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Elyria in Lorain County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Tragedy at 5th Street and Middle Avenue

 
 
Tragedy at 5th Street and Middle Avenue Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 24, 2019
1. Tragedy at 5th Street and Middle Avenue Marker
Inscription.  On Memorial Day in 1907, interurban car 123 crashed into the rear of interurban car 129 at the intersection of 5th Street and Middle Avenue. Eight passengers died including Homer Allen, son of Elyria businessman Edgar F. Allen. Inadequate hospital facilities hospital facilities in Elyria. are believed to have contributed to some of the deaths. After the accident, Allen dedicated himself to fundraising for better hospital facilities in Elyria. Allen's efforts came to fruition with the opening of Elyria Memorial Hospital in 1908 and the Gates Hospital for Crippled Children in 1915. In 1915. In 1919, the Elyria Rotary Club endorsed E.F. Allen’s plan to help crippled children. The plan helped to establish international "crippled children’s societies" and the Easter Seals organization.
 
Erected 2012 by Elyria Rotary Club, Lorain County Historical Society, Elyria City Schools and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 29-47.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
 
Location. 41° 21.758′ N, 82° 6.44′ W. Marker is in Elyria, Ohio, in Lorain County. Marker
Tragedy at 5th Street and Middle Avenue Memorial Park and Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 24, 2019
2. Tragedy at 5th Street and Middle Avenue Memorial Park and Marker
The names of the passengers who lost their lives are inscribed on the eight stones in front of the eight trees that surround the marker. They are Homer Allen, W.C. Allen, Henry Billings, Margaret Butler, Edward O'Donnell, Charles Porter, Donald Sala, and Eunice Wurst.
is at the intersection of Middle Avenue and 5th Street, on the right when traveling south on Middle Avenue. It is at the Elyria High School, in a small park at the corner of Middle Avenue and 5th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 601 Middle Ave, Elyria OH 44035, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. King Solomon Lodge No. 56 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Monteith Hall (approx. 0.3 miles away); Elyria War Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Soldier’s Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Founding of Elyria (approx. half a mile away); Birthplace of Easter Seal Society (approx. 0.6 miles away); Edgar F. “Daddy” Allen (approx. one mile away); Lorain County Community College (approx. 3.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Elyria.
 
Regarding Tragedy at 5th Street and Middle Avenue. The interurban electric railway cars through Elyria in 1907 were operated by the Cleveland, Southwestern and Columbus Railway. At that time roadways were few and poor and relatively fast transportation between cities were by rail. Unlike steam powered trains, interurban electric trains were much faster and could reach 70 miles an hour on straight track out in the country between towns. “The Southwestern” was the second largest interurban railroad in Ohio, with electrically powered rail lines radiating out from Cleveland to the south and west.

Back in the early 20th century, folks liked to take the train to countryside on weekends
Tragedy at 5th Street and Middle Avenue Memorial Park and Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 24, 2019
3. Tragedy at 5th Street and Middle Avenue Memorial Park and Marker
An image of an interurban car has been painted on the pavement. It reads “Tragedy Car 123, May 30, 1907.”
and holidays for picnics and open-air concerts. To handle the crowds, the electric railways ran multiple cars, one behind each other, each independently operated by its motorman, at times with just a few car-lengths between each one. The safe operation of each car was the responsibility of the motorman, who stood at the front window scanning the rails ahead while operating the motor speed controller and brakes.
 
Additional keywords. Interurban Electric Railroads
 
Categories. Charity & Public WorkRailroads & Streetcars
 
An Interurban Electric Car of the Era image. Click for full size.
U.S. Bureau of the Census photograph via Wikipedia Commons, 1902
4. An Interurban Electric Car of the Era
The Cleveland, Elyria & Western Railway was a predecessor of the Cleveland, Southwestern & Columbus Railway. These cars were made of wood on a steel chassis.
Interurban Car for Rural Children Attending Elyria Schools image. Click for full size.
By Albert Belmont Graham via The Ohio History Connection, circa 1907
5. Interurban Car for Rural Children Attending Elyria Schools
Caption: “A group of boys and girls from Lorain County, Ohio posed outside the Cleveland & Southwestern inter-urban car that they rode to school in Elyria, Ohio, circa 1907.”
 

More. Search the internet for Tragedy at 5th Street and Middle Avenue.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 2, 2020. This page originally submitted on January 2, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 2, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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