Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on!
Usually when you want to visit a nearby town, you get in your car and drive there. But what if you didn’t have to? What if you could just hop on a train?
Believe it or not, this hypothetical railway actually used to exist! Known as the electric interurban, this hybrid between a street car and a passenger train connected towns and cities in the Midwest, offering public transportation where there often was none.
The cars were powered by electric cables, and followed metal tracks from city to city. Travel was quick, easy, inexpensive—and especially popular in Indiana. By 1909, there were approximately 1800 miles of inter-urban track operating in the state.
An interurban line once ran through Auburn, connecting it to Fort Wayne, Waterloo, and Kendallville. It’s also the reason Ensley Avenue is so wide: the interurban used to run right down the middle of the street!
Unfortunately, due to the popularity of automobiles, the lines no longer exist, but you can still see more of the electric interurban by clicking here and searching for “interurban.”