Your Price: $70.75
Part Number:124853

New Book
Dan Rager 310 pages softcover

The history of what became known as the B. & O. Lake Branch began as early as 1835 and spanned approximately 185 years. Over that timeline (1835 – 2021), a dozen different railroad company names blanketed the road between Painesville and Youngstown, Ohio. Each company expanded and changed the route between Lake, Geauga, and Trumbull Counties. The story of this branch has more turns and twists than the Grand River it was associated with. Furthermore, the author provides a perspective into the lives of those who lived and worked on the road as well as the events that took place. What began as a pedestrian and freight mover became an essential vehicle to move coal, oil, and iron ore from Fairport Harbor to Youngstown and beyond. Much of its early history has been forgotten until now. The book chronicles all of the railroads that covered the region, beginning with the Clinton Air Line Railroad that built the first right-of-way in 1852. The Painesville & Hudson, Painesville & Youngstown, Pittsburgh & Western, Baltimore & Ohio among others created an empire of transportation that fed the hungry fire-breathing furnace mills of Youngstown and Pittsburgh. In all, some 46 railroads were associated with the branch. The villages of Painesville, Fairport Harbor, Concord, Chardon, East Claridon, Burton, Middlefield, West Farmington, DeForest Jct. and Niles have their own histories written in independent chapters. Each town includes current photographs to show the remnants of what still exists. Some areas in the back country remain inaccessible to the public. The author has provided a plethora of current photographs in these areas including a comprehensive detailed analysis of each town. In addition, more than 300 color and black & white photographs along with blueprints, maps, ‘then and now’ photos are illustrated. The photo anthology contains exclusive photographs never before published. Newly discovered information about the DeForest Junction and Niles area is presented, including the 2021 razing of the railyard. In addition, an abundance of railroad materials unearthed during the 2018 excavation in Chardon of the Maple Highland Trail has been photographed. From the shores of Lake Erie to the Mahoning Valley and beyond, this book chronicles every step and ‘Stop’ along the branch. The journey from Painesville to Youngstown was approximately 64.4 miles. However, the story of the Lake Branch should be measured not in miles, but memories, as they have no limitations.