Submitted by Frankie Stonemetz

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Street Car Operated In Shinglehouse
for Twenty-Five Years
( Retyped from article in Oswayo Valley Mail May 7, 1936 )

Railway street cars were operating into Shinglehouse for 25 years from 1902 untill 1927. The terminal in Shinglehouse was connected with Olean, Bolivar, Bradford and Salamanca. Like the NY&P, this line did a good business until the advent of the motor car and truck.

Excursion trolleys were operated into Shinglehouse in order that many people from Bolivar, Bradford, Olean and many other towns on the line might view the making of window glass in the moder plant here. Shinglehouse and vicinity people also enjoyed excursions on the trolley line to Riverhurst Park and Rock City, both amusement centers built by the troley company.

For three years after the trolley line was built into shinglehouse the line ended on Academy Street about in front of the store now operated by Keith M.Foote. In attempting to cross the NY&P railroad tracks considerable trouble arose. The railroad officials would not consent to the crossing. However in June 1905 a large crew of workmen arrived on the trolleyafter the passenger train had left for Canisteo. The crew immediately set to work to make the crossing but worked only a short time before railroad officials ordered a switch engine to stand on the crossing.

7There was a lot of excitement and a large crowd soon gathered, as shown in the accompanying photo. The majority of Shinglehouse people were "with" the trolley company and desired the line to bo extended to Oswayo street.

Fire hoses were brought into use, drenching the engineer and firemen ( and some of the spectators. ) Stones and lumps of coal flew but no one was injured. Reports vary as to the climax. Either the hose and water put the fire out in the engine and the horses drew the engine off the crossing, or water got too low in the engine boiler that it had to leave or blow up. Anyhow the train rails were cut and the crossing made.

In 1904 an attempt was made to build a trolley line from Olean to Coudersport but difficultiesarose in Port Allegany and the plan was abandoned. Thus Shinglehouse was the only town in Potter County to have electrically operated street railways.

The big power house at Ceres was built when the line was extended to Shinglehouse and Bolivar. Monster Gas, (and later an oil engine) engines were used to run the generators for the electric motive power. Many Shinglehouse men were amployed at different times in the power house and on the gas drilling wells in local fields. This plant ceased tooperate in 1924 wgen electricity from Niagra Falls was used.

The trolley system was sold at Sheriff's Sale in March, 1927 and the lines in this section taken up in the summer of that year.


All photos were scanned by me from various sources, including newspaper clippings and photos loaned to me by Curtis Perkins.

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