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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Sheboygan Light, Power and Railway Company Car #26 (E. Bronsky, 2005)

Sheboygan Light, Power and Railway Company Car #26 (E. Bronsky, 2005)

Sheboygan Light, Power & Railway Company Car #26
Village of East Troy, Walworth County
Date of Construction: 1908
Builder: Cincinnati Car Company

The Cincinnati Car Company constructed the Sheboygan Light, Power & Railway Company Car #26 in 1908. It served the City of Sheboygan and other Sheboygan County communities for thirty years. Streetcars were essential to suburban living, as they allowed people to live further from the city. Larger cities commonly offered public transportation and interurban lines developed by the 1880s and 1890s. Horse-drawn carts were the earliest form of the interurban; however, most interurban lines were electrified by the 1890s. Lighter, curvilinear and wood-constructed cars were manufactured by the beginning of twentieth century. Car #26 is an example of these wooden cars, which typically consisted of a vestibule at either end with both a smoker and coach compartment in between. By the 1930s, most interurbans were on the decline as automobiles and buses took over public transportation. The last interurban streetcar in the City of Sheboygan ran in November 1938.

After the dismantling of interurban lines, the remaining cars were generally sold to other interurban lines or to private parties. A private individual purchased Car #26 and used the car for a summer home for a short time. The Berend Doedens family purchased the car in 1947, and continued to use it as a summer haven. The car was passed down in the family and, in 1988, Paul Doedens donated the car to Friends of the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum in East Troy, Wisconsin. Ten years later, Dan and Carolyn Doedens and Don Lenz, under the auspices of the Friends of the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum, organized the Interurban Car #26 Restoration Association. Through large volunteer efforts, and a widespread campaign, monetary funds were raised to fund the significant work needed to rehabilitate Car #26. The car now operates in conjunction with the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum on the only operational interurban track in Wisconsin located in the Village of East Troy, Walworth County.

The Car may be visited at the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum .

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