Saturday, December 16, 2017
When Railroad Tracks Ran Through Downtown Sandusky
Beginning in the 1850s, when a landfill project added more land to downtown Sandusky, moving the shoreline well north of Water Street, railroad lines traveled along the north end of downtown Sandusky, along the bay.
This view of the foot of Columbus Avenue was taken from the water, around 1900-10. Sandusky’s waterfront has been the hub of a variety of modes of transportation in Sandusky, including horse and buggies, boats, trains, the interurban, and later automobiles, motorcycles, and even Segwave tours. The West House hotel was popular with tourists in Sandusky for many years. The State Theatre is now at the site of the former West House hotel.
Below, we see the train tracks on Railroad Street (now Shoreline Drive) in downtown Sandusky about 1908.
The A. Booth and Company’s fish house and the Johnson’s Island boat landing were just north of the tracks. A water tower on the roof of the Hinde and Dauch factory is visible in the distance.
The 1905 Sanborn Map shows three different railroads in operation through downtown Sandusky at that time: the Baltimore and Ohio, the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Company (later known as the “Big Four”), and the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway.
A recent view of this location can be seen at Google Maps.
Look at the huge crowd gathered in downtown Sandusky to hear Theodore Roosevelt when he visited here during his unsuccessful race for the presidency in 1912:
Society has changed in many ways throughout the last one hundred years, but downtown Sandusky remains a popular destination for visitors and area residents alike. Visit the Sandusky Library to learn more about the city of Sandusky’s rich history. The website of the Erie County Historical Society hosts several historic walking tours of sites around town.