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Allegany County Trolley History

By Ronald G. Taylor

One of the modes of transportation in Allegany County that is nearly forgotten is the Trolley.  It was never owned by Allegany County interests, rather provided by investors from Cattaraugus County.  To understand the Trolley in Allegany County we must accept a short history of the “Olean Street Railway Co.” 

In 1880 street transportation came to Olean, a year later than it had arrived at its neighboring city south, Bradford, PA.  The horsecar line connected the downtown business district with the Erie Railroad Depot and was only 7,750 feet long.  It was built to 3’6” gauge and operated until 1891 when a line was started on West State Street using standard gauge to prepare in advance for electric railway and connected Olean with Allegany.  Permission to cross the Erie RR tracks was refused and the track ended opposite St. Bonaventure University.  In 1893 the track was laid sufficiently to allow the first electric car to run and permission finally received to cross the Erie tracks and the service extended in 1894 to Allegany.

Three years later, in 1897 an inaugural run was made into Portville.  In 1901 the railway proposed to extend this line to Bolivar in Allegany County.  In 1902 construction started from Portville to Ceres and on to Bolivar.  These extensions made it necessary to gain more electric power than the Olean plant could produce and a second electric generating station was built near Ceres.  At this time, steam was furnished by a bank of boilers fired by natural gas.  The Ceres plant was located adjacent to a 600 acre natural gas field owned by the railway.  By 1908 a new station was built at the Ceres site to use the natural gas supply derived from the company’s wells and piped to the site.  Power from this plant supplied direct current for the Bolivar & Shinglehouse branches.  It is said that in 1904, service between Olean & Ceres was 40 minutes and 80 minutes to Bolivar from Olean.  At this same period, track service was operating between Olean & Bradford by the Olean, Rock City & Bradford RR.  That company went into receivership in 1906 and reorganized as Rock City RR.  By year’s end, it combined with Olean Street Railway and became known as Olean Street Railway Company.  Three days later, on Nov. 17, 1906 this company combined with Bradford Street Railroad to form the WESTERN NEW YORK & PENNSYLVANIA TRACTION COMPANY.

Note:  Newspapers reported that plans were being made to extend the line from Bolivar to Wellsville.  Those plans never materialized.

With the diminishing lumber & oil resources in the area coupled with the increase of motor vehicles caused the filing of receivership in 1918.  In 1921 the railway company was sold and reorganized as OLEAN, BRADFORD SALAMANCA RAILWAY COMPANY.  During 1925 the railway company formed a bus line which started replacing the trolley.

The line between Ceres and Bolivar was abandoned in 1926 and in 1927 the balance of the Ceres line with most of the other lines the following year.  The OLEAN STREET RAILWAY COMPANY became a separate locally owned company and serviced Olean until 1928.           


For additional reading on this subject I recommend the book, “WESTERN NEW YORK & PENNSYLVANIA TRACTION” by Benson W. Rohrbeck; 1991 published by Ben Rohrbeck Traction Publications; 1003 N. Chester Road; West Chester, PA 19380.  He provides many excellent trolley pictures and detailed information about the traction systems of NY & PA.

Full credit for any facts & pictures is given to Mr. Rohrbeck.  I used excerpts here to entice you to read his book.

 

 The following were "clipped" & submitted by Richard Palmer

Interesting Trolley News Clips

from Bolivar Breeze Archives

 

Bolivar Breeze,  Thurs., Aug. 22, 1901

 

WESTERN NEW YORK & PENNSYLVANIA TRACTION COMPANY

 THE RAILROAD NEWS – TROLLEY FRANCHISE

      REFUSED BY VOTE OF 4 TO 1 –

       Commissioner Woodard Also Turned the Trolley Project Down; Can’t Take   Possession  of Highways.

                      _____

 

     A hearing on the application of the Olean Electric railway for a franchise to           use the streets of Bolivar as held at Newton Hall last Friday evening , attended by 200 people, mostly taxpayers, and proved to a very lively meeting.  The hearing began shortly after eight o’clock and it was a few moments before midnight           before a decision was reached and the franchise denied by the decisive vote of 4 to 1.

