Frank A. Mills

Fine Art Railroad Photography

Boxcar Tourist
Interurban Photography

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Lake Shore Electric Freight Motor Interior
Lake Shore Electric Freight Motor Interior

I grew up during the age of the streetcar, but arrived a bit late for the hey-day of interurbans. Well, not quite. I did get to experience the green cars of the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis in Baltimore, at least for a few years before the buses took over. I wish they were still around. They're not, but there are still traces of a mighty electric rail network to be found.

And believe it or not, those traces are right here in my front yard!

In April of this year (2021), my wife and I moved into a little Lake Erie Beach Cottage in Sheffield Lake. The Lake Shore Electric Railway's tracks once ran right in front of the house. It was "Stop 90, Austin Farm." The story is ironic in a couple ways. We moved here from Austin, Texas. But even more of an irony, the allotment where our house sits was platted around 1935 with the idea that the cottages would be served by the Lake Shore. Construction on our house began in 1937, perhaps late 1936, and was completed in 1938. By that time the Lake Shore was on life support with just a few months to live before busses took over.

I will be tracking down, as time allows, as many of the remains of as I can discover. And while am at it, whatever remains of others that once plied the rails under electricity. It is to the memory of the Lake Shore and the many interurbans that crisscrossed North America that I dedicate this album.

[A little side note: Although the Lake Shore was on life support, it was only because the management created that. It was actually profitable and several of the Lake Shore employees has come together with an offer to purchase. The syndicate that owned the Lake Shore also had a huge stake in a new mode of transportation: buses. Thus, they refused to sell and dismantled the railroad.]

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