Rebirth and Expansion
The horse-drawn streetcar enters its heyday
The board of directors took action at two meetings a week apart as
reported in the Citizen of September 12, 1900:
P. B. Zeigler was elected president of the board of
directors. This move is in effect a reorganization and will be followed by
some improvements. Three new cars have been ordered... It is expected that
some extensions of the track will be made ... What is not
said is that Charles Hoff was relieved of his duties as Manager. In
addition to assuming the Presidency, Mr. Zeigler became the Manager, and
the offices of the company were moved to his business. The order for three
cars must have been canceled later as there is no evidence of any of them
Two days later the Citizen reported:
"The streetcar company is getting down to business. After
a long lethargic existence the company has awakened to the fact that
Tucson needs good street car service. Yesterday a force of men - that is
one Mexican and three supervising "kids" - was put on Congress
street to dig the dirt off the rails. Today the cars are running on
schedule time. They leave the school house on the hour and the university
on the half hour. Hereafter they will be run on time. Tickets containing
twenty-five rides will be sold at reduced rates. By buying these tickets a
savings of two cents will be made on the children's fare on the regular
rate of five cents and one cent on the adults."
Car #5 turning the corner
from Congress onto Stone Avenue
The changes resullted in an immediate turnaround in the revenue
picture. The last two months of the year yielded the highest revenue of
any month all year. In 1901 revenues were more than double those of 1900,
Four months later the Citizen reported that Mr. Zeigler was
for a new streetcar:
"The latest piece of rolling stock of the Metropolitan
Transit system was put in service today. It is a light blue, open car,
with seats running across from running board to running board. The work on
the car was done almost entirely by Mr. Zeigler and his son Andrew with
the assistance of Ronstad's (sic) force. While the car is not a Pullman in
appearance, it is stauncher and truer than those other affairs wherein the
floors shifted uneasily at every curve. It didn't even make pretense of
jumping at Congress street, where the old cars had to be navigated with so
much care. The management of the company is entitled to credit for the
measures it has taken to insure the safety of the traveling public, even
though that public is unappreciative in its patronage and its gibes."
The March 1901 and March 1904 (bottom) Sanborn
Fire Maps of the car barn show the changes made during the horsecar era.
In 1901 the only thing on the property other than the 8' high adobe wall
was the horse car stable, and a foundation for an as yet unfinished adobe
building. Presumably the additional storage room and outhouse shown at the
rear of the property on the 1904 map were added during late
An unfortunate fatal accident involving the street car track occurred
on April 8, 1901. It took the life of prominent Tucson businessman, Benjamin
D. Fairbanks, proprietor of the Fashion. He and his wife were driving through
the city when their horse became frightened and ran away. It was reported
that the buggy got caught in the groove of the streetcar track at Stone
and Congress, and overturned spilling both occupants onto the street. Mr.
Fairbanks died later that evening. The street car company was severely
criticized for the condition of its tracks.
Tucson's summer thunderstorms have always wrecked occasional havoc
about the city. One particularly strong storm swept through town on
Saturday, August 10, 1901. Many residences and businesses were damaged
including the street car barn. The Arizona Daily Star reported that
"The streetcar barn roof went flying on Saturday. The horses moved
then as they never moved before."
The significant increase in riders had been engendered by some relatively
simple improvements in the service and the introduction of a single new
streetcar. That combined with the fact that ridership was sustained over
the entire year of 1901 and into early 1902, no doubt encouraged the board
of directors to think of investing a significant amount of money in route
First sign of what was to come was the removal of the unused rails on
Pennington street, reported by the Star on February 19. Apparently
they were stored for use on planned extensions.
