You will soon be able to dine inside this historic Dayton interurban car

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A fully restored 1903 interurban car, one of the gems of Carillon Parks?€™ new building expansion, was moved into its new home by crane.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Visitors will be able to sit inside a Dayton-built  piece of history at Carillon Historical Park’s new Culp’s Cafe

Visitors to Carillon Historical Park will be able to enjoy a soda fountain treat inside a piece of Dayton history next year.

A fully restored 1903 interurban car was moved by crane Thursday into the Carillon Historical Park Heritage Center of Regional Leadership currently under construction. The car has been placed so it will be inside a new re-imagined Culp’s Café that will open next summer.

A fully restored 1903 interurban car, one of the gems of Carillon Parks’ new building expansion, was moved into its new home by crane. LISA POWELL / STAFF
A fully restored 1903 interurban car, one of the gems of Carillon Parks’ new building expansion, was moved into its new home by crane. LISA POWELL / STAFF

The #602 was made by Dayton’s Barney & Smith Company, a producer of high-end railroad cars, and Dayton’s largest employer until NCR came of age. In its’ heyday the company employed 2,000 men.

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The Dayton-made artifact is an important addition to the park because “there are not a lot of Barney & Smith cars floating around,” said Brady Kress, president and CEO of Carillon Park.

 

The electrically driven interurban cars traveled from city to city as opposed to trolley cars that were used on city streets. They could reach speeds of 70 miles per hour and carried people from one town to another across the state.

The #602 interurban car, made by Dayton’s Barney & Smith Company, will be a highlight of the new 32,000-square-foot Carillon Historical Park Heritage Center of Regional Leadership. LISA POWELL / STAFF
The #602 interurban car, made by Dayton’s Barney & Smith Company, will be a highlight of the new 32,000-square-foot Carillon Historical Park Heritage Center of Regional Leadership. LISA POWELL / STAFF

The interurban car, which was used for 25 years, traveled from Dayton to Richmond, Ind., and also traveled from Springfield to Columbus and on to Zanesville and back. After World War II most interurban cars fell out of use.

The car was “in rough shape,” when it was found, Kress said. It had been used as home, placed on a block foundation and had two porches built onto it. The interior was covered in plywood.

A group of volunteers spent five years restoring the car. As they removed the plywood, they discovered original windows and inlay mahogany wood that Barney & Smith was known for.

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The #602 interurban car, made by Dayton’s Barney & Smith Company, will be a highlight of the new 32,000-square-foot Carillon Historical Park Heritage Center of Regional Leadership. LISA POWELL / STAFF
The #602 interurban car, made by Dayton’s Barney & Smith Company, will be a highlight of the new 32,000-square-foot Carillon Historical Park Heritage Center of Regional Leadership. LISA POWELL / STAFF

“It really started to come to life,” Kress said. “There was a lot of love and care put into the interior and exterior and help from people around the community to find pieces and put parts together for it.”

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“It’s an important link to Dayton’s manufacturing past and we’re real excited about saving a piece of it,” Kress said. “Every day folks will have a chance to share it, come together, and enjoy lunch or breakfast