“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Crestline in Crawford County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Crestline Community Service Center


Crestline Community Service Center Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, July 1, 2018
1. Crestline Community Service Center Marker

From 1942 until 1946, members of local churches and two railroad auxiliaries operated a community-based free canteen for passing troops on the platform of the Pennsylvania Railroad station. A grateful region honored approximately 1.2 million of the nation’s sons and daughters with welcoming words, sandwiches, pies, cakes, cookies, fruits drinks, and other sundries. Staffed and funded entirely by volunteers, donations came from many communities in eight counties. Crestline’s children donated their pennies to pay for construction of a larger canteen in 1943. Volunteers met as many as 25 trains daily. They served troops on passenger trains, troop trains, and hospital trains and new recruits and returning veterans as well as troops from allied countries on their trips to and from Europe or the Pacific. Throughout World War II, many other canteens were created across the nation, including many in Ohio. The Crestline region’s reputation was enhanced immeasurably by the volunteer’s service.
Erected 2008 by The Crestline Advocate and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 10-17.)
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Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & StreetcarsWar, World II. In addition, it is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1942.
Location. 40° 47.099′ N, 82° 44.208′ W. Marker is in Crestline, Ohio, in Crawford County. Marker is at the intersection of North Seltzer Street and Union Street, on the right on North Seltzer Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 N Seltzer St, Crestline OH 44827, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Crestline War Memorial (here, next to this marker); To the Memory of Colonel Wm. Crawford (approx. 2½ miles away); Big Four Depot (approx. 4.3 miles away); Galion Veterans Memorial / Flag Plaza (approx. 4.4 miles away); Lincoln Highway Marker (approx. 4½ miles away); Harding Birthplace (approx. 5.6 miles away); Knisley Springs Farm (approx. 6.1 miles away); Olentangy Battle (approx. 8.4 miles away).
Also see . . .  A Brief History of Crestline, Ohio's WW II Canteen. Article by Scott D. Trostel with photographs of the Crestline Canteen. “Marie Moran, in adjacent Crestline, Ohio, just four
Crestline Community Service Center Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Alex Krempasky, April 18, 2023
2. Crestline Community Service Center Marker
miles further north was determined to open a community canteen there and to feed the soldiers on both railroads passing through that small but important railroad community.

“Crestline was a vital junction of the New York Central Railroad and the strategic Pennsylvania Railroad, whose mainline between Chicago and Philadelphia passed through the heart of the Village. It was just a small town, but it was a giant in terms of railroad facilities on the PRR. Every train changed locomotives and crews. There were massive yards and equally large locomotive service facilities. Like many of the canteens, this one popped up in a small railroad town.

“On August 18, 1942, Marie called a community meeting, asking members of all churches, lodges and other social groups to meet in the Mayor’s office. It was proposed at that time to conduct a local canteen center on lines similar to Margaret Clingerman’s efforts at Bellefontaine. They would provide sandwiches, doughnuts,, pies, cakes, cookies, coffee, fruit, cigarettes for servicemen passing through on regular scheduled passenger trains.” (Submitted on July 5, 2018.) 
Marker with Railroad Tracks in the Distance image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, July 1, 2018
3. Marker with Railroad Tracks in the Distance
The Pennsylvania Railroad station is no more. Its location is the parking lot that can be seen in the distance.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 26, 2023. It was originally submitted on July 5, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 315 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 5, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   2. submitted on May 13, 2023, by Alex Krempasky of Obetz, Ohio.   3. submitted on July 5, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Apr. 24, 2024