CLEVELAND, PAINESVILLE & EASTERN - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
The CLEVELAND, PAINESVILLE & EASTERN (CP&E) was the primary interurban line carrying passengers east from Cleveland to Painesville. A subsidiary line, the Cleveland, Painesville & Ashtabula, extended the route further east to Ashtabula, where passengers could transfer to other interurbans traveling to Erie, PA, and Buffalo, NY. The CP&E was chartered 25 April 1895, as part of the Everett-Moore syndicate. The syndicate, which included officers of the CLEVELAND ELECTRIC RAILWAY CO. controlled all northern Ohio interurbans except the Cleveland, Southwestern & Columbus. The CP&E began service between Cleveland and Painesville on 4 July 1896 from its initial terminus at Ivanhoe Rd. and Euclid Ave. The original, or "main" line included stations in Euclid, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Mentor, and Painesville. In 1897 the line was extended west to PUBLIC SQUARE, and a northern, or "shore" line was added in 1898, with stops at COLLINWOOD and Willoughbeach Park--a CP&E-owned trolley park on Lake Shore Blvd. (at E. 300th St.). The line promoted day trips to the park, which featured a dance hall, picnic groves, swimming, and a few rides.
The CP&E acquired the Painesville, Fairport & Richmond St. Railway in 1898, a 6-mile spur that added service from Painesville to Fairport. In 1900 the Everett-Moore syndicate established the Cleveland, Painesville & Ashtabula (CP&A), extending the interurban line 27 miles east of Painesville to Ashtabula. Although the CP&A opened in Oct. 1903, the syndicate immediately lost control of it to J. W. Holcomb and E. J. Latimer, owing to financial difficulties, but reacquired the line in 1906. The Cleveland, Painesville & Eastern was handicapped by connection with weak lines at the Ashtabula terminus of its subsidiary, and anticipated passenger traffic between Cleveland and Buffalo never materialized. Freight service dwindled as truck transport became established in the 1920s, and competition from buses and private autos led to declining ridership. Successive losses in 1923 and 1924 caused the line's demise. The CP&A closed first, in Feb. 1926. Willoughbeach Park did not reopen for the 1926 season. CP&E's only remaining money-making operation was an electric plant that provided power to several thousand customers between Mentor and Geneva which was sold to the CLEVELAND ELECTRIC ILLUMINATING CO. The final CP&E run was on 20 May 1926.
Last Modified: 14 Jul 1997 03:30:34 PM
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