On March 6, 1902, the Tucson Street Railway received title to the car
barn property on the northeast corner of Stone Avenue and 5th St. They
purchased the property for back property taxes. Apparently, this clear
title spurred the directors into spending $1634.41 on the barn later that
View of the car barn, dated
The next sign of change came with a board meeting on April 5, 1902. The
next day the Star reported the decision to increase the capital
stock from $25,000 to $50,000 and to raise the limit of indebtedness from
$5,000 to $50,000. The newspaper apparently had an error in the last
figure, as the Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation listed the limit
of indebtedness at $33,000.
A week later P. B. Zeigler resigned as Manager and Mr. Hoff was back
in. It is assumed that the directors, anticipating the upcoming
construction program, felt it would be better to go with the man who had
successfully completed the initial construction.
The condition of the streets was a continuing concern of the citizens.
The Citizen of January 30, 1901 proclaimed:
"Congress street is a disgrace to the city. It resembles
more a hog wallow than the principal thoroughfare of a thrifty city. The
people feel the necessity of paving whenever it rains, and particularly
Congress street. Something should be done."
Inside of the carbarn, 1915
The media reflected the feelings of the public that existing streets
should be better maintained by regularly calling for street grading,
sprinkling and oiling. In addition, the opening of new streets was
The biggest concern of all was "the Wedge". The newspapers
and the public had agitated for over five years before the first block
finally came down in May 1902. When the removal of the old buildings was
complete on the 6th of the month, the whole town broke out into
celebration. At least 1000 people gathered at the west end to see the last
adobe wall fall at 9:13 p.m.
Two days later when all the rubble was hauled away, the holes filled in
and the street graded, another celebration broke out with music, bonfires,
speeches and fireworks. And of course the newspapers had already begun to
call for the removal of the next block.
The directors of the Tucson Street Railway met again on the 30th of May
to "create a bonded indebtedness of twenty thousand dollars...for the
purpose of raising money". The money was to be used to pay off the
previous bonds in the amount of $5000 and to extend the lines and acquire
Improvements weren't long in coming. The Star of June 10
reported: "John Beck and his forces unloaded passenger No. 56 from a
flat car yesterday. The coach is from Los Angeles, an open car, and was
placed on the track... "
In fact, the Citizen of July 22 contains an interview with
Charles Hoff which states that: "Two new cars were recently purchased
from the Los Angeles Electric Railway Company... One of these has arrived,
after a long delay occasioned by trouble had with the iron works which had
the contract for altering the cars. The other car will be along
shortly." It is assumed that the alteration referred to was the
changing of the gauge from the narrow gauge of the Los Angeles company to
the standard gauge used in Tucson.
The Hoff interview goes on to say that: "As soon as we get these
cars running, ...the old cars will be repaired and repainted." He
then promised better service and new lines. The first extension was said
to be to Union Park (at Park Avenue and 22nd Street), where horse and
later auto racing was held.
There is no evidence that the horsecar ever made it to Union Park. In
fact a notice for the March 1, 1903 races announces that cars will leave
Stone and Congress every ten minutes after 1:30 and there will be "a
free bus" from the cars to the track.
The first new line to be constructed in August and September of 1902
did head in the direction of Union Park. It was built on South Stone and
East 17th Street.
The Star of August 15 reported that two blocks of track had been
laid using 16 pound rail. It is assumed this was the rail formerly on
Pennington Street. The track connection was made at Stone and Congress on
the 18th according to the Citizen. Two days later a few of the
made the first trip over the new line to the cathedral. The rails had been
laid to McCormick Street and it was expected 17th Street would be reached
The "wedge," a line of narrow blocks
"wedged" between Congress Street on the south and Maiden Lane on
On September 2, 1902, the city council adopted Ordinance No. 160
amending the original downtown line of the Tucson Street Railway. The
Pennington portion was eliminated, and the East Congress line to the depot
was rerouted via Congress and Fifth Avenue. This routing took advantage of
the extension of Congress Street through the block between Sixth and Fifth
Apparently there was some delay in completion and operation of the new
line, perhaps caused by both a lack of rail and cars. The Citizen of
September 13 reported that a new car had been placed on the Stone Avenue
line running to the "present terminus at Sixteenth street." It
is assumed that this was one of the two used cars from Los Angeles.