    It was a typical court room scene.  At the upper end of the hall the members of the Village Board sat about a table.  The [Olean Street Railway           Company]  trolley officials, and their speakers and the [Pittsburg, Shawmut &    Northern Railroad Company] railroad officials and their assistants sat facing the village officials.  In the background, outside the charmed circle on plank benches           were seated the taxpayers of the village.

    President Thomas called the meeting to order, stating briefly the purpose for which it was convened, that of hearing the arguments for and against the granting of the franchise asked for, in order that the decision of the Village Board might be just and fair to all concerned, and the wishes of the majority of the   people respected.

     Fred L. Eaton of Olean, an attorney employed to represent the street railroad company made the first argument.  He stated the position of the company; what they proposed to do and how they proposed to do it.  He extolled the virtues of trolley car service and made a strong plea for the franchise asked for.  He presented petition letters signed by 115 persons, 37 of whom were not taxpayers and several of whom were not residents of the village. He also presented a list of persons who had signed rights of way grants along Main street in Bolivar several months ago.

    Walter T. Bliss presented the railroad company’s side of the case.  He         outlined briefly the position of the railroad company and told how it happened the rights of way along Main Street were secured.  Then he called on a number of business men who had signed the right of way grants and in each instance     they gave their reason for signing and stated that they desired to withdraw their names from the paper and that they were emphatically in favor of the steam     railroad.  A petition signed by a large majority of the taxpayers, representing three-fourths of the taxable property of the village was presented asking that the petition be denied.

   Frank Sullivan Smith, general counsel for the Shawmut Line, then delivered a ringing address in which he outlined the work now under way and        told what it was proposed to do.  The advantages to be derived from a standard gauge road to Bolivar were contrasted to the advantages to be derived from a trolley line.

     In proof of the sincerity of the company which Mr. Smith represents to complete the work now under way as rapidly as possible he offered to place into the hands of a committee to be named by the Trustees, his check for $5,000 payable on January 1st, 1901, if on that date the standard gauge was not completed and train service installed between Bolivar and Olean.  Competition with the trolley was not feared he said, if the trolley cam in as the railroad did     and bought its right of way, instead of asking for the use of the public highways without giving anything in return.

     When Mr. Eaton rose to reply to Mr. Smith, he must have realized that he was talking in a hopeless cause, for instead of continuing in the gentlemanly         manner in which he outlined his argument, and retaining the respect of all present, he launched out in a personal attack on Mr. Smith which simply resulted in disgusting the audience and in offsetting the good opinion already formed of         him.

     It was one of the most vitriolic and abusive attacks ever heard in Bolivar,   entirely uncalled for as Mr. Smith in his address did not personally refer in a disparaging way either to Mr. Eaton or to the man he represented, Mr. Page        [President of the Olean Street Railway Company].  With rare good sense Mr.    Smith refused to retaliate and descend to the depths in which Mr. Eaton gathered his shower of mud.

   Addresses were made by W. B. Mesereau and W. A. Hotten of Portville in     favor of the franchise but no Bolivar man rose and asked that the franchise be granted.  George H. Parker, F. A. Loop, D. E. Fritz, and others spoke against the     granting of the franchise.  After hearing all of the evidence the Board adjourned         to their room in the bank building and on call for an aye and nay vote, W. F.        Thomas, C. C. Garthwait, Charles Streeter, and S. A. Wertman voted against granting the franchise and Allan Cranston voted for it

-----------------------------------

   All the fireworks were burned out at Friday night’s meeting and the meeting before Commissioner Woodard at Newton Hall, Saturday afternoon [Aug. 17], was as tame as a country town on the fifth of July.  There were not more than 30 persons present and no speechmaking.  W. R. Page asked for the desired permission for the electric railroad and W. T. Bliss presented a remonstrance signed by a large majority of the people asking that           the permission to use the highways be denied.  Commissioner Woodard put the documents in his pocket, examined them at his leisure and handed down his          decision on Tuesday evening [Aug.  20], denying the trolley line the right to use the highways as a roadbed.

 

Bolivar Breeze, Thurs., July 24, 1902

 

 – TROLLEY FRANCHISE GRANTED

              ____

  By a Unanimous Vote the Village Trustees Decide to Let

 the Electric Road Lay a Track on Main Street.  Hearing Well Attended.                     Probable Terms of Franchise.

