The scene is so rich in detail. I have checked out the Sanborn maps for the area and found that there were numerous coal yards and side tracks just east of the yard office.
Is there anything left in that area today?
There was one coal yard just across Silver Street from Baumgartner Products and Ross Oil Company. I have a series of snapshots taken in the early 1980's when the facility was still active (barely). It's gone today... too bad because it was totally a modelers dream! Ross oil was also a terrific small rail served industry. We have a few photos of which the remains of their oil tanker truck, destroyed by an AC&Y train on the private siding is shown. Bill Hanslik, Jr. did a nice story on Silver Street some years ago in the AC&Y HS News. Guess you know there was a small two stall engine house and turntable there when in was the eastern terminus of the old Northern Ohio Railway.
The first photo actually shows a coal yard (dealer) at North Main, about a mile east of Silver Street. The AC&Y was acknowledged for serving the most coal dealers in the Akron freight district. We do have one other Bob Richardson image. It was taken from Valley Street on the hill above the Silver Street area shows even more detail than the photo you mention. The image was acquired by the Society last year from the DeGolyer Library at SMU together (with many others), with usage restrictions. Unfortunately, we decline to post it online, but do plan to published it in the Society magazine. Bob
- North Main Street Akron looking West
- trolley coach trucks coal pile crossing akron mathews hotel machine shop 1538 - Copy.jpg (126.35 KiB) Viewed 6301 times
- Coal Yard at Silver Street
- silver street coal yard.jpg (114.63 KiB) Viewed 6305 times
- Ross Oil Accident at Silver Street
- Ross Oil accident0003 - Copy.jpg (202.96 KiB) Viewed 6305 times
That is some great information and terrific photos.
I don't think that in this day and age we really realize how much coal was used at one time for home heating fuel and how many dealers of it there were in the big cities. It would be interesting to know what type of coal and what railroad company cars were used.
Coal could easily have been off the C&O, W&LE/NKP or NYC. Other coal could have come from the L&N or even some of the anthracite roads.
I now wonder how people selected their coal dealer. Was it location and convenience? Maybe the type of coal sold?
The photos of the wrecked oil truck is interesting. Hope it wasn't loaded!
Looking forward to seeing the additional Richardson photos. Please print them BIG!
Maybe someone will be inspired to do one of those FREE-MO modules of Siver Street area.
Here's a link to a 1950's era Sanborn map of the area, courtesy of the Ohio Library system.
http://drc.ohiolink.edu/handle/2374.OX/65223 (Note: you might need a valid Ohio library card to access this file.)
Also available through another site http://historicaerials.com/ is a 1952 overhead picture of this area. You'll have to find Akron in that area of dark green on the general map, then view the location. Historic Aerials for this area has 1950's imagery and 2000's imagery, so you can compare what's changed.
This whole area would make a GREAT set of Free-mo modules with the industries and the sweeping curves!
MP 161 is at Silver Street, along with Northern Ohio MP 2, still in the ground and in perfect condition! The yard limits were until just recently about 15 cars west of MP 161. The location allowed for 7 cars (the capacity of Derr Brick) and 2 engines to clear the west end of the Derr Brick track. It was either Ross Oil or a chemical company that replaced it burned almost 20 years ago in a spectacular fire.
The one showing "Ralph Kramden" looking over at the wrecked tanker truck with that "oh crap!" look is priceless!
Make a great mini-scene.
The small yard and engine facility that Bob Lucas mentioned in his first post is clearly laid out in the maps on RailsandTrails.com
It looks like the turntable, engine house, and other facilities were moved at least once in the history of that area. Neat stuff and great find!
In the 1920's and 1930's, my dad, Chic Davidson(born 1908) worked for his dad, Everett Davidson, hauling coal in the winter and ashes in the summer for home heating. They did not have their own coal yard with siding, so they contracted with established dealers for the use of their facilities. My dad bought the business from his father around 1935 when he got married. Assets of the company amounted to one old Nash truck, a list of clients, and that's about all. Dad told me they usually had their coal delivered (one car at a time) to one of the Silver Street dealers. Most often, they sold something called "Dundon Block", which I have always presumed came from the area around Dundon, WV. Dundon was the point of interchange between the Buffalo Creek & Gauley and B&O, so I have always been under the impression that the coal arrived in B&O or BC&G hoppers. Most likely, they were 50-55 ton cars because that old Nash truck would have to make several trips just to take away the contents of that one car. B&O did have 70-ton cars during this period, but I rather doubt my dad & his dad would buy that much coal at a time. BC&G had about 900 50T and 55T hoppers in the 1930's, but most or all supposedly had archbar trucks, so they could not be legally interchanged after about 1941. I think B&O bought the lion's share of the BC&G fleet & presumably upgraded them with "legal" trucks. Dad got out of the business after only a short while and went to work building buses for Twin Coach in Kent in the late 1930's, then to Goodyear aircraft, where he worked through WWII and beyond. He was a member of the AC&YHS and passed away in 2000, just 3 months shy of his 92nd birthday. So if your modeling period is the '30's, an occasional B&O or BC&G hopper would be appropriate at Silver Street, with a Nash truck posted to carry the stuff away.
Thank you for that story. Very interesting. It does sound like a hard way to make a living.
I assume that the car must have been placed on a spur track serving the dealer and unloaded fairly quickly into a pile in order to release the car back to the railroad. My first thought was why would a coal dealer allow a "rival" to use his facilities, but the market for home heating coal was large and here the dealer could charge for the use of his equipment (coal unloaders), etc. and make a little more money rather than let the equipment sit idle. Thanks again for the story!
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