Effective Monday, September 15, 1902, two cars were put on the
University line creating a 30 minute headway. The notice also indicated
that "Twenty-five ride students' tickets will be sold for 75 cents;
twenty-five ride commutation tickets will be sold to the general public
for $1.00 each; and tickets may be bought at Underwood & Franklin, or
may be ordered through the drivers."
Car #6, driven by Anson Orzo
The terminus on South Stone probably remained at 16th Street while all
the track on 17th Street was constructed. The Citizen of the 29th
that "The company expects to make the connection at Seventeenth
street and Ston (sic) avenue in a few days." Thus it can be assumed
that the line was completed shortly after October 1.
In the meantime, by the 26th of September "A gang of men were
taking up the Congress street track...west of Sixth avenue." It is
not known exactly why. Perhaps they were replacing the two block section
over to Stone with heavier rail. It is clear they were not beginning the
extension east along the new alignment granted in the amended franchise as
that work was done in April of 1903. In any case, while work was in
progress, no service was provided to the depot.
Car #5, near First Avenue
Work on the new line down Toole and 4th Avenue was being done at the
same time as mentioned in the October 4 Citizen which said that
"Ties and rails are being laid on the southeast branch of the system
today." It appears the work of installing a connection at 4th Avenue
and 17th Street disrupted street car traffic on 17th Street for some time,
as the December 18 Citizen reported:
"At the council meeting last night the strete (sic)
commissioner called attention to the fact that the street car company has
not run a car down Congress strete (sic) to the depot for sixty days. They
have failed to do the same on Seventeenth street. Their charter states
particularly that failure to operate on any street for a period of thirty
days would result in the forfeiture of these streets. It would appear as
though the street car company had overlooked
By that time the job must have been nearly complete as there is no
evidence anyone ever did anything about the comments.
There is no record of exactly when the East Congress-South 4th Avenue
line was finished and placed in service. Some of the expenditures for the
two lines completed in 1902 as recorded in the company journals were:
surveying $75.00, track and iron $1745.01, and ties and culverts $985.60.
The Tucson Post of July 25, 1903 quoted a street railway industry
with the following figures on the Tucson Street Railway for 1902:
Length of the line...................5.10 miles
Weight of rails........................6 pounds
Number of cars................................. 4
# of passengers, 1902.............. 49,710
Capital stock issued............... $21,800
Funded debt @ 7% interest... $11,500
Maximum speed.......... 7 miles an hour
No accidents were reported during 1902. Based on company revenue
records, ridership was up 151.75% in 1902 over 1901.
More new street cars were predicted starting in the September 29th,
"The old pueblo street car company will again startle the
unsuspecting public within a few days by the addition of two new cars to
the service. The rolling stock on that line will soon become so numerous
that the city council will begin to enact some new legislation. When the
addition is made, four cars will actually be making trips on the line.
This will probably necessitate the employment of a dispatcher, as the
people are becoming farful (sic) of accidents. Two cars actually came
within four minutes of meeting each other on the Stone avenue junction
just on time last Saturday evening."
Despite the facetious nature of the article, the reality of new street
cars was confirmed in the Star of October 17, 1902. The article states
that "The company is building a new car for the Fourth Avenue line
and will shortly begin the construction of another. By the first of
January Mr. Hoff says he will have four cars in constant operation."
It is believed the new cars referred to were #8 and #9.
The next report on them comes in the November 10 Citizen which
"The Tucson Street Railway company is preparing to spring
a surprise on the public in the shape of a brand new car. The car is a
home product, being made entirely in Tucson. People will, without a doubt,
be surprised at our local ability."
