RailsandTrails.com - Texts - 1854 Ohio Railroad Guide
Cleveland and Erie Railroad
FAREWELL to Cleveland! We may see it again, and often; but some of us will see it no more. What a miscellaneous company we are with in these cars! Some, no doubt, are familiar with this road, and will frequently pass here; but more are total strangers, and are going to distant regions, whence they will never return. And so we meet once in the brief journey of life, and look upon each other's faces, seen no more, till we shall meet at the general resurrection! We meet like ships at sea-- crossing each other once on the broad ocean of time; thence borne by the winds to distant parts, or, may be in the deep waters buried; but borne quickly and forever from sight. We meet, like two little waves on yon broad Lake, to mingle once, then beat on the shore, and disappear forever!
Some meet, like two glad stars, rejoicing in their way, and parting with smiles. Some meet, like two dark clouds, made sad by the winds of sorrow, and parting in tears. But all part, never again to meet in the same assembly. Let us remember this, and do what we can to make the passing hours agreeable. We are human-let us be humane. Even little things are of consequence in the aggregate of life; and the little service, the pleasant smile; the cheerful word, will all do good, and be remembered in the general account of good deeds performed on earth. But here we are. Where are we ?
THE CLEVELAND AND ERIE RAILROAD is now before us. It is 95 miles in length, and is run by two companies-one from Cleveland to the Pennsylvania Line, and one from the Line to Erie. It is one of the pleasantest roads (at any rate in the day line), there is in the country. At first we follow the shore of the Lake, under the town, and leaving all its pretty streets, and fine houses, and picturesque scenery above us. But we have got the Lake before us, and that is a grand thing in itself. See yonder white sailed schooner-how gracefully she bends to the gentle wind, and looms above the water! She is like a very bird, and seems the Spirit of the Lake. What dark thing is that, as far off as you can see, almost? Ah! she is a steamer-a packet from Detroit, perhaps. These Lake steamers are noble vessels-and like our cars here, are filled up with human beings, going here and there, up and down upon the earth. What in this world takes so many people all over the country? What takes you and me? I, you see, am just here to watch you all, and put you down in a book. But what are you doing ?
Going to buy goods? To see Niagara? To visit your old parents? To visit Babylon-that is, New York? To get married? To mourn, or rejoice, or what? What does take us all along from State to State, and town to town? I will venture to say you are all on a different errand-and some of you to very strange places. I once was going along this very place, and met a young man who seemed to be rather high, but then he talked straight, and he walked Straight; but he looked wild-and he was talking about the New Jerusalem, and the Millenium, and Heaven. He was going to the Lunatic Asylum. I suppose he thought more of religion than the world in general-and the world being the majority, said he was insane.
Another time, there were two young men with handcuffs on, and they were going to the Penitentiary. Again I saw a man who was high, and he jumped off the cars-going 30 miles an hour-to get low; and when we left, he was going down hill. Then I saw a girl who had married at 15, with a baby at her breast-and she was going to have a hard life. Then I saw another, smiling and blushing and she was going to be married; and at last, I saw one clothed in black, and tears upon her cheek. She was going to a funeral in the next village. Finally, I saw a slender man, whose cheeks were sunk, whose eye was glassy, whose heart heaved with a cough-and he was going to the grave. Then there were crowds of the gay and happy-all mingled in the passing throng; all parts of the great moving caravan of humanity-all hurrying along through their brief but varied hour.
"No more of this, if thou lov'st me, Hal," says some gay traveler, who would enjoy the passing hour; and he is right. The present is ours, and let us enjoy what we may, and learn what we can.
After a few miles, we leave the Lake shore, and getting on the general plain, pass through the interior--generally two or three miles from the Lake.
EUCLID, 10 miles from Cleveland, is the first station east. The village lies a mile or two from the station. The ownership of Euclid arose from a strike among the surveyor's men. They demanded higher wages; and General Cleveland, the agent, finally agreed to allow them a pre-emption of a township of land, at an agreed price. This settled the difficulty, and this is the way Euclid was purchased and settled. On the next page, is a view of the railway bridge over Euclid creek, with the village in the distance.
WICKLIFFE STATION, 4 miles from Euclid, 14 from Cleveland.
WILLOUGHBY, 19 miles from Cleveland, is at the crossing of Chagrin River, and in the county of Lake.