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Electric Traction Along The Stillwater: The Dayton, Covington & Piqua Traction Company
Scott D Trostel
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Date Listed:
2013-07-30 15:38:37
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Untitled Document

Electric Traction Along The Stillwater

The Dayton, Covington & Piqua Traction Company

By Scott D Trostel.

Softcover, 96 pages, 8.5x11", 54 photos, 12 illustrations, 12 maps. 2013.

"The era of the electric railway or "traction" in western Ohio is even more brief on the timeline of history than the days of the Miami and Erie Canal. The Dayton, Covington & Piqua Traction Company was a simple line, just 34 miles long, no branch lines to connect, a small fleet of cars and a unique park unlike most trolley parks of that day, to relax and enjoy the scenic Stillwater River at West Milton, Ohio.

"Faced with stiff competition, they ran a very tight and prompt service. They encouraged their passengers, and those with freight, in every way they could, it paid off handsomely. Overlook Park was a dazzling success, far outliving the other trolley parks in the region,. It became a shining gem even though it lacked the carnival-type rides of others. It was not unusual to find reports of 4,000 to 8,000 people at Overlook Park on a weekend, The population of West Milton, was only 1,000 total population. Admission to the park was free for those riding on the D C & P. The success of the park was so great that the line invested in two open-air cars, which were used four months years exclusively to transport patrons along the line to Overlook Park.

"The motormen and conductors knew their passengers and like-wise, passengers knew the D C & P men. They were respected, so much so that when the line encountered problems during times of heavy snow, residents and businessmen would volunteer to help shovel snow and keep the line open. When the road first encountered financial difficulties, it was the people in the towns they served who formed committees and put plans together to try and save the line, that is how well it was thought of.

"Although their freight service was limited in size, they went after every bit of business they could muster from delivery of a pair of shoes to entire car loads of sorted tobacco leaves and even livestock.

"The D C & P played a major role in helping the Dayton flood refugees during and after the 1913 flood, and was a success until WW I."