The new car, #8, was completed and went into service on January 8,
1903. The morning paper wrote: "The new car from Ronstadt's' (sic)
shop was on the track yesterday, making occasional trips to the
University. The appearance of uniformed conductors was also a novelty (o)f
the day. The old line is getting there." The evening paper had
previously mentioned the appearance of the conductors and drivers in their
"...pretty gray uniforms and caps."
Regarding the new car it said: "The street car company produced a
new street car yesterday. . .and Manager Hoff declared that it was
entirely a home product. The wheels, trucks and iron were cast by
Gardener, Worthem & Goss. The wood work was executed at Ronstadt's
carriage works. Other material was purchased here in the city. . . Tucson
is not exactly in the car manufacturing business but she can do a few
things in a pinch.
At about the same time, the Tucson Street Railway made two other
changes. The Citizen of January 24 informed the public that:
"The Street car company has put up a bulletin board for
the benefit of its patrons. . . under the big time clock on the corner of
Stone Avenue and Congress Street. It shows the schedule for cars arriving
at and leaving that point. The company has also fitted up the cars with
new patent pantoasole curtains for the protection of passengers from the
sun and storms. The line is steadily improving."
March 1 was the day the horses got away. The next evening the incident
was reported thus:
"A team of horses belonging to the Tucson Street Railway
ran away last evening, leaving the car and driver at the university. When
the driver was asked where the horses had gone, he stated they were in
quest of feed. When the drivers admit that horses need feed, they must
In late January it was rumored that the car line would be extended east
of the University. The Star of March 7 gave more information
indicating that the line would go as far as the Gould Cottages. It also
mentioned plans to create a park of 30 to 50 acres at the end of the line.
The evening paper of March 28 stated that work had been underway on the
line for three weeks:
"The rails are already laid along the county road to the
Eastern boundary of the university and yesterday afternoon the first car
went up as far as Professor Blake's residence and the same conveyed
Manager Hoff and Mr. and Mr. Charles Blenman as the first passengers. This
was very applicable as Mr. Blenman has worked hard for the extension. . .
F. Ronstadt Company's new building on
the southwest corner of Sixth Avenue and Broadway, January,
By April 1, according to the Star, the track was laid as far as the
Women's dorm, also called North Hall. Work apparently halted at that point
for a few weeks.
There is a map of the County Road in the Special Collections at the
University of Arizona. It lead to Martinez Ranch, which was on the Rillito
River beyond Fort Lowell. It is shown beginning at Third Street and the
city limits (First Avenue). Using the names of the streets as they exist
today, it followed University Blvd., Park Avenue, 2nd Street, Campbell
Avenue, then east on Speedway.
The foundry of Gardiner, Worthen &
On the 21st of March the Tucson Street Railway purchased 17 acres of
land northeast of today's Speedway and Warren Avenue. Charles Hoff
personally purchased another 134.8 acres directly north of the TSR parcel.
It was common for street railways of the day to develop parks at the rural
end of one of their lines as a means of promoting ridership. About a month
later the Citizen of April 17 described the company's plans for the
"The park... will be cleared, fenced and made beautiful
and attractive during the coming summer. Dancing pavilions will be placed
in the park and during the summer evenings music will be furnished, so
that some amusement will be in store for Tucson's young
Work on the line apparently resumed on the 17th, as the same article
stated that: "A large gang of men were put on the University
extension today and the line will be extended to the Tucson Street Railway
Park." The work was still continuing on the 26th according to the
Star, but must have been completed very shortly thereafter. The
extension went east to Pine Street (today's Warren Avenue) and thence
north to the park. However, no reference has been found of any
improvements being made to the park, or any events being held there during
the summer of 1903.
