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Lincoln Park Train Exhibit on E. Elm Street
Lima

, OH

One of America’s largest and best known steam locomotive builders, the Lima Locomotive Works built 7,752 locomotives between 1879 and 1951. It rose to success building the patented Shay geared locomotive, an innovative design that became the standard for railroad logging. In the early 20th century Lima began building mainline locomotives, exemplified by the “Super-Power” 2-8-4 Berkshire, which used superheated steam and an enlarged firebox for unprecedented power and speed. Introduced in 1925, it showcased Lima’s technological prowess. The “loco works” employed workers of many nationalities, fostering a legacy of ethnic diversity in Lima. Often several generations of the same family worked in the same shop, a practice that encouraged loyalty and a tradition of craftsmanship passed to succeeding generations.

219 E. Market Street
Lima

, OH

In 1910, the Ohio Electric Railway Company opened this terminal, formerly the Interurban Building, which served interurban passengers until 1937. Along with offices, it contained space for express and baggage handling, ticket windows, a newsstand, a lunch counter, and waiting rooms. Three tracks were laid at the rear of the building. At its peak, Ohio Electric radiated from Lima to Springfield, Toledo (via Ottawa), Defiance, and Fort Wayne. Its competitor, The Western Ohio Railway (“Lima Route”) connected Dayton and Toledo (via Findlay). The interurban network in and around Lima led to the creation of suburbs, linked industrial and residential areas, and promoted the creation of amusement parks and small lake resorts. With decreased passenger traffic due in part to personal automobiles and the Great Depression, the interurban and street railway era in Lima ended in 1939, 52 years after it had begun as Ohio’s first successful electric streetcar system.

1150 S. Metcalf Street
Lima

, OH

Oil became a valuable resource in Ohio when significant quantities were discovered in Lima in 1885. The discovery brought an economic boom to Lima and northwest Ohio. News of the Lima oil field spread, attracting the attention of John D. Rockefeller, co-founder of Standard Oil. Against the advice of his board, Rockefeller invested heavily in Lima crude, despite its high sulfur content and foul odor. Storage tanks and pipelines for the crude sprung up rapidly. Having great faith in the ingenuity of his engineers and scientists, Rockefeller stockpiled the crude and sent Standard’s chief refining specialist, J.W. Van Dyke, to Lima to construct and manage the new Solar Refinery. Together with Herman Frasch, a German chemist, the two men perfected the technique to desulphurize the crude and turn it into quality kerosene and fuel oil.

Just N of 2100 N. Napoleon Road
Harrod

, OH

Following the American Revolution, the British Crown sought to retain possession of the Ohio Country by sending chief British Indian Agent Alexander McKee and others to establish trading posts with Native Americans and resist American settlement. In 1786, Colonel Benjamin Logan led an American force against the British posts and tribes. Warned of their approach, McKee and a band of Shawnee, took their possessions, including a large drove of hogs, and fled north from the Mackachack Villages near present-day Bellefontaine. Their route was the Black Swamp Trail, now Napoleon Road. An attempted crossing of the rain-swollen Ottawa River turned disastrous, resulting in the loss of possessions and most of the hogs. The hill upon which the party camped following the failed crossing, located one half mile east of here, became known as McKee’s Hill, and the portion of the Ottawa River east of Lima has since been known as Hog Creek.

Just E of 835 E. North Street
Lima

, OH

In 1885, 800 feet north of this marker, Benjamin Faurot struck oil after drilling into the Trenton Rock Limestone formation at a depth of 1,251 feet. This event marked the beginning of the great Oil Boom of northwest Ohio. The ensuing rush brought speculators who drilled hundreds of wells in the Trenton Rock (Lima) Oil Field that stretched from Mercer County north through Wood County in Ohio and west to Indiana. By 1886, the Lima field was the nation’s leading producer of oil, and by the following year it was considered to be the largest in the world. Production from the Ohio portion of the Lima-Indiana field reached its peak in 1896, when more than 20 million barrels were brought out of the ground. Though short-lived, the oil rush brought an influx of people, pipelines, refineries, and businesses, giving a powerful impetus to the growth of northwest Ohio.

424 N Central Ave
Lima

, OH

The Lima Chapter of the American Women’s Voluntary Services Organization established a community-based, free canteen during World War II for troops traveling on the Pennsylvania Railroad and adjacent Baltimore & Ohio-Nickel Plate Railroads. Meeting as many as forty trains a day, the ladies served 2.5 million troops between 1942-1945. Food, coffee, and other items were donated to the canteen from a twelve county area. The “AWVS” disbanded in 1945, but succeeding volunteers continued to provide service throughout the Korean Conflict and Viet Nam War. Lima’s “Servicemen’s Free Canteen” was the longest, continuously operated service canteen in the United States. An estimated four million soldiers, sailors, and marines were served between 1942-1970.

820 N. McClure Rd
Lima

, OH

On March 18, 1942, four U.S. Army Air Corps pilots lost their lives within a quarter mile of this marker. Three months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, these pilots left Wayne County Airport near Detroit flying P-39F Airacobra pursuit planes. They were part of the Army Air Corps Ferry Command delivering new aircraft to Louisville, KY. As they entered Allen County, a blinding snow storm limited visibility and convinced flight leader Lt. Edward H. Saunders to make a U-turn to escape the perilous conditions. With ice building on their wings and windshields, all four pilots, flying in close formation, crashed their planes into the ground within seconds of each other. There were no survivors. Although these men never faced the enemy, their mission was crucial to the United States in fighting the war.