Streetcar Artifacts Uncovered in Springfield

October 13, 2009 35 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

As the Springfield Main Street reconstruction project nears completion, the center of the roadway has been excavated in order to make way for a grass median. During this excavation process, a piece of history from the Jacksonville Traction Co. Streetcar system was uncovered.

At the corner of 7th and Main lies a pile of rotten wood. To most passing by, it simply appears to be typical construction debris, but upon closer inspection you will notice features that make this pile of wood fairly significant.

Most likely not headed for a museum, this is all that remains of the Jacksonville Streetcar system.

The marks left by the tie plates and spikes are still visible.

Original spikes still driven into the ties.

A spike from the Jacksonville Streetcar System remains intact after over 100 years in the ground.

Today, the streetcars are long gone and public transit has been relegated to JTA buses following circuitous loops through downtown. JTA has completed a streetcar study which recommends a line on Main Street, but currently there is no funding or construction timeline.

In 1910, the Main Street (originally Pine Street) line had been double tracked. The streetcar network had grown to 40 miles of track and the system had a universal transfer system in place

Springfield's Main Street in 1900.

For more information: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Streetcar System

Photos by Daniel Herbin