 

    The Trustees of Bolivar on Saturday evening [July 19, after the public hearing was ended decided by a unanimous vote to grant a franchise to the Olean Street Railway to lay a track and run cars on Main street in this village.  The franchise will be framed this week and action on it in detail will likely be taken on Friday evening [July 25].

  The meeting was called to order by President Brown at the trustees’ rooms at 8:30 and adjourned to Newton Hall in order that all who desired to might attend and hear the arguments.

    Fred L. Eaton of Olean, attorney for the trolley company, presented their side of the case in an able manner.  Walter T. Bliss, attorney for the Shawmut Line, represented the opposition to the granting of the proposed franchise.  Mr. Eaton’s argument was the same as he advanced at the meeting held last August, when a franchise was refused.  Mr. Bliss argued for an adjournment in order that Frank Sullivan Smith, general counsel for the Shawmut Line might be present and make an argument against the granting of the franchise.

     Mr. Bliss made a strong plea, his friends say a most eloquent one, but the sentiment of a majority of those present was for the granting of the franchise at once.  The meeting lasted three hours.  Many citizens were called on for an expression of opinion and there were some bright things said on both sides, little laugh provokers that kept the crowd good natured.  When the hearing was ended the trustees by a unanimous vote decided to grant a franchise.

The terms of the franchise will be decided upon this week.  From interviews with members of the board it is learned that the terms of the franchise will be about as follows:

    First—The tracks will be laid up the center of Main street.

   Second—If the street is ever paved, the trolley company will pave between the rails and two feet on each side.

  Third—The trolley company will light Main street with arc lights, probably not less than eight in all.

  Fourth—There will be a limit to the speed of cars on Main street.

  Fifth—The trolley company will either widen the iron bridge at the foot of Main street and strengthen it or build one for their exclusive use.

   The trolley company asks for a franchise for 99 years.  The trustees have not decided what limit they will put on it.  Every member of the board was present at the hearing and the vote on the application for a franchise was unanimous.  The franchise will be drawn up by A. L. Elliot of Friendship.

    W. R. Page, the guiding spirit of the Olean Street Railway was interviewed in Bolivar on Tuesday [July 22nd, 1902] regarding what his company proposed to do and he stated that work would begin at once on the line in the village of Bolivar, that is just as soon as the material can be put on the ground.  It is not anticipated that any hitch will occur in regard to the terms of the franchise and that it will be acceptable to the trolley people as submitted by the attorney for the trustees.

    The copper wire and cable is now strung as far as the Hoyt farm on the Genesee road, within a mile and a half of Bolivar, and the grading is practically finished and the ties and rails down to the Davie farm, near the corporation limits.  Mr. Page states that just as soon as the line into Bolivar is completed the cars will be put on and the line operated between Bolivar and Ceres where it will be necessary to transfer for the present.

      The power house at Case’s will be ready for use as soon as the line is completed.  Mr. Page did not set any date for the arrival of trolley cars in Bolivar but he stated that the cars would be running just as soon as it was possible to complete thre work on the track and grade and to erect the poles and string the wire and cable.

 

Bolivar Breeze, Thurs., Aug. 14, 1902

 

    THE TROLLEY FRANCHISE.  Concise Synopsis of the Franchise Granted by the Village Trustees to the Olean Street Railway Company

                               ____

 

    The Village Board formally granted a franchise to the Olean Street Railway to operate an electric line in this village last Saturday [August 9th, 1902].  There was no delay in coming to terms with the street railway company officials and they are satisfied with the franchise.  In a nutshell, the franchise may be summed up as follows: It is for 99 years, the track is to be laid in the centre [sic] of the street, it is to be in operation by Jan. 1, next, unless work is delayed by litigation and the company builds its own bridge over Root Hollow Creek.

     In return for the franchise the village gets ten clusters of five each of incandescent lights and gravel enough delivered along the street to grade Main street.  The franchise was drawn up by A. L. Elliot of Friendship and covers four typewritten pages of legal cap.  The following concise synopsis will give a clear and lucid insight into the terms of the franchise.

    First—The Olean Street Railway is granted permission to lay tracks the entire length of Main street, to set poles and string wires, construct switches, connections, sidings, and turnouts.

