WELCOME to ASHTABULA, OHIO the town where I grew up. The time
period is around 1945 to 1954, and though the town was small it was big
in commerce. You could always find work here, if not in the factories
there were always the docks at the harbor. The Rail Roads were very
active bringing in coal to be loaded on to the big ore boats for shipping to
other ports on the great lakes, or picking up of iron ore unloaded from
the boats to feed the steel mills to the south. The Superior and Union
docks comprised three large dock areas devoted to iron ore and coal, the
PRR served one, and the NYC the other two.
There were also three other docks called the Penny Docks two of which
handled self unloaders only and the other handled both Loading and
unloading of general merchant. Sidely a company that makes concrete
products, and also supplied stone, and ready mixed concrete for
construction jobs. Had a dock also where they received stone, gravel,
crushed rock, and sand. There was an Acme Scrap Yard in town that had
a dock area where they shipped cut up cars. There was a car ferry dock
some where on the river which I have not been able to place yet. I am
not sure if it was for rail cars, automobiles, or both.
Over the years there were many RR in the area, C&O, B&O, NKP,
V&O, etc., some were combined to form others and died out while
others remained. There was Conrail, and PRR combined with NYC to
Between the harbor and up town on 21st off of lake avenue was the
main passenger train station and rail way express. Leaving the station
going west was a half round house, and large sorting yard to the south,
and a quarter round house to the north side of the tracks. Further west
was a reclamation plant where they burned old rail cars and salvaged
what they could of metal parts. Up town was trackage that served The
Arthur Louis supply co., two Lumber Yards and the Acme Scrap Yard
located off 48th street. The NKP track ran along side 48th street passed
Sidley Concrete Co., and the freight depot, and then a cross main street
and out over the truss bridge to the east toward Erie Pa.
East of the harbor area off of state road which runs north and south
were large chemical plants, a General Electric Motor plant, and another
reclamation plant where they repaired rolling stock. These plants in
addition to the smaller ones off Ann avenue, which included the Fork
and Hoe, Itenfiber Co., Corrugated Box Co., and the Tannery supplied a
great many jobs to the area. There was another tannery in the gulf on
the bank of the river. The hill where main avenue went down in to the
Gulf was called Tannery Hill. There was a seat cover factory also on the
east side. We had two bottling plants on the east side, one was Coke, but
I do not remember what the other one was.
I did have the one round house installed along with the sorting track,
and main train station in the up town area. Most of that was lost when I
had a map crash, I have since replaced most of the content, including
my own model of the Ashtabula Station, and Lake Avenue underpass. I
have been concentrating on the harbor area where I have one of the
sorting areas completed and three of the bridges installed. One bridge
was made by Valcan, and the other two by me, since I could not find
models of these two particular bridges on the DLS. The screen captures
you will find here is of the completed and uncompleted areas of the
harbor. I will show the up town areas later as I go along.
The first pictures start on the next page. The first one is of the harbor
lift bridge, modeled after the actual bridge which is still in use today.
The bridge was constructed in 1926, and under went renovation in 1976.
It is The Brown Mystic Type Tunnion Bascule Bridge, designed and built
by the Brown Engineering Co. out of Cleveland. It is 156 feet long with a
main span of 124 feet. Some detail was left off of the model to conserve
polys. Traveling east from the lift bridge, picture 2 shows the second
road bridge, that passes over the tracks from the sorting yard.
The layout is not exactly like the area, because of a lack of information
on the time period. Most of what I do have is from what pictures, and
historic writings about the area I was able to find, and from my own