Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Trolleyville History

My friend Ralph Taylor gave me a newspaper clipping you might find interesting: an article from May 1962 about Gerald Brookins acquiring the first four CA&E cars for his new trolley museum in North Olmsted. (The 450's were acquired separately a couple of months later.)

Sharp-eyed readers will notice a few errors in general facts about the CA&E, but it's still a good look at Mr. Brookins' intentions. At the time, the only other cars in his collection were the four Fox River lightweights and two Cleveland cars. By modern standards, $20,000 sounds like a bargain!

Now that the collection is being distributed, somebody should make an effort to write a history of the Brookins museum. (I, of course, have no first-hand knowledge.) Gerald Brookins deserves to be remembered with gratitude for all he did to preserve electric railway history.


Anonymous said...

I've also considered that the history of Trolleyville and the Brookins family be told and published. I've tried to get in touch with Mark Brookins for just this purpose a couple times the last month,, try again after the new year and they've had time to catch their breath.

A great story of dedication and sacrifice, and on some level a bit of a cautionary tale about the events that led to LSE's demise.

I've suggested that a fitting memorial to the Brookins family might be to leave an ex-Trolleyville car lettered for the Columbia Park & Southwestern. For example Vera Cruz 19, is it that vital to have it back as a Mexico car ? It was a CP&SW car longer so there is historic precedent.

Doubt that will come to reality though. Perhaps one of the next IRM streets could be named.

John C

Anonymous said...

FRTM 304 was delivered today and local ABC 7 Chicago was on hand.

The emotion of the FRTM members is both palpable and understandable.
Congratulations to them.

Not sure how long these links typically last...


John C

Anonymous said...

Jim Blower used to have a lot of stories from working at Brookins. He was a painter and night watchman at IRM for many years. He also wrote a decent volume on interurbans in northern Ohio.