Jamestown Trolley Restoration Project Volunteer Bob Johnston presents this third program in the 2019 Chautauqua County History Lecture Series, about an effort to restore a bit of Jamestown’s historic past.
The Jamestown Street Railway company started streetcar operations on June 19, 1884, with horse-drawn cars. It provided a much improved means of traveling the rough and muddy city streets of the time. In 1891, the streetcar lines were electrified. The horse-drawn cars were phased out; and the electric motor became the muscle to move the trolley cars.
In 1926, Jamestown Street Railway purchased eight new St. Louis Car Company trolley cars, numbered 91-98. These cars serviced the Willard Street and North Newland streetcar lines.
Road improvements, the increase in use of the automobile and a new form of mass transportation – the bus – slowly impacted trolley use and cut into Jamestown Street Railway profits; and in 1938, trolley service ended. The trolley cars were stripped and the shells sold for use as cottages on Chautauqua Lake. All of the number 91-98 cars have since been lost, except Car #93, which was pulled from the woods of Dewittville in 1996. It is on its way to being restored and preserved.
This program will include information on the history of Jamestown’s trolley service, and the volunteer-led restoration effort to restore Car #93.
Tickets available at the door; admission is FREE, although donations will be accepted