Sunday, September 07, 2008

The "Big Four"

The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Company, also known as the “Big Four,” was formed on June 30, 1889 by the consolidation of the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis Railway, the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Chicago Railway and the Indianapolis and St. Louis Railway Co.

The 1899 advertisement below suggests that the Big Four was the best line for traveling to Sandusky and the Islands. After arriving in Sandusky on the train, passengers could then connect with a steamer to go on to Cedar Point, the Lake Erie Islands or Detroit.

The Big Four eventually became part of the New York Central Railroad. Later the New York Central merged with Pennsylvania Lines to become the Penn Central Railroad. By 1976 Penn Central merged with other eastern railroads to become Conrail.

Above are pictured four workers on the “Big Four” Railway. Railroads have been an important part of the history of the Sandusky area, beginning with the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad, which was the first railroad to be built and operated in Ohio. Ground was broken for the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad on September 17, 1835.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

My great-grandfather (my paternal grandmother's father) was chief blacksmith for the Big Four Railroad. I have a photo postcard of him in the blacksmith shop. Thanks for posing this information

Patsy Redden said...

I liked the picture of the old train and railroad workers. Would it be possible for me to use it in a book I'm writing about my g-g-grandfather? If so, how should the credit line read? The book is to be published.
Thanks,
Patsy Redden

Sandusky Library Archives Research Center said...

It is possible, but there are rights fees involved. More information is available at the llibrary's website here: http://www.sandusky.lib.oh.us/archives/policies.php, and here: http://www.sandusky.lib.oh.us/archives/reproduction.php, or you could call the library at 419-625-3834.

Anonymous said...

Is the a listing anywhere of men who worked on the Big Four? I had always heard that me great-grandfather was a conductor on this train. His name was James Dunlap Thompson. Any info. Would've greatly appreciated. Yhank you.

Debbie Thompson Redding

Anonymous said...

Is there a listing anywhere of men who worked on the Big Four? I had always heard that my great-grandfather was a conductor on this train. His name was James Dunlap Thompson. Any info. Would greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Debbie Thompson Redding

Anonymous said...

Here is a link that lists Railroad employees in Wabash, Indiana:

http://www.ingenweb.org/inwabash/railroad-empl-ak.html

To date, there is not such a list for railroad employees in Sandusky, Ohio.