Akron’s boom came from the rubber industry, but before that, it was an important canal town, a regional center for milling and a notable mass-producer of clay products.
A view of a busy Main Street looking North with Mill Street as the first intersection. Akron was central to the street car and interurban rail traffic of the day.
At a time before automobiles ruled the streets, most of Akron’s leading stores, theaters, and hotels were located along South Main Street. Trolley’s and horse carts added to the bustle of downtown.
An early view of Akron’s Main Street complete with streetcar, horse cart and vintage automobiles.
Not even the streetcars are operating on this quiet morning along East Market Street.
Lower and Higher Bridges over the Cuyahoga River. The Lower Bridge, at Gorge, was 100 feet long by 50 feet wide and made of wood with iron supports. The Higher Bridge was 375 feet long by 101 feet high. It was erected in 1904 at a cost of $70,000. Although primarily used for electric cars,…
Before the rubber giants moved away, Akron’s Main Street was one of the busiest in America. With an abundance of entertainment, shopping, and dining opportunities along with convenient mass transit, it was a natural meeting place.
Kenmore was founded in 1908, as a residential community between the industrial cities of Akron and Barberton. The village which was strategically built along the streetcar lines between the two cities and grew so fast that it earned the nicknamed “fastest–growing city in the world“. Kenmore was annexed by Akron in 1928. Pictured: I.O.O.F. Lodge 927
The lower bridge was built in 1895, while the upper double-track streetcar bridge was built in 1903. Both bridges spanned the Gorge between Akron and Cuyahoga Falls, located near the road that is now Front Street, north of Cuyahoga Falls Avenue.
“South Main Street is the main thoroughfare in Akron. Most of the leading stores, theaters, and hotels are located on this street. It is the dividing line for cross streets, all numbered running east and west start from here. State Routes Nos. 8, 18 and 36 pass through South Main Street.” – Federman’s, Shulans, Bear’s,…
Interurban cars are lined up outside the Hamilton Building on South Main Street. It’s another busy day in Akron.
The Marathon Rubber Co. of Cuyahoga Falls/Akron opened in 1912. They manufactured a variety of rubber products including tires, tubes, and belts. The plant pictured here was located on Front Street at the end of Sackett Avenue. Marathon Tire and Rubber Co. formed from the reorganization of the original Marathon Company with C.C. Osmun serving…
Quaker Oats mills looking down Akron’s busy Howard Street. The Flatiron building is seen here towering above the Interurban streetcars.
Very old view of the Empire House on Akron’s Market Street. The area is busy with activity as a trolley moves through the scene. By 1912, the Empire would be destroyed to make way for the new 250-room Portage Hotel.
A quiet afternoon on Akron’s South Main Street. As trolley #208 works it’s way through the streets.
The streetlights outside the J. Koch Company, the Grotto, Lewis Jewlery and the Buchtel are all aglow on this chilly night in Akron. Main Street is busy with Interurban cars and trolleys shuttling Akronites in and out of town.
Street scene along Mill Street in Akron, Ohio.
The Northern Ohio Traction & Light Co. powerhouse (also known as the Gorge Power Station) and trolley bridge, Cuyahoga Falls/Akron, Ohio.
A streetcar passes over the bridge in front of the N.O.T Co. power plant. on it’s way to Akron, Ohio.
A streetcar is seen crossing the Mill Street Viaduct over the main rail lines through town. At the right can be seen the Cleveland Akron & Columbus freight shed.
Mill Street looking west was a busy place. The five-story Hotel Buchtel was opened in 1884 on the southeast corner of Main and Mill Streets. It featured a hydraulic-powered elevator, electric lights in every room and bathrooms on every floor. – S.A. Freedlander Optician, Hotel Buchtel European Rooms
Looking down on Akron’s Main Street gives a picture of how vibrant and busy this city was in its heyday.