    Second—The company will grade with good gravel the space between the rails and the outside of the rails to end of the ties.  The grading to be as high as the top of the rails and the material sufficient to maintain the grade.

    Third—The railway shall be located in the middle of the street.

    Fourth—The poles shall be straight, smooth, peeled and placed as the trustees shall direct.

   Fifth—The said line must be built and in operation before the first day of January, 1903.  If owing to litigation or inability to cross other railroads the work is delayed, the company shall be allowed the time consumed in such delays in addition to the time above specified.  If the line is not completed within that time or if the company fails at any time to operate its railroad for six months, the franchise shall be declared forfeited.  Not less than six daily trips to Olean shall be construed as operating the railroad.

     Sixth—The Company shall put up on the overhead construction of its surface street railway ten clusters of incandescent lamps at points to be designated by the Board of Trustees, each cluster to contain five lamps of sixteen candle power and th4e current to be kept on as late as cars are operated.

    Seventh—The Olean Street Railway is to indemnify the village for any accidents that occur or suits that may be brought on account of the construction or operation of said railway, or any acts of omission or commission on the part of the officers or employees of said railway.

    Eighth—Said company shall maintain a grade at all points so that the track may be crossed easily and safely at all points within the limits of the village.  No turnouts or switches are to be constructed between the Root Hollow Creek bridge and the north side of the Norton House.

    Ninth—The Olean Street Railway Company shall at its own cost and expense deliver upon said street gravel of sufficient amount and of proper quality to grade the length and breadth of said street as far as said railway shall be extended.  Such gravel shall be loaded and unloaded at the expense of the village.

Tenth—The Olean Street Railroad Company shall construct over Root Hollow Creek a bridge for their own use at their own expense.

    Eleventh—The term of the franchise shall be for 99 years.

The franchise is signed by R. M. Brown, President, and B. S. Dunn, Village Clerk and is given under the seal of the village.

 

Bolivar Breeze, Thurs., Aug. 21, 1902

 

     NIGHT RAILROAD BUILDING. 

        Shawmut Line  Lays a Track Across

   The Richburg Road in This Village to Head Off the Trolley.

                     _____

     While the people of Bolivar were sleeping last Friday night [August 15th, 1902] a large crew of Italians from Camp McComb was set at work in the highway near the National Transit pump station, midway between Bolivar and Richburg and when Saturday morning dawned a railroad track stretched across the highway where it was planned the railroad would cross on a steel trestle.  For a distance of perhaps 100 feet the track runs parallel with the highway.

     The cause of the sudden move on the part of the railroad company is said to be owing to the accidental discovery by their employees that the Olean street railroad company was planning to throw a track across their right of way at that point the next night and block their proposed crossing as they have blocked the trolley at Ceres and White House, in the hopes of getting concessions at Ceres.

     On Aug. 4, the Village Trustees passed a resolution to the effect that the railroad could build an underground crossing at that point twelve feet high and eighteen feet wide and it is given out by the railroad company that a bridge was ordered to span the crossing.

       Later the Village Trustees rescinded their resolution and passed another one requiring the crossing to be fifteen feet high and 24 feet wide.  Whether an underground crossing will be built now that one has been secured at grade remains to be seen.

 

Bolivar Breeze, Thurs., Oct. 2, 1902

 

   THE TROLLEY FRANCHISE (Editorial)

                      ____

 

     Last August when the Olean Street Railway asked for a franchise to enter the village of Bolivar the sentiment of the people was strongly against it and it was refused by the village trustees.  At the time the end of the line was at Portville and there were no indications that it would soon be extended this way—and the question of a steam railroad for Bolivar was hanging in the balance.

    Since August there has been a great change in public sentiment brought about by two conditions, the completion of the trolley line almost to the village limits and the broad gauging of the Shawmut Line from Bolivar to Olean, assuring its permanence and in addition to that the assurance that the Shawmut Liner is to be built this year across the county to Angelica.

     At the hearing held on Saturday evening the majority for granting a franchise was as great as it was against the same proposition last August.  The only thing that the trustees could do was grant the franchise for they are simply the servants of the people of the village.  The one regrettable feature of the hearing was the misunderstanding over an adjournment.

