More than century ago, electric trolley carried Easton residents to a tip of College Hill
August 2, 2016 - Picnic Time
EASTON – More than a century before Lafayette College’s new offer to implement a potion elevator, one of a college’s graduates came adult with another approach to float people adult and down Easton’s College Hill.
On Jan. 14, 1888, David W. Nevin’s Lafayette Traction Co. non-stop a city’s initial electric trolley with marks and an electrified beyond wire using down what’s currently famous as College Avenue. At a time, a electric trolley was a latest in internal transport and Easton was a inhabitant personality in a trend.
Easton was a third city in a United States – after Scranton and Baltimore – to get an electric trolley system, according to chronological documents. Nevin, a connoisseur of Lafayette College, who eventually went on to turn Easton’s mayor, visited Baltimore to learn about a new electric trolley system, according to “Trolleys on College Hill” by life-long Easton proprietor and historian David F. Drinkhouse.
Lafayette College was founded in 1826 and acquired a land above Bushkill Creek and built on what is now famous as College Hill in 1834, Drinkhouse wrote. As a city stretched external from Centre Square in other directions, roads were constructed, nonetheless those roads heading adult to College Hill were still too high for many horse-drawn wagons.
For College Hill, a electric trolley wasn’t usually a matter of convenience, it was necessitated by a 1,400-foot-long slip that climbed during a steep, 12 percent grade, according to an essay by John Field Oldt in Drinkhouse’s book.
Instead, horse-drawn wagons had to take what is currently famous as Sullivan Trail, a reduction approach route, yet one that had a many milder grade. For pedestrians, a high slopes heading adult to College Hill had during slightest a half-dozen stairways, nonetheless usually a circuitous stairs from a feet of Third Street sojourn in use.
Nevin, who was good determined in Easton and famous in Harrisburg, was means to remonstrate opponents to pierce a trolley forward, Drinkhouse writes. To financial a construction, Nevin sole between $40,000 and $50,000 in 6 percent holds for $100 a piece.
Electricity for a trolley came from a barrow that rode on a double beyond wires above a car. The barrow carried electricity from a beyond wires to a engine in a car.
Each finish of a automobile was bending onto a wire and was fixed to a counterweight of pig iron, that went adult and down a mountain in front of a Lafayette College president’s home, Oldt wrote. The counterweight kept a speed of a trolley in check as it descended a mountain and helped a trolley to ascend.
One poignant collision was reported on Nov. 10, 1891, when a trolley slid on leaf-covered tracks. The palm stop unsuccessful and a automobile became isolated from a cable, causing it to derail during a bottom of a mountain and pile-up by a vituperation of a Bushkill Bridge, where it fell 25 feet into a Mann and Allshouse Mill Race, wrote Harvey C. Morgenstern in “This we Remember,” supposing by a Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society.
The motorman suffered a damaged leg while a conductor managed to burst out of a automobile before it crashed. Several passengers suffered cuts and bruises.
The marks laid in College Hill were usually a beginning. Soon after their initial debut, they were extended from a bottom of College Hill to Centre Square. The devise perceived poignant pushback from residents on North Third Street, afterwards lined by what were deliberate Easton’s fanciest homes and shops.
Residents were fearful poles for a electric line would detract from their home values and were fearful a marks would harm their horses.
One of a arch objectors, Fred Drake, even went so distant as to move a chair from his home and place it directly over a hole that was dug for one of a poles, Oldt wrote in his account. When Nevin listened about it, he educated his workmen to lift a chair yet touching Drake, and immediately insert a stick into a hole.
Despite a protest, a prolongation of a marks down North Third Street was authorized by a City Council in May 1888.
“For a immature male and his lady a trolley was a regretful automobile that took them to cruise drift and entertainment parks. To a family out on a Sunday, it was a approach to transport when visiting relatives. To a youngster on a Fourth of July, it was a strong instrument of percussion that exploded a caps he placed on a tracks,” says a Mar 4, 1958, essay in a Easton-Phillipsburg book of a Ingersoll-Rand News.
Drinkhouse, now 87, grew adult in College Hill and remembers holding a trolley downtown as a immature boy.
“My father used to ask us what we wanted to do on Sunday and we would always say, ‘Ride a trolley,'” Drinkhouse said. He recalls a one-way sheet opposite city costing a nickel, and if we sat on a motorman’s sofa during a behind of a automobile there was a tiny hole in a floorboards – not large adequate for anyone to tumble by – that he remembers peering by to watch a marks competition by.
Drinkhouse also recalls roving a trolley with his initial partner when he was 8 years old. The dual attended dance classes during a studio on Fourth Street and Drinkhouse would float a trolley to dump his crony off during her residence afterward.
“I would take her to a finish of a line on Parker Avenue, and afterwards I’d have to get an additional nickel from my mom to take a trolley behind home,” Drinkhouse said.
Several other electric trolley companies began to work in a area yet by 1892 many had combined into a Easton Transit Co, that was taken over by a Lehigh Valley Transit Co. in 1900, according to a Nov. 5, 1989, essay in a Express-Times, supposing by a Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society.
The Lehigh Valley complement became one of a largest in a Northeast, encompassing scarcely 200 miles of marks using from Phillipsburg to Easton by Allentown and on to Philadelphia, according to a article.
By 1937, an essay in a Easton Express announced “Third trolley line built in U.S. built in City. Electric roads, once multiplying produce to buses.”
The Lehigh Valley Transit Co. finished internal trolley use in Easton on Nov. 5, 1939, yet they did keep one demonstrate line, The Easton Limited, using from Centre Square to Allentown for scarcely another decade.
Last week, Lafayette College announced a due $9.5 million Easton Skyway – a 170-foot potion conveyor that will take adult to 25 passengers during a time from College Hill to a plcae behind or subsequent to The Spot, a tyro night bar during a bottom of a mountain on North Third Street.
The due project, announced final week, would embody a 100-foot-long corridor during a tip of a conveyor and an regard rug and will take students from a college’s categorical campus to a new humanities building, William C. Buck Hall, opposite from The Spot and scheduled to open in a fall.