By Brett Dunbar
Bucyrus was a little more difficult in that the interurban depots changed locations several times. The complicating factor was that there were two interurban lines in Bucyrus, so at sometimes they had separate depots.
The original Ohio Central Traction Company depot in Bucyrus didn’t open until January 8, 1900, despite the line being completed to the square on 9/11/1899. The depot was in the J. E. Kern Drug Store, located at 117 South Sandusky Street. Tickets from 9/11/1899 to 1/8/1900 could be purchased at Birk Brother’s Drug Store on East Mansfield Street.
On March 4, 1907, the OCT was absorbed into the Cleveland Southwestern and Columbus Railway and as a consequence, an Electric Package Agency was also opened in the drug store, which handled light package/freight service, beginning on January 2, 1908.
On January 18, 1908, a wye or Y track was installed on the square to turn the big interurban cars around (single-end operation).
Bucyrus Ohio Interurban Depot Moves Around
Now things get sorta messy. On October 27, 1908, the Columbus, Marion, and Bucyrus interurban line reached the public square via Poplar Street. The CM&B had their own depot, which they rented in the Hotel Royal (westernmost office room near the southwest corner of the square).
On April 23, 1909, the CM&B moved out of the Hotel Royal and joined the CSW at Kern’s Drug Store, but only temporarily.
On November 10, 1909, the CM&B moved out of the drug store and went to the South Room in the Deal House, along with a Wells Fargo & Express Office. The Deal House was located on the southeast corner of the square and is gone.
It wasn’t until July 1, 1914, that both interurban companies opened a joint-depot together in the Hotel Royal (westernmost office room). It would remain there until January 1, 1931. After that, there was no ticket office or waiting room for either interurban as tickets were then sold only on cars. The CSW was abandoned on January 31, 1931 and the last car that ran was #206.
On November 12, 1930, the Columbus, Delaware, and Marion Electric Company purchased outright the CM&B and so technically it is the CD&M running into Bucyrus after this date.
Due to the CSW abandonment, and lack of freight interchange with the CD&M, the CD&M began suffering large financial losses.
The CD&M’s last car in Bucyrus ran August 21, 1933, car #501 – one of the “Red Bird” cars.
There was also a freight depot built in Bucyrus for that very freight interchange. It was one lot south of the Hotel Royal on Poplar Street and is long gone and is mainly a parking lot today (2 lots south of the square on the east side of Poplar). It opened on October 2, 1916 for the first freight run for the CSW.
Galion Hosted OCT Where Pizza Hut is Located
Galion hosted the OCT’s original powerhouse, carbarns, and repair shop. It was located where Pizza Hut is now on the northwest corner of Harding Way West and Rt. 598. The powerhouse portion was discontinued in 1910 due to the CSW supplying 23,000 Volt AC transmission lines from Elyria and later MELCO, but the building and carbarns remained there until the end, along with a substation.
Galion had 3 depot locations over the years and also had a freight depot. Originally tickets were sold at Liggett’s Drug Store but a formal depot opened on January 8, 1900 in a little room tucked away in the southeast corner of Galion’s square.
On February 23, 1917, the depot moved to a building on the northeast corner of North Liberty and Lincoln Way (Harding Way East) along with a freight depot in the rear of the property.
On September 1, 1928, the depot moved to the Galion Hotel at 132 Harding Way East and the freight depot went out to the carbarns site.
Crestline Depot Located in a House
Crestline was very simple. The line reached Crestline 12/25/1901 and the depot was in a house on the west side of South Thoman Street just across from Lincoln. That home burned on March 11, 1912 and so the depot moved to a home on the southeast corner of Thoman and Lincoln, now gone. There was a freight platform there too.
Mansfield carbarns were for the streetcar line and the Mansfield-Shelby interurban only. The original August 1887 carbarns were located on the northwest corner of Sixth and Main. Those collapsed in September of 1900 and so the new carbarns were built and opened by November 1900 on the southwest corner of East Fourth and Scott Street. After buses took over in 1937, the buses were stored there. The structure burned to the ground in 1947 and was a total loss.
APPENDIX I: BUCYRUS TIMELINE OF TRACTION
August 19, 1891: Martin Deal of Bucyrus promotes and drives the idea for an electric interurban line to be constructed from Bucyrus to Galion.
October 2, 1891: The Bucyrus and Galion Suburban Electric Railway is incorporated.