While the University line extension was under way, other work was also
taking place. The March 23rd Citizen indicated that:
"The work of
replacing the light rails on the city street car line with heavy rails, is
progressing rapidly. The rails will be laid from the University to
Seventeenth street and the light ones will be used on the
The company's 1903 Annual Report indicates that the heavy rail was 25
pound, while the light rail was 18 pound, although all the news accounts
say 16 pound. It seems inconceivable the TSR would have actually replaced
the rail on Stone south to 17th which had just been installed a few months
earlier. But it is repeated in the April 17 Citizen: "... they
are replacing the light rails on South Stone avenue with heavy ones with
the intention of making the road electric at an early date."
In addition to the above sections, heavier rail was also laid on the
new Congress - Fifth Avenue alignment. The April 2 Star reported
that "East Congress street beyond Sixth avenue is being graded".
This was the first step preceding the laying of track which occurred the
following week, reported by the Star on the 10th:
"C. F. Hoff,
superintendent of the Tucson Street railway and Surveyor Contzen were
busily engaged yesterday in surveying and laying a new track up East
Congress street to the depot. Some thirty Mexican laborers were employed
in this work."
This work must have been completed by the 17th when the Citizen
reported: "The work of the Tucson Street Railway is being pushed to
completion as rapidly as possible. The Congress street loop is
completed...". Cost figures for certain elements of the work done
during the first four months of 1903 can be obtained from the company
records: surveying $36.00, track and iron $5083.80, and ties and culverts
Of course the business of carrying passengers continued through the
construction. An amusing incident is related as happening March 29.
"The car which contained several people was pulled
off the track through the negligence of the driver. He was entertaining
the passengers and the team reaching the end of a curve by the University,
instead of turning, went ahead and pulled the car after them. The
passengers were somewhat frightened, but no one was hurt. The car was
placed on the track in a short time."
The first of the three cars
built by Ronstadt, car #8, c. 1906
With the bulk of the track work finished, headways to the university
were improved the week of April 19, 1903. Apparently the system was
operated as one line on a 15 minute headway. Over the portion south of
downtown, each successive car went a different direction around the loop.
However, this raises a couple of questions.
First, this system of operation would have required cars to pass in
downtown just before diverging onto the loop. There must have been a
passing siding installed somewhere on Stone. It also would have required a
switch half way to the end of the university line. Such a switch was
installed "at the Indian school" in July of 1904. But what did
they do prior to that time?
Second, what happened to the portion of track on 17th Street east of
4th Avenue once the line began to be operated as a loop? Perhaps it was
operated only occasionally, enough to keep the franchise in effect, or
perhaps it ran on race days at Union Park with the free "bus"
connection cited earlier.
Car #9 on Park Avenue with the University
fence and buildings in the background
The last completely new line of the Tucson Street Railway was
constructed in July and August of 1903. The Citizen of July 22nd
"Rails are being laid on West Congress street, as an extension from
Stone avenue to Meyers street, thence to Seventeenth."
The story behind that simple statement was revealed by Tucson's weekly
paper the Tucson Post in an article on July 25 headlined "Street
Railway Builds New Line.
" The Tucson Street Railway is actively engaged in
constructing a new line. . . The council threatened to revoke the
franchise if the line was not completed and in operation within six
months. Not wishing to lose their franchise the company at once commenced
the construction of the new line. Manager Hoff predicts that it will be
completed and in operation within ten days. The company has sufficient
steel on hand to build it. Sixteen pound rails are being laid. Some
objections have been made to the construction of the line particularly on
Congress street between Church and Meyer on account of the narrowness of
the street, but when the lower wedge is removed there can be no trouble
from this source. The people in the southwestern part of the city wish for
car service and this line will meet their needs."
The line was completed on August 5th or 6th.
Car #10 on Second Street
The concern over the narrowness of Congress is reflected in the comment
published in the Citizen on the 7th, apparently the first day of
"Jack Boleyn drove down Congress street this morning
and as he passed the waiting car of the Tucson street railway line he was
heard to say that if he was on his leviathan truck he would certainly run
over that car. As it was he barely got through between the car and
Costs for materials for line extensions between May and August of 1903
are listed in the company records as follows: track and iron $808.25, and
ties and culverts $897.83.
