ENGLEWOOD — Scott Trostel, local author and historian from Fletcher, Ohio, will present a program entitled, ‘The History of the Dayton, Covington & Piqua (D.C.&P.) Traction Company’ at the Randolph Township Historical Society (RTHS) History Center from 2-4 p.m. on July 18.
The Center is located at 114 Valleyview Drive in Englewood. The event is free and open to the public, although donations are welcomed to help cover speaker’s fees and other costs.
The D.C.&P. was one of many electric interurban railways that operated throughout Ohio and other midwestern states in the early 1900s. Just 34 miles long, the D.C.& P. followed the Stillwater River Valley from Dayton to Covington and then cut east to Piqua. Tracks for the D.C.&P. ran on the east side of the Dayton-Covington Pike (Rt. 48) in rural areas and in the middle of the street in towns. Operating from 1902 until 1926 when it became insolvent, the D.C.&P. hauled passengers, mail, and freight with generally two cars per train (known as a combine). The D.C.&P. connected with many other interurban lines in Dayton so that passengers could travel throughout the region with ease.
Local farmers could take produce to market in Dayton via the D.C.&P, and Cleo Beery, of Union, wrote in his personal diary in about 1910 that he took the D.C.&P. into Dayton to attend accounting classes at Miami Jacobs College. In 1915, many residents of Englewood including the three Rasor girls, Anna, Eva, and Lily along with local photographer Edwin Sinks, who shot the photo that accompanies this article, took the traction to attend Chautauqua events south of Dayton along the Great Miami River.
The D.C.&P., also known as the Overlook Route, was especially popular in summer months when classic open-air excursion cars were used to take city dwellers to Overlook Park in West Milton for a day in the country.
Shortly after the trains stopped running in 1926, the rails were torn out and sold for scrap, putting an end to this glorious era in local history.
Trostel, the author of numerous books about Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train, the 1913 Miami Valley Flood, and Ohio traction lines, recently published “Electric Traction Along the Stillwater, the D.C.&P. Traction Company ($23.95). The speaker will sign copies of his book after the program, with refreshments to follow. Contact Sue Cummings at 832-1858 for additional details.