      Frank Sullivan Smith, general counsel for the Shawmut Line was informed that the meeting would be adjourned to a later date in order to give him a chance to be present, so he was not there.  Mr. Smith has been a good friend to the people of Bolivar and to him they owe the present standard gauge railroad and he was entitled to a hearing.

The terms of the hearing have not been decided upon but they are pretty accurately outlined in the news story on the first page.  The franchise is one of the most valuable ever granted by the village of Bolivar and while fairness should be observed in the treatment of the trolley company, the interests and rights of the citizens and taxpayers of the village should be carefully looked after and guarded in the franchise.

 

Bolivar Breeze, Thurs., Oct. 16, 1902

 

      BOLIVAR TO OLEAN 30 CENTS

         Interesting Interview With W. R. Page,

        President of the Olean Street Railway.

                    _____

    W. R. Page, President of the Olean Street Railway, was among the visitors in Bolivar yesterday.  Mr. Page says that work will begin on the streets of Bolivar           next week, and that he expects to have cars running along Main street within a    short time.  He says the fare from Bolivar to Olean will be 30 cents.  No plans           have yet been made for a round trip rate.  There will be a special commuter’s   rate for school children, to be announced later.

    The Shawmut Line wye at Ceres will be crossed as soon as the plans for the frogs and protection guards are           completed.  A temporary crossing will soon be secured over the Pennsylvania at grade, the appellate division at Buffalo having upheld the decision of Justice Kenefick.

    The Pennsylvania has proposed either an underground or overhead crossing be made.  They are willing to bear a share of the cost.  Plans are being perfected to run the trolley line direct into Olean, instead of around through Boardmanville.  This will shorten the running time.  No schedule has been completed so Mr. Page is not able to say exactly what the running time between Bolivar and Olean will be.  Unless the town board grants a temporary crossing over the bridge at the foot of Main street the work of reaching Bolivar will be delayed until a bridge can be erected.  Mr. Page says the work of completing the line will be rushed from now on with all possible haste.

 

Bolivar Breeze, Thurs., Nov. 6, 1902

 

      TROLLEY HELD UP

   Harmon G. Mitchell Protested and Stopped Work in Front of His Property

            ___

 

   The Olean Street railway construction crew was stopped on Monday on Lower Main street by Harmon G. Mitchell.  The proposed track of the trolley runs within four feet of Mr. Mitchell’s sidewalk and          he does not propose to allow the trolley line to pass in front of his property unless they pay for the privilege, so he says.  The construction crew immediately stopped work on his line and began to work on the Huver property further up the          street.         

   On Tuesday afternoon while Mr. Mitchell was up town the trolley construction crew laid a track across his premises.  The joke was      on him and he concluded that his objection was not so serious as he had at first thought and that it will be a pleasurable sensation after all to see yellow trolley cars flitting up and down the street.  Asa Root forbid the laying of a track in front of his blacksmith shop yesterday but last night the track was put down, at least it was there this morning.

 

Bolivar Breeze, Thurs., Nov. 6, 1902

 

    NEW AND HANDSOME TROLLEY CARS

     The Cars to be Used on the Olean-Bolivar Electric Line

      Are 37 Feet Long, Vestibuled, and the Interior

        Finish is Solid Mahogany.  Smoking and Baggage Rooms.

                         ____

 

      The Olean Street Railway Company’s equipment on the Bolivar line will be as fine as there is in the country in regular service.  The cars are beauties and the service once it is installed will be excellent.  The run from Bolivar to Olean will be made in one hour and 20 minutes and when spring comes and the Boardmanville swing line is cut off and the cars run into Olean direct from East Olean, the running time will be reduced to one hour.

      The Street Railway Journal recently published a description of the new cars with illustrations.  Today “The Breeze” reprints the article and two of the illustrations [omitted herein].  The description of the new equipment is as follows:

The cars combine the best and most desirable features of modern  street and suburban railway practice.  They have a number of useful and novel details peculiarly adapting them to the city and interurban service for which they are intended. 

      The Stephenson convertible feature gives the road practically two complete equipments in one, enabling it to have both open and closed cars ready for service at any time, and only a few moments are needed for the change, which can be made if necessary while the car is in motion.  Space is found in the wall of the car for the large lower sash, as well as for a steam road truss plank gained upon the posts.  The pocket for the sash is closed by a cap, which forms the arm rest.  The upper sash slides upward into a pocket which is so placed that there is no disfigurement of the interior, and the form of the roof is not changed, in any way, the monitor being of the same width as usual.

