Why Is our community here?
All modes of transportation need to be refueled. Horses needed food and water, cars need gas, and 100 years ago, locomotives needed water for steam, coal or wood to heat the water to make steam, and sand (yes sand) for traction. These facilities were set up for them.
The spacing of these refill points was based on the range of the locomotive. Facilities were set up for the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad (later New York Central, Penn Central, Conrail and now CSX). An outpost was usually set up with facilities for the changing of crews and refueling or replacement of locomotives. A railroad town then was born at this “Division Point”; the “Division” being how far a locomotive could go on its onboard supply, or in some cases, in a day.
Our railroad town was known first as "Frogsville" (we were a swamp then). As the town grew with the rail traffic and repair facilities, we became known as Collinswood, named after Chief Engineer, Charles Collins, who would later be tied to the bridge disaster in Ashtabula (1879)– and eventually we became known as COLLINWOOD.
Dennis Crislinp is CNHS Vice President, as well as one of our railroad enthusiasts.