Railroad Was Key in Community's History

Railroad Was Key in Community's History

By Carol Chapman (1976)

By Carol Chapman (1976)

The decision on whether Andover or West Andover would be the center of commerce rested with the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway. In the 1870s. the railroad decided to build a branch line from Ashtabula to Youngstown, linking the steel industrial section at Pittsburgh and the famed Pennsylvania, oil fields at Oil City, Pennsylvania, with Lake Erie ports. Reportedly, two Andover businessmen, one of whom had a wife who was a good cook, wined and dined the railroad surveyors in an effort to convince them the center was the place for the railroad. Another version is that at a public meeting at West Andover. the railroad's representative, ER Woodbury of Jefferson, met serious opposition from the local property owners. The landowners wanted more money than the railroad was willing to offer. In the meantime, some public-spirited citizens from the center had met with Woodbury and discussed the possibility of getting the railroad right-of-way. When Woodbury again met with the West Andover residents. he was reportedly told they still wanted more money. He reportedly folded his papers, withdrew the offer and announced he had favorable contacts in Andover Center.

The branch line linking Andover and Youngstown was completed on June 3. 1873. In 1874. rails were laid to Conneaut. Ashtabula and Jamestown. Pennsylvania, with the junction being at Andover. The railroad was to bring prosperity and work to the community for more than half a century. Andover was an important stop for all trains traveling through the area.

The decision on whether Andover or West Andover would be the center of commerce rested with the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway. In the 1870s. the railroad decided to build a branch line from Ashtabula to Youngstown, linking the steel industrial section at Pittsburgh and the famed Pennsylvania, oil fields at Oil City, Pennsylvania, with Lake Erie ports. Reportedly, two Andover businessmen, one of whom had a wife who was a good cook, wined and dined the railroad surveyors in an effort to convince them the center was the place for the railroad. Another version is that at a public meeting at West Andover. the railroad's representative, ER Woodbury of Jefferson, met serious opposition from the local property owners. The landowners wanted more money than the railroad was willing to offer. In the meantime, some public-spirited citizens from the center had met with Woodbury and discussed the possibility of getting the railroad right-of-way. When Woodbury again met with the West Andover residents. he was reportedly told they still wanted more money. He reportedly folded his papers, withdrew the offer and announced he had favorable contacts in Andover Center. 

The branch line linking Andover and Youngstown was completed on June 3. 1873. In 1874. rails were laid to Conneaut. Ashtabula and Jamestown. Pennsylvania, with the junction being at Andover. The railroad was to bring prosperity and work to the community for more than half a century. Andover was an important stop for all trains traveling through the area.

The only major train accident occurred on a Saturday night in 1917 about 10 or II p.m. A coal train jumped the tracks at the North Main Street crossing and the locomotive slammed into a house, now owned by James Bean. The house was shoved six inches off its foundation. The owners at the time, the Jud Smiths, were sleeping in a bedroom right above where the locomotive hit the house. No one was injured, but most of the boys in school got suspended for playing hookey on Monday to watch the cleanup.

The decision on whether Andover or West Andover would be the center of commerce rested with the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway. In the 1870s. the railroad decided to build a branch line from Ashtabula to Youngstown, linking the steel industrial section at Pittsburgh and the famed Pennsylvania, oil fields at Oil City, Pennsylvania, with Lake Erie ports. Reportedly, two Andover businessmen, one of whom had a wife who was a good cook, wined and dined the railroad surveyors in an effort to convince them the center was the place for the railroad. Another version is that at a public meeting at West Andover. the railroad's representative, ER Woodbury of Jefferson, met serious opposition from the local property owners. The landowners wanted more money than the railroad was willing to offer. In the meantime, some public-spirited citizens from the center had met with Woodbury and discussed the possibility of getting the railroad right-of-way. When Woodbury again met with the West Andover residents. he was reportedly told they still wanted more money. He reportedly folded his papers, withdrew the offer and announced he had favorable contacts in Andover Center.

The branch line linking Andover and Youngstown was completed on June 3. 1873. In 1874. rails were laid to Conneaut. Ashtabula and Jamestown. Pennsylvania, with the junction being at Andover. The railroad was to bring prosperity and work to the community for more than half a century. Andover was an important stop for all trains traveling through the area.

The decision on whether Andover or West Andover would be the center of commerce rested with the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway. In the 1870s. the railroad decided to build a branch line from Ashtabula to Youngstown, linking the steel industrial section at Pittsburgh and the famed Pennsylvania, oil fields at Oil City, Pennsylvania, with Lake Erie ports. Reportedly, two Andover businessmen, one of whom had a wife who was a good cook, wined and dined the railroad surveyors in an effort to convince them the center was the place for the railroad. Another version is that at a public meeting at West Andover. the railroad's representative, ER Woodbury of Jefferson, met serious opposition from the local property owners. The landowners wanted more money than the railroad was willing to offer. In the meantime, some public-spirited citizens from the center had met with Woodbury and discussed the possibility of getting the railroad right-of-way. When Woodbury again met with the West Andover residents. he was reportedly told they still wanted more money. He reportedly folded his papers, withdrew the offer and announced he had favorable contacts in Andover Center. 

The branch line linking Andover and Youngstown was completed on June 3. 1873. In 1874. rails were laid to Conneaut. Ashtabula and Jamestown. Pennsylvania, with the junction being at Andover. The railroad was to bring prosperity and work to the community for more than half a century. Andover was an important stop for all trains traveling through the area.

The only major train accident occurred on a Saturday night in 1917 about 10 or II p.m. A coal train jumped the tracks at the North Main Street crossing and the locomotive slammed into a house, now owned by James Bean. The house was shoved six inches off its foundation. The owners at the time, the Jud Smiths, were sleeping in a bedroom right above where the locomotive hit the house. No one was injured, but most of the boys in school got suspended for playing hookey on Monday to watch the cleanup.

The curious gather at Andover's train derailment in 1917, to see the locomotive that hit this house at the North Main Street crossing.

The curious gather at Andover's train derailment in 1917, to see the locomotive that hit this house at the North Main Street crossing.

Powered by ConvertriPowered by Convertri