Trouble with unruly kids has always been a problem. The August 17th
Citizen reported that "A number of small boys annoyed
drivers on the street cars yesterday by climbing on the cars and shouting
for the drivers to stop. The police have been notified and the practice
will be cut short."
Another new street car entered service on November 4, 1903 according to
information in the journals of the Tucson Street Railway. It had been
promised at the time #8 was being build a year earlier. The reason for the
delay in completing #9 is not known.
The surviving journals of the Tucson Street Railway record the
following expenditures during the last four months of 1903 for items
relating to the line extensions: surveying $50.00, track and iron
$1215.46, and ties and culverts $1028.00. However, the newspapers contain
no accounts of construction during that period. It is assumed that these
amounts were for expenses incurred previously, but not paid until this
The result of new lines, new streetcars, and a 15-minute headway was
amazing. The number of riders was up 280% over the previous year. Since
1900, patronage had risen an unbelievable 850%! According to the annual
report, the total number of passengers carried in 1903 was 135,256.
The new year brought the final new streetcar of the horsecar era and
the first inside waiting room for transit patrons. The company records
show that car #10 was placed into service on January 17, 1904.
The January 21, 1904 Tucson Citizen reported that
"... the Tucson Street Railway company has secured a
lease...of the office to be vacated by the Western Union Telegraph Co.
The... office in the Hill building, formerly the Radulovich block, will be
divided into two... The rear is to be for the offices of the street
railway company and Mose Drachman, resident agent and broker, and the
front... a waiting room."
On March 3rd the same paper announced that "The Tucson Street
Railway company's new offices and waiting room are open to the public at
16 North Stone avenue."
The first known crime affecting the streetcar line was reported in the
February 8, 1904 Citizen:
"A street car bound south on Meyers street was held up
in the Barrio Libre district Sunday night by three Mexicans, one of whom
had ridden a block telling the driver to stop at a given point. The driver
did so, when two men came out of a house to the car. The driver left and
called up manager Hoff, who came down with an officer. They found the car
standing on the track. Mr. Hoff and the officer investigated saloons but
could not find the Mexicans. Nothing was taken from the cash register. The
man who had ridden one block on the car had previously done so, paid his
fare and then disappeared. This trip was made through the same block and
was evidently made to size up the situation."
The February 3rd, 1904, Citizen reported that membership in the new
Tucson Country Club was increasing. The next day the paper announced plans
for the club house, which was expected to be ready for use that summer.
The location given was "near the end of the street railroad line
about a mile beyond the University."
Streetcar track runs down the
middle of a widened Congress Street, c. 1904
What was not stated in the paper was that the land involved was a
portion of that previously purchased by the Tucson Street Railway for a
park. It appears the company had given up the idea of developing their own
park. Perhaps the money spent on the unplanned Meyer Street line had used
the resources set aside for that purpose. In any case, the east 300 feet
of the park land (6 of the 17 acres) was sold to the Tucson Country Club
on February 10 for $5,000.
Part of the agreement may have been to extend the car line to the
Country Club, a distance of about 600 feet east on Speedway. This work was
done in July as the club house was being built. The company took advantage
of having a track crew at work to also install a passing siding on Third
street near the Indian school, according to the Citizen of July
30. The links were finished and opened to use in March 1905.
Driver poses for the camera on the
platform of car #9, on Third Street near Euclid
Unlike Phoenix, which suffered two disastrous car barn fires in 1910
and 1947, Tucson has never had a transit maintenance facility fire.
However, a scare occurred on March 20, 1904, and was reported in the
"There was a steady stream of people who passed northward
along Stone avenue last evening after dusk. This was accounted for from
the fact that the fire alarm bell slowly struck five times, district No.
5, followed by rapid strokes. The department responded, crossed to the
street railway barn and there the boys learned that a lamp had been
knocked over but did no harm."
