

Do you have any more photos?

Amy Wagner said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog!!! I am so excited to know about your great wealth of history on this blog!! I will be back again and again!!

Genevieve said...

Did you notice the guy on the right, looking sideways to check on his position? What a cool old photo!