     By lifting only the small upper sash into the roof, no weight worth mentioning is added to that part of the car, and there are no strains brought upon the posts.  The window opening obtained by the Stephenson arrangement is as great as that of any open car, measured from the elbow of the passenger upward.  This type of car possesses several important advantages over the ordinary open cars.  It avoids crowding to a marked degree, which is one of the reasons for its great popularity with passengers.

      Another reason is that those seated next [to] the [car] side are not annoyed or disturbed by those entering or leaving, as in the case with cars having side entrances.

All the cars on order are built with two compartments.  One of these for passengers takes up about 20 feet of the body, the remaining 8 feet in part of them is used for a baggage room, and in the others is fitted up for a smoking compartment only.  These cars have 28-foot bodies and measure about 37 feet over the dashers.  The vestibules have street-car bonnets and are completely enclosed.

   The floors of the vestibules are dropped, and the platform timbers are plated with angle-iron.  The buffers are of channel iron of the Stephenson spring pattern, which gives an elastic resistance to blows, thus saving the frame from strains.  In the cars without side doors there is a flat truss in the wall of the car coming up to the window rail and ending in a sill.

     The bodies have curved sides, reducing the width at the sills, and adding to the stiffness.  All the side sills are plated with steel, and in the baggage and passenger cars the plate is of more than usual depth.

The interior finish is solid mahogany, with handsomely inlaid panels in the end of the car and on the partition.  The same finish is used on the smoking room.  The seats are of the walkover pattern, with a hand rail on the back, making a secure grab handle for those standing or moving.  Hand straps are provided, but they seem hardly necessary.

     There are twelve seats in the passenger end and four in the smoker.  In the outer corners of both compartments are stationary longitudinal seats.  In the baggage room the seats are longitudinal and extend the whole length of the compartment.  They are supported on folding brackets, and are hinged in the center so the half in front of the door can be turned over endwise out of the way when the door had to be opened.  The arrangements can be seen in the engraving of the interior.  Both parts of the seats can be dropped against the side of the car when the space is needed.  The use of the compartment for smokers has been found not to interfere with its usefulness for carrying freight, etc.

      The baggage room side of the partition carries three electric heaters.  One of these is placed over the door and the others are over the windows.  This arrangement, though peculiar, seems to work very well.  It was necessitated in this case by the fact that there was no other available place in the compartment, doors and folding seats taking up the whole of the wall space near the floor.  The end doors and windows are fitted with motorman’s curtains, which have spring rollers placed vertically.

     The trucks are the Stephenson No. 20, with a 4-foot wheel base.  They are capable of taking the shortest curves with ease, and at the same time can run safely at the highest speed which may be needed.  The double journal springs and the long spring-suspended links make this truck very easy upon any track at any speed.  One valuable feature is the small amount of power required.  The “internal friction” is insignificant, consequently little power is wasted.

      The officers of the Olean Street Railway Company are: President, W. R. Page; Vice, W. E. Wheeler; Treasurer, W. R. Page; Secretary and Superintendent, I. W. Miller; Directors; W. R. Page, W. E. Wheeler, I. W. Miller, J. S.Johnson, Thomas Gilligan, M. L. Lee, Clare Williard, Dr. Edward Torry, and W. B. Mesereau.  The lines of the company cover Union and State streets in Olean, Allegany, Boardmanville, East Olean, Weston’s Mills, Portville, Ceres, Little Genesee, and Bolivar.  It is anticipated that next spring the Bolivar line will be extended to Wellsville, a distance of fourteen miles.

 

Bolivar Breeze, Thurs., April 28, 1904

                   CUBA LAKE TO OLEAN

     There is Strong Talk of connecting Those Two Points

                 By a Trolley Line

                                 ___

     W. F. Mayo is trying to induce Cuba people to build a trolley line to Olean,    says the Cuba Free Press.

The proposed line would run from Lake Cuba to Olean by way of the Haskell and Westons.  It would be about 16 miles long and would cost fully equipped, so Mr. Mayo says, $75,000.  Mr. Mayo says the amount he has named will cover the cost of the very best of everything used in constructing the road.  Mr. Mayo also plans to furnish Cuba with electric lights and power for all purposes.

