October 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm 6 comments

The face of a founder TR Bowen when one was proud to claim ownership of their Broadway Building( 430 Broadway)- no hidden LLC here !
photo Lisa Miller Lorain 365

As with everything else as soon as I start to write a post on one aspect of Lorain and I start- only to be sent off of the original concept on another journey of discovery.

I am putting together a booklet for Charleston Village Society’s – promotions and outreach committee, they are basically CVSI’s speakers bureau. Since we have two upcoming events/programs and in the need of updated handouts, I have been immersed in the research for some photos both in our files and on the web. I came across more information on my favorite Lorain Hero and Captain- Captain Wilford . I truly believe his story is the stuff books and films are made of-.

wilford house
His home, which should be embraced by Lorain’s city and county governments , historical societies , pointed to with pride is, as readers of
Who is Who in the 052.
are already aware a rental now with an RSO – but I digress

One photo of Broadway ( back in the day) on the web took me to
broadway Buusiness 1885 D Brady

Lorain Street Railway Blog. and there I stayed for the next couple of hours, leaving my own job of work to do on this blog and my coffee to get cold.
You really must pay this site a visit if you haven’t already.
There was my Captain!!!!!- along with Frank Vernam and George Clark listed as Founders of the Lorain Street Railway
Source Drew Penfield

The opportunity for improved transportation in Lorain caught the attention of eight local businessmen, who organized the Lorain Street Railway to connect the town’s business district to the factory and neighborhood south of town. The list of the founders is a who’s who of Lorain’s business community at the time. Thomas R. Bowen was a tailor and proprietor of the Union Clothing Store on Broadway;

Frank B. Vernam served as mayor of Lorain from October 1877 to April 1878, and was a real estate broker;

Thomas Wilford and Robert Crowley were lake captains of wide renown; Irwin D. Lawler established and edited the first newspapers in both Lorain and Amherst, and was also a real estate broker and attorney;

Note: you can find the Lawler ( The Leo) tragedy here

John B. Tunte (ED note: also killed by the sinking of the Leo) was the leading grocer in town and a real estate broker in partnership with Lawler; Walter Root was a farmer and member of a pioneering family involved in various business ventures in town, including a feed store and a bank. The final investor is listed as “H.F. Borrow”, but may have been Henry Barrows – proprietor of the Lorain Flouring Mills on Broadway. Thomas Bowen was elected president of the new company, while Frank Vernam served as manager and superintendent of the railway.

So thanks to the Lorain Street Railway I went off the track again…….. to be continued


Entry filed under: Charleston Village, city of lorain, history, Link -ups, men of substance. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

October 3rd- Signs and Times – Chris Ritchey (N)on Quixote- Tired of Tilting at Windmills

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dennis Lamont  |  October 7, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks Loraine
    It has certainly been a lot of fun working with Drew on the website. In addition we have taken several tours of the system to record “now” before it also disappears. Drew’s digging and putting together has provided (IMO) a greater depth of knowledge of the transportation and people of the area then has ever been done before. So much has fallen by the wayside, we are trying to go back and pick up as much of it as we can. Thanks to all that have contributed. If you are going to attend Lorain County Reads be sure and visit our table.

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  October 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    We will be there too- and I will promote it closer to the date – I started reading the website in depth this morning – it is fascinating especially connecting the dots and the stories to ones I had covered on this blog like the Leo – they were all about transportation ….. great work – name recognition is everything 😉

  • 3. Renee Dore  |  October 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Very interesting to learn that Capt Wilford was involved in improving his community with the Lorain street railway partnership. There is so much historical information about this man that a book could be written about him & his family and their dedication to this community back in the late 1800’s & early 1900’s. Just imagine what it must have been like for them to witness the transformation of a sleepy lake port village into one of the most influential cities on the Great Lakes!!

  • 4. Loraine Ritchey  |  October 13, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Not sure he would be happy to have RSO in his home or to see the deterioration of his neighbors homes…

  • 5. Renee Dore  |  October 14, 2013 at 12:52 am

    It was a shame when his great granddaughter visited the home that the owner wouldn’t go along with the Lorain County plaque support for the Captain’s former home. He turned his head to the idea nor did they want a plaque on their house. The Captain’s other homes on north Washington ( the one they lived in before they moved down the street and the one they had built for their rental in 1905 ) are still here also. They’ve been here for over 110 years and also have history tied to them too.

  • 6. Loraine Ritchey  |  October 14, 2013 at 11:43 am

    well we have tried for many years to get this city to see the assets of their historical stock – as I said I am tire of the windmills…..however I bet if it was to do with windturbines there would be money available come to think of it………

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