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Fairfield Powerhouse

Fairfield Powerhouse occupied part of the land that is now the Village Green in Fairfield. In October 1898, the Cincinnati & Hamilton Electric Street Railway completed a powerhouse on the Fairfield Township site. The first electricity from the powerhouse went over wires the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 25. In a few days, after technical and legal problems were overcome, interurban cars were operating south of Hamilton toward Cincinnati over the present U. S. 127 corridor. Previously, transportation through Fairfield Township (roads, canals and railroads) had favored eastern routes in the vicinity of present Dixie Highway (Ohio 4). The interurban or traction company also built car barns next to the power plant at Symmes Corner near the southwestern corner of Pleasant Avenue and Nilles Road. The Symmes Corner power plant continued in use until 1906 when replaced by a new facility in Hamilton (at the western end of Williams Avenue, now Powerhouse Park). The first Hamilton-Cincinnati interurban route, from north to south, ran from High Street south over South Front Street, east over Court Street for one block, and then south over South Second Street, Central Avenue and Pleasant Avenue through Lindenwald. From Hamilton, the original line ran on or parallel to present U. S. 127 through Symmes Corner in Fairfield Township, Pleasant Run at the county line, New Burlington and Mount Healthy to College Hill, a total of 17.9 miles. Hourly passenger runs started Nov. 1, 1898, between Hamilton and Mount Healthy. The fare was 55 cents. Eventually, tracks extended into Cincinnati, eliminating the switch to a streetcar in College Hill. Later, freight service also was available. At first (1897), it was the Cincinnati & Miami Valley Traction Co., but there were several changes in name and ownership over the next 40 years. The first line to the Queen City was called the Cincinnati & Hamilton Electric Street Railway. Later, names were Southern Ohio Traction Co.; Cincinnati, Dayton & Toledo Traction Co.; Ohio Electric Railway Co.; Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Interurban Co.; and, finally, the Cincinnati & Lake Erie. The electric-powered C&LE interurban cars stopped running Jan. 7, 1939, between Hamilton and Mount Healthy. Service between Hamilton and Dayton ended May 13, 1939. (Also see Symmes Corner and Village Green entries.)

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