Rise of the Interurban
By the start of the 20th century, electric rails had become the country’s newest fascination. Aspiring entrepeneurs built a line from Cleveland to Wooster, giving passengers a chance to visit all of northeast Ohio and be back home before the day’s end. The Interurban created a community through its service.
The Interurban—sometimes called the “Green Line” because of the green color of its boxcars1—began life in 1902 as a track to connect Berea to Cleveland. Before long, entrepreneurs A.H. Pomeroy and W.D. Miller had a 202 mile-long line of electric track extending from Cleveland all the way to Wooster, with stops at every town on the way there and back. In just two hours, a Clevelander could visit the OARDC, or, a Woosterite could travel to a Cleveland Indians game.2 The Interurban ran through a variety of parks, showing the highlights of rural Ohio to urban travellers, and gave rural folk a chance to visit the big city without having to completely relocate. Northeast Ohio had been connected by the cheap, increased mobility offered to its citizens by the Interurban.3
With 1927 came the shutdown of the Wooster to Millersburg stretch of the Baltimore & Ohio line.4 1929 spelled the end of the Interurban, thanks to the cheap fare offered by busses and automobiles.5
1 “A History of Wayne County, Ohio: Compiled and Edited By Members of the Wayne County History Book Committee.” (Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company, 1987). Accessed through Genealogy department of the Wayne County Public Library.
2 Wilcox, Max. The Cleveland Southwestern & Columbus Railway Story: The Sandusky, Norwalk & Mansfield Electric Railway. Wayne Co. OH - Transportation: Interurban Collection. Accessed through Genealogy department of the Wayne County Public Library.
3 "A History of Wayne County, Ohio".
4 Wilcox, 2.
5 Wilcox, 11(?).