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Pioneer Street Railroad

April 16, 1883, a franchise was granted to the Akron. Street Railway and Herdic Company--Ira M. Miller, president, Wm. Christy, secretary and treasurer, and John E. Metlin, superintendentto lay a railway track through Howard and Main streets, from Furnace street to the south corporation line, the franchise to continue for the period of 25 years. The line was constructed the same year, and successfully operated for some time, with an extension, in 1887, to Lake Side Park, on the east side of Summit Lake, about one mile south of the city limits, Mr. John Wilson, of the Sixth Ward, for several years, having run a half-hourly line of comfortable Herdic coaches, on Market street, between Howard street and Case avenue in the Sixth Ward.

First Railroad Station
When the railroads came to Akron in 1852, this wooden building was our first Union Depot. It was located on Mill opposite the intersection of Summit Street from 1852 to 1891.
 

 

Union Depot
From 1852, when the railroads first came to our city, until 1891 Akron had only a shabby, barn like structure (photo at top). In 1891 the Erie railroad made amends by erecting an ornate, $20,000 depot just south of the old building. Historian Samuel Lane approved, calling the new structure "as much of an ornament as the old wooden depot was an eyesore and reproach."

 

Union Depot
Union Depot was erected in 1891 on the site of the George D. Bates homestead, just below East Market Street. It served the community until 1950; then it was torn down during the summer of 1951. In the background in this 1905 photo are the Amelia Flats on Park Street, still in use but now called the Grace Park Apartments.
 

Valley Railroad Station
The Valley Depot was built in 1888 and located on West Market Street at Canal Street. There are three ventilators in this station to conduct smoke through the building from locomotive underneath.
 
 

The Valley Railroad Station
The Valley Railroad between Akron and Cleveland was completed in 1880. For the first years of its existence, the Valley had to load its passengers at Howard and Ridge, a situation which most Akronites considered terribly inconvenient. In 1888, however, the line solved the problem with the construction of a passenger station at Market and Canal Street. The picture above was taken shortly after 1890 and shows the station with the stone bridge that carried Market Street over the Ohio Canal.

 

First B.&O. Locomotive Exhibited in 1925
This 1832 locomotive appeared in the Akron Centennial on July 20, 1925. Left to Right: T.S. Shuor, E.L. Bangs, K.F. Wright, L.E. Galloway (all B.&O. officials). H.B. Yarnell, centennial parade secretary; E.E. Helm, centennial business manager, and Gilbert Hunter.
 
Graphics, stories, articles and other partial content are all Copyright ©2006-2011 Jeri Holland and other respective authors.