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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Long Branch Park: 1905

Long Branch Park: 1905

Onondaga County, New York, circa 1905. "Streetcar depot, Long Branch Park. Syracuse, Lake Shore and Northern Railroad." An interesting glimpse of the interurban system that served Syracuse and neighboring towns until the 1930s. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


To Chicago on my dime

A 1950s American Heritage article, "Goodbye to the Interurban," recalls how a person could pay a nickel in New York City and ride using transfers to Syracuse, then take a regular train for 20 miles, then pay another nickel and ride to Chicago using transfers -- all on interurbans, except for that 20-mile gap. Sounds like a grueling trip, but cheap.

The park remains - no so the railroad

The last of the interurban lines in Onondaga County's Syracuse NY area were dismantled about 1932. The advent of automobiles had eroded their primary function of connecting local village/town centers.

Long Branch Park remains, however, and remains a pleasant wooded gathering spot in the outer Syracuse area for events such as car shows, ethnic festivals, picnics and exhibits.

The decline and fall of rapid transit

Little did they know: since about 1915 it's been all downhill.

Maybe yes, maybe no

Somewhere I picked up a story that, at one time, a person could get halfway across the country by hopping from one interurban line to the next. I do not know if this is true, but there sure were a lot them.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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