Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad Centennial

On September 17, 1835, ground was broken for the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad in Sandusky, Ohio. The foreword of the program for the Centennial Ceremony of the Founding of The Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad describes the exciting event.

These two pages from the souvenir program list the names of the persons who took part in the original ground breaking ceremony as well as the names of the people involved in the Centennial celebration:
Rev. T.J.C. Stellhorn gave the invocation at the Centennial Ceremony, which took place at Jackson Junior High School in Sandusky. After Mayor George C. Schade welcomed the attendees, Professor Harlow Lindley, secretary of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society addressed the group. The progress of railroads was discussed by C. G. Stevens, superintendent of the B & O Railway, and George T. Carlin of the Railway Express Agency spoke about the progress of railway express service.

A reenactment of General William H. Harrison turning over the first shovel of dirt at the 1835 groundbreaking ceremony took place, with Walter S. Brann representing General Harrison, who later would become President of the United States. Governor Martin L. Davey gave the address, followed by an oration by local historian Hewson L. Peeke. The Sandusky High School band provided music for the ceremony, and Rev. William F. Murphy closed with the benediction.

A history of the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad is found at the website of the Mad River and Nickel Plate Railroad Museum. The Ohio Memory Online Scrapbook features an 1849 Annual Report of the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad .

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