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Photo of the Month - February 2010

 1932 North Columbus

Photo from the David Bunge Collection      

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North is to the top of the photograph

        An aerial photograph taken in 1932 by Student Curtis E. LeMay later to be General Curtis E. LeMay.  This photo is a mosaic made by LeMay for his graduate thesis requirement at Ohio State University.  The techniques he developed would later be used in World War II.

        There is a surprising amount of railroading taking place on this piece of north side real estate.  There are five streetcar lines, The CD&M interurban and three steam railroads - the C&O, NYC - Big Four and PRR - Sandusky Branch. 

        The streetcar lines include:

  • the North-South High Street line that went north to Arcadia Avenue,

  • the Neil Avenue line that went north to Eleventh Avenue on the south edge of OSU,

  • the Fourth Street line that went north to Wyandotte Street,

  • the standard gauge Summit Street line that went north on Summit swung over to Indianola Avenue at Hudson and continued to Oakland Park Avenue (off picture to the north).  There was also service on the Summit Street line from  Indianola Avenue west on Arcadia Avenue then north on High Street to Worthington. 

  • Finally there was the Chittenden Avenue shuttle from High Street to the State fair grounds. 

If this is all confusing check the 1927 Columbus Street Railway Map.

        The Columbus Delaware & Marion Electric Co. interurban came from the north along side the Big Four tracks on the Worthington cutoff .   Just before Hudson Street it turned west to Indianola Avenue south to Hudson Street east one block to  Summit Street and on south to downtown Columbus.

        The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad delivered coal on a spur right down the  middle of Stadium Drive to the OSU power plant on the east side of the stadium.  On football game days as many as five passenger trains could be spotted along this spur.  Two fit along side the power plant in a small yard normally used for the coal cars.  One sat on the curve leading to Stadium Drive and two were spotted in a small two or three track yard in the middle of Stadium Drive.  OSU had a diesel switcher for moving the coal cars around.

0 C&O RR to Toledo


Stadium Drive now named Woody Hayes Drive.  The C&O had a siding that ran down the middle of the street to gain access to the OSU power house just to the east of the stadium.


Neil Avenue


Eleventh Avenue


North High Street


Indianola Avenue


Hudson Street


Summit Street


Fourth Street


Arcadia Avenue


North High School on Arcadia Avenue


The Columbus, Delaware & Marion Electric Co. interurban line's Worthington bypass.  You can see the track curve from along side the NYC RR going west to Indianola and turning south onto Indianola Avenue.

If you look closely you can see the corners are cutoff at both Indianola/Hudson and Hudson/Summit to allow the big interurban cars to turn the corner.  An interurban can be seen turning onto Indianola Avenue.


Side by side are the New York Central Railroad (Big Four) on the west and the Pennsylvania Railroad's two track Sandusky Branch on the east.


PRR siding to the  Ohio State fair grounds.  At one time, before Grogan Yard was built, this was the Sandusky Branch main line.


The Olentangy River


Olentangy Amusement Park


Columbus Railway Power & Light Company's North High Street car house at the corner of North High Street and Arcadia Avenue. 

17 The "Shoe" - Ohio State Stadium.  You can see the running track extending from the open end.  The great Jessie Owens would burn this track up in just a few years while attending OSU before the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
18 OSU powerhouse
19 A small yard used for the coal cars the C&O brought to the OSU power house.
20 The OSU Oval