Franchises are granted, minor grading is done, but ultimately the project stalls completely.
May 1, 1897: W. E. Haycox and B. F. Perkins obtain all old Suburban Electric franchises and plan a new electric company.
May 18, 1899: New company takes an option for land from the Crawford County commissioners for Seccaium Park.
April 5, 1899: The Ohio Central Traction Company is officially incorporated.
August 16, 1899: First trip from Galion public square to Seccaium Park is made.
August 25, 1899: OCT opens to the “fairgrounds stop” at Whetstone and Galion Streets.
August 26, 1899: OCT opens to the T&OC crossing on Galion Street.
Tickets go on sale at Birk Brothers Drug Store, East Mansfield Street.
August 31, 1899: OCT opens to the intersection of Galion and Walnut Streets.
September 11, 1899: OCT opens to Bucyrus public square.
January 8, 1900: OCT ticket office established at J. E. Kern’s Drug Store, 117 South Sandusky Avenue, J. E. Kern agent.
July 29, 1905: The Columbus, Marion, and Bucyrus Railroad Company is incorporated. At first it was to run as a subsidiary of the Columbus, Delaware, and Marion Electric Railroad Company.
March 4, 1907: The Ohio Central Traction Company is absorbed into the Cleveland Southwestern and Columbus Electric Railway.
January 2, 1908: Electric Package Agency opens, J. E. Kern agent.
January 18, 1908: Y or wye track installed on the public square to turn interurban cars.
August 3, 1908: CM&B operates from “Allen’s”, south of Bucyrus, to Marion.
August 14, 1908: CM&B service begins from Poplar and Marion Road to Marion.
August 29, 1908: CM&B opens farther north to Poplar and Center Streets.
September 5, 1908: CM&B opens to Poplar and Charles Streets.
October 27, 1908: CM&B reaches Bucyrus public square, golden spike ceremony held.
CM&B rents room in Hotel Royal for temporary depot – no agent assigned.
April 23, 1909: The CM&B depot is moved temporarily to the J. E. Kern Drug Store with the Cleveland Southwestern. J. E. Kern is joint agent.
November 1, 1909: Wells Fargo & Express Office opened in South Room of the Deal House, E. J. Saiter is agent.
November 10, 1909: CM&B depot moves to the South Room of the Deal House, in with the Wells Fargo and Express Office.
E. J. Saiter is Wells Fargo and CM&B agent.
May 16, 1913: The Columbus, Marion, and Bucyrus Railroad Company officially becomes the Columbus, Marion, and Bucyrus Railway Company.
June 6, 1914: CM&B ticket office and waiting room moves to an office in the Hotel Royal, to be used as a joint interurban depot with the CSW. Wells Fargo & Express stays in the Deal House.
June 30, 1914: Wells Fargo & Express Office’s last day in Bucyrus.
July 1, 1914: The Cleveland Southwestern moves to the Hotel Royal with the CM&B to make a joint ticket office and waiting room. Harry Myers is joint agent.
July 27, 1916: Construction begins on the interurban freight depot in Bucyrus, on South Poplar Street on the Conklin lot, behind the Hotel Royal.
October 2, 1916: The interurban freight depot opens for the first freight run on the Cleveland Southwestern. A. H. and John Gallagher, agents.
May 10, 1923: New building for the CSW stop built at Seccaium Park.
May 5, 1924: The Cleveland Southwestern and Columbus Railway officially becomes the Cleveland Southwestern Railway & Light Company.
November 3, 1930: Malo Brothers of Marion, junk dealers, purchase the CM&B.
November 12, 1930: The Columbus, Delaware, and Marion Electric Company purchases the CM&B from Malo Brothers.
January 1, 1931: Bucyrus interurban depot closes; tickets sold on cars only.
January 31, 1931: The Cleveland Southwestern Railway & Light Company is abandoned. Last car was #206.
August 21, 1933: The Columbus, Delaware, and Marion (CM&B) is abandoned. Last car is #501.
Known agents throughout the years:
J. E. Kern, E. J. Saiter, J. P. Shunk, Harry Myers, A. H. Gallagher, John Gallagher, Ben Sharp, W. C. Bailey, A. W. Bair, Harvey F. Gerhart, Leon Rick, E. E. Shumaker, A. H. Sheldon, L. E. Welch, W. C. Nye.
Contact Brett Dunbar
The Crawford County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society would like to thank Brett Dunbar for his work researching Crawford County history.
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