NEW LONDON DEPOT
New London Depot at Recreation Park ©Photographer Sam Sponseller 7-3-2011
The former station of the Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railroad Co. that is now at Recreation Park in New London was originally built in Greenwich, Ohio in 1891. A note from the November 1890 edition of The New London Record reads as follows: "The P.A. & W. depot at this place is to be one of the finest along the line. (Pittsburgh, Akron & Western was the original name of the railroad constructed in 1890.) Work on the same is being pushed as fast as workman can do it. A commodious sitting room will be at the east end, telegraph and ticket office in the center, and freight and baggage room at the west end. The plans show a very pretty building. The depot at Greenwich will be considerably smaller." The editors of The New London Record and The Greenwich Enterprise were constantly "at war" with each other in those days, and that last statement was not true! All the stations built by the P.A. & W. Co were the same size except for the Carey, Medina, and Akron depots that were a little larger.
The Pittsburgh, Akron & Western Railway became the Northern Ohio Railroad in 1895. This road became part of the Lake Erie & Western Co. on October 1, 1895. Though it still operated as the Northern Ohio. The Northern Ohio was leased to the Akron, Canton & Youngstown in 1920. The original New London Depot of the AC&Y burned down on Jan. 31, 1921. The New London Record of Feb. 3, 1921, reads as follows: "The Northern Ohio depot destroyed by fire! Nothing but a memory and a small portion of the east end of the building is all that remains of the N.O. Depot as the result of a disastrous fire that occurred about 4:30 Monday afternoon. No one was in the building at the time as the agent had gone home for a short time. Not really known is just how the fire started, but it is supposed to have been caused by an overheated stove pipe as the flames were first noticed to be breaking out around the roof. Before any help or the fire department could get their equipment ready, the entire interior was ablaze thus precluding any possible chance of getting anything out of the building, thus entailing a total loss practically. Lost was plenty of valuable records as well as a small amount of freight in the west end of the building."
On the left is the orginal New London Depot and on the right is the Greenwich Depot. Both photos are from 1918, notice the baggage doors on opposite sides.
The following quote is from The New London Record of May 12, 1921: "Yep! Greenwich is gradually moving to New London! Just to prove the above assertion to be a fact, we wish to inform our readers that last week the AC&Y Railroad actually and deliberately picked up the station building at Greenwich, placed it on a flat car, brought it over here and planted it on the ruins of the one destroyed by fire last winter. While we do not exactly relish the idea of taking things second hand from our neighbors, nevertheless because they would not use it sufficiently and on account of lack of funds it was the best they could do. We will have to stand for it and look as pleasant as possible."
The AC&Y agency closed in 1967, but the depot was used by the Track Supervisor and for storage purposes until 1971. Through the efforts of Lovell Hileman, the old building was purchased by the village and moved to Recreation Park in April 1972 and now serves as the park headquarters. The building is just as it was when alongside the AC&Y complete with telegraph key and semaphore signal in front. Displayed on the wall of the waiting room are photos of New London's railroad bygone days. It is New London's memorial to the AC&Y Railroad, once an important part of the village.
Used today as the New London Recreation Park's Headquarters. ©Photographer Sam Sponseller 7-3-2011