    Mr. Mayo has been engaged for many years in building railroads in California, New Mexico, Arkansas, Texas, and other states and thoroughly understands every part of the business.  He says that if Cuba people will take hold of the matter at once he will guarantee to have the road [in] operation by the first of August.

 

 

Bolivar Breeze, July 14, 1904

TROLLEY TO ALLENTOWN – Effort Being Made to Secure the Extension of the   Electric Road From Bolivar to Allentown.

__________

 

    A determined effort is being made to secure the building of an electric railroad from Bolivar to Allentown, a distance of 6½ miles to be operated in connection with the Olean Street Railroad.  W. R. Page and W. I. Miller of the Olean Street Railroad, accompanied by H. W. Eaton of Bolivar drove over the proposed line Saturday [July 9th, 1904] and found hat a free right of way could be secured.

  The old BE&C grade would be followed most of the way.  It is graded and this heavy expense would be eliminated.  The only obstructions on the grade are a power house and an oil well which has been drilled recently.  The power house can be moved and the oil well can be dodged.

    At Allentown the party met a large number of people who are greatly interested in the proposition and the matter was discussed at length.  The Olean Street Railroad Company makes the people of Bolivar and Allentown this proposition:  If they will take the bonds of the road in an amount necessary to build and equip the line, say $65,000, the interest and principal to be guaranteed and paid by the Olean Street railroad company, the latter will at once begin the work of building the line and will have it in operation before the snow flies.

    It is proposed to get power from the power house at Cases and to use the surplus cars now owned by the Olean Street Railroad Company.  A large number of Allentown people have agreed to follow suit.  It is likely that a public meeting will be called in Bolivar to be attended by Bolivar and Allentown people and others interested in bring the matter to a definite head.

    The party drove from Allentown to Wellsville via Knights Creek and Scio to look over the proposed line as Mr. Page had never been over the road.  A franchise for Wellsville was secured some time ago by Wellsville parties and there are some right of way contracts via the Brimmer Brook route for sale by the promoters.

     The proposed line to Allentown would carry both passengers and freight and express and would be a feeder for the Olean line.  There is a large amount of freight received in Allentown and it has to be hauled on wagons.  The line would be liberally patronized by oil men who own leases out that way.  President Page believes the line would be a good investment.

     Owing to the heavy expenditures of the past two years the Olean Street Railway Company has not the ready money to build the line, but it is willing to guarantee the payments of the bonds to be issued to build the line if the people along the line will subscribe to the bonds.

                  

Bolivar Breeze, Aug. 4, 1904

   

     TROLLEY PROSPECTS.

     Company of Bolivar, Allentown and Wellsville Men May Build Line From Bolivar to Wellsville.

                     ____

     During the past week some progress ha been made with the project of building a trolley line from Bolivar to Wellsville.  If the line is built it will be owned and controlled by Allegany county capital.  The proposition of the Olean Street Railway Company to have the people of Bolivar and Allentown furnish the money to build a line from Bolivar to Allentown and then not have a voice in the management or stock in the line after the bonds were paid off has been turned down.  There was nothing in it that smacked of fairness.  It was a jug handled proposition.  If local capitalists put up the money they propose to own the stock and control it.

     The new proposition is to build a line from Bolivar to Wellsville via Scio.  A company composed of eleven incorporators is to be organized to finance the proposition and to build the line, if it is built.  Seven of the incorporators have already been chosen.  They are E. J. Wilson, W. P. Cook, G. H. Bradley, and A. L. Shaner of Bolivar, John Tunstead and Dr. H. L. Hulett of Allentown.  A meeting will be held in Wellsville on Saturday [August 6th, 1904] to select four incorporators from Wellsville.

     Before the right of way can be taken under the new law, a company must be incorporated.  There is already in existence a franchise for Wellsville which was renewed at the last meeting of the Wellsville village board under Grant Duke’s administration.  The franchise was originally secured by W. L. Ward, J. E. Potter, and others but is now owned by Oak Duke.  Mr. Duke is enthusiastic over the trolley proposition.

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