Sunday, August 07, 2016

The Mad River Block

The building at 1002-1018 West Adams Street consists of nine separate residential units. It was built in the mid-nineteenth century to provide housing for employees of the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad. You can this structure on the 1886 Sanborn Map:

Each rectangle represents a dwelling, which all share a common roof. The building was constructed of  brick, upon a stone foundation. There are stone lintels above each door and along the top and bottom of the windows.

Parapet walls are located at each end of the unit.

Prior to 1915, the addresses of the rowhouses went from 1202 to 1208 Adams Street. After 1915 the street numbers changed to 1002 to 1018 West Adams Street. The Mad River Block was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.  

Having the railroad run through Sandusky was very beneficial to the local economy. Goods could be shipped in and out of the area, travel was made easier, and hundreds  individuals found employment as mechanics, painters, engineers, conductors, and ticket agents. Paul Laning wrote a  history of steam railroads in Erie County in the Twin Anniversary Edition of the Sandusky Register Star News on November 24, 1947. This special edition newspaper is in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center both on microfilm, and in a bound copy.

Like the person in the song “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” some of your ancestors may have been working on the railroad, too.