The big news in the Spring of 1904 was the removal of the second block
of "the wedge". Work was underway by April 6 when the
suggested "that the city officials keep down the dust while work
progresses along the line." As luck would have it, they tried a
little too hard, the paper on the 11th reporting that "One of the
city sprinkling carts fell into the old Delta cellar lower wedge, this
afternoon. A dozen men managed to extricate the cart in a short
time." On Saturday night the 16th, the city again celebrated.
However, the accounts of it seem to be a bit more subdued the second time
The Citizen of the same day announced the change of name for
Gardens. "Emanuel Drachman, the owner, and Alex Rossi will open the
new park May 1 with music and dancing." The Elysian Grove immediately
became "the place to go". Huge crowds thronged the place. Sunday
night, June 19, the Citizen reported 2,000 people enjoying the
After the next successful weekend, a large ad appeared announcing the
programme for that week. At the bottom it noted that "Union Stable
Carryalls will leave the People's Store corner every 10 minutes for the
Grove. Fare 5c." The Citizen contrasted the service provided
carryalls and the street cars:
"The motive power of the Tucson Street railway has
opposition, which goes the M. P. (mule power) one better for the same
fare. The opposition runs to the gate at the grove, while the M. P.
unloads passengers at Simpson and Meyers. The future (?) electric service
of the Tucson Street railway promised three months ago seems to be slow in
coming, hence the opposition. There will be more, if signs do not
The competition from the carryalls and the support of the Grove
management led Charles Hoff to take action. The Citizen of July 11
"Without the formality of asking the Council for a
franchise, Manager Charles T. (sic) Hoff, of the Tucson City Railroad
company put a force of men on Simpson street to lay a spur from Meyers
street to the Elysian Grove gate. When the Mayor heard of the proceeding,
he forthwith sent Marshal Hopley to the scene to stop operations. When the
Mayor was last seen he was roasting a member of the street committee for
having given Hoff power to act, 'not even a written permit being granted,'
said the Mayor."
The final Tucson horsecar, #10
The next day's paper contained a long article headlined: "Hoff
Was Sidetracked: Mayor vs. Street Committee".
"Strained relations between Mayor Schumacher and the
street Committee... have existed for some time, and the incident of
yesterday. . . only made matters worse between the Mayor and the
committee. It seems that the Elysian Grove management, E. Drachman and
Alex Rossi, wanted the street railway company to put in a branch of two
blocks length, from the Meyer street line to the Grove. The Grove
management was willing to meet the expense of $200, if the street railway
could not, it being understood that the company should refund that amount
to Drachman & Rossi in due course of time. With this understanding,
Drachman and Manager Hoff of the railway company, called on City Attorney
J. B. Wright, and asked. . . what course they should pursue. . . Mr.
Wright replied that. . . they should go to the Street Committee and secure
a permit. . . This was two weeks ago. The Street Committee gave the
permit, and yesterday Manager Hoff's three street graders, with wagons,
were at work digging out the center of Simpson street for laying the ties
and rails. . . "
The article goes on describe in great detail the meeting between Hoff,
Drachman and the mayor, and the special meeting of the city council called
that evening and continued the next afternoon. It also points out that
the original franchise provided that all switches and turnouts be located
under the direction of the Street Committee. The end result was the submission
of a formal request by the company to the city council, which was approved
that afternoon. The work no doubt resumed immediately with the track being
ready to carry the crowds to the Grove the following weekend.
The public responded dramatically. There were five weekends in July
1904; on the last three the streetcars took people directly to the Grove.
The result was one of the highest ridership figures of any month on record,
with about 14,000 people carried. But the novelty quickly wore off - August
riders were only half those of July.
In fact, July was the turning point, based on available records. Patronage
thereafter began to decline, even though the totals for the years 1903
and 1904 showed no significant difference.
Continue with chapter 6 Is-zing into the Future