|The Scioto Valley Traction Line interurban depot in Canal Winchester as it looked during its years of operation in the early 20th century.|
A piece of Canal Winchester and Madison Township history is undergoing renovation.
On Aug. 15, the Madison Township trustees heard a presentation from Canal Winchester Village Councilman Brice Jarvis and resident Bob Garvin on Canal Winchester’s efforts to restore its 1905 interurban station, formerly home to Ohio Midland Power Company (the predecessor of South Central Power) located west of iBeam Solutions and south of Chase Bank.
Jarvis said when South Central moved their local office from downtown Canal Winchester to the industrial park, the oldest section of the building was purchased by the village in 2002 for preservation and future use. The interurban station was a large part of daily life in the early part of the 20th century and the electric railway was considered the lifeblood of village transportation until cars, trucks, and better roadways became commonplace.
Volunteers spent weekends cleaning up the interior of the building and ripping down old wallboards to unveil the building’s original brick interior. Stucco covering the exterior of the former station was also torn down as part of the restoration effort.
"We have preliminary plans," Jarvis said, "and we’re changing gears to move ahead with concrete kind of work. We’re formally requesting for $1,000 for preserving and restoring the Canal Winchester interurban station. On Aug. 25 we’re having a kick-off meeting for this restoration phase from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. We’ll have speakers and give folks a chance to walk through the building before it’s restored. We have a punchlist of things that need to take place, starting with the roof. Our projection is to have it completed and have it ready for occupancy in late spring of 2008."
Restoration plans include: cleaning and pin-tucking of exterior brick, reconstruction of the loading platform and early 20th century details, re-installation of the original Spanish-style tile roof, creation of an outside gathering place with benches and landscaping, refinishing the hardwood floor, install heating and cooling systems, and finish the interior with period wall treatments and lighting.
Once the structure is restored, the village plans to use the station as a multi-purpose conference and meeting area available to the public and designed to compliment the village’s downtown park complex anchored by Stradley Place.
Trustees Denny White and Jim Hummel feel a donation to the restoration effort would not be a problem, but wanted legal counsel to look over the issue before making a commitment to the project. White said it was a worthwhile cause and hoped the township could make a larger contribution, if possible.