Side A: Sylvania was once the headquarters for the Toledo and Western Railway, an electric interurban line that provided service between Toledo and Pioneer with a branch line to Adrian, Michigan. Construction began here in 1900 with planning and specifications set to steam railroad standards. With completion of rails, a powerhouse, maintenance facilities, and offices, the Toledo and Western Railway Company was soon in the business of providing freight and passenger service and was especially competitive as it owned more freight engines than most interurban lines. Operating an electric interurban line also meant that the company had the ability to provide electricity to people living in Sylvania and to other communities and property owners living along the line’s right-of-way. Besides freight, passengers, and electricity, Toledo and Western also provided postal service, one of the first interurban lines to do so. [continued on other side]
Side B: [continued from other side] Interurban lines, such as the Toledo and Western Railway Company, were an important means of transportation for all people in the early twentieth century. However they were especially vital to rural residents as they offered them the opportunity to enjoy the cultural, educational, and economic advantages of nearby urban centers like Toledo. All this was not to last however. Like the canal era that ended with the coming of railroads and interurban lines, the railways were doomed by improved roads and increasing use of cars, trucks, and buses. The Great Depression of the 1930s that brought loss of freight business further eroded the profitability of the interurban lines. For the Toledo and Western Railway Company, freight business declined, passenger service ended in 1932, and the company was totally abandoned in 1935.