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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND & NEWBURGH RAILWAY

CLEVELAND & NEWBURGH RAILWAY

The CLEVELAND & NEWBURGH RAILWAY, Cleveland's first attempt at passenger rail transit, linked Newburgh Twp. from the area of DOAN'S CORNERS (E. 105th St. and Euclid Ave.) with PUBLIC SQUARE. The railway was incorporated on 3 March 1834, with capital of $50,000 subscribed by David H. Beardsley, TRUMAN P. HANDY, JOHN W. ALLEN, and Horace Perry, among others.

The line, built by engineer and surveyor AHAZ MERCHANT, had oak rails and ties. Initially the railway carried stone and logs from Blue Stone Quarry atop Cedar Hill by gravity down to EUCLID AVE. From there, horses pulled flatcars to Public Square, where the freight was carted to the docks and building sites. Passenger service began 4 July 1835 when 2 cars with seats lengthwise and on the roof were added; roundtrip fare from E. 101st St. to Public Square was $0.25, and 2 daily roundtrips were made. The eastern terminus was at the Billings Hotel (later known as the Railroad Hotel), located at E. 101st and Euclid.; it also provided livery stables for the line's horses. The route followed Euclid Ave. to the southwest corner of Public Square, where it terminated behind the Cleveland House Hotel. Although the number of trips was increased to 6, the line still lost money, and bankruptcy was declared in 1840. The line received a $49,866 subsidy from the Cuyahoga County commissioners; but it continued to lose money and was abandoned in 1842. Omnibus service replaced the railway, and 17 years passed before another rail transit venture was tried in Cleveland.


Christiansen, Harry. New Northern Ohio's Interurbans (1983).

------. Trolley Trails through Greater Cleveland and Northern Ohio (1975).