Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The New York Central Railroad in Sandusky

The history of railroads that operated in Sandusky is a long story involving many mergers and acquisitions. On September 17, 1835, ground was broken in Sandusky for the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad. This line was a predecessor of the Big Four Railroad, which was active in Sandusky in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

In 1906 the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad acquired the Big Four (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Company), and in 1914, the company changed its name to the New York Central System. That same year, the New York Central merged with the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway to form the New York Central Railroad. Below is an undated postcard of the New York Central crossing Sandusky Bay, just north of Medusa Cement in Bay Bridge.

You will recall that in an earlier blog post, we learned that the Amtrak Station was originally built for the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway, and was used by the New York Central for many years.

In 1968 the New York Central merged with the Pennsylvania Railroad to form the Penn Central, which went bankrupt by 1970.

From the 1920s through the 1960s, members of the Lake Shore Pioneer Chapter, New York Central Veterans, had reunions at Cedar Point. Below is a picture of a souvenir plate from the 1934 Reunion of the Lake Shore Pioneer Chapter of New York Central Veterans, now in the collections of the Follett House Museum.

In the Twin Anniversary Edition of the Sandusky Register Star News, dated November 24, 1947, Paul Laning provides a history of Steam Railroads in Erie County, up to that point in time. For more information about railroads in Ohio, there area number of books available for loan through the ClevNet system at the Sandusky Library.


Dave said...

Hello, back in the 60's there was a drawbridge device in the cove area (boat houses) behind the city building in Sandusky. I remember watching the trains go by whilst watching my dad play softball down there. Do you have the dates in which the device was built, years of operation and when it was removed. I have a picture of it taken in the 70's but I can't find it. Thank you,

Sandusky Library Archives Research Center said...

The original drawbridge was built in 1853. The track and drawbridge operated until the late 1970s or early 1980s; the exact ending date is unclear. If a reader has information on this, please feel free to post.

Dave said...

Thank you for the information. If I come across the picture I took, I'll send it to you. If I remember right, it was taken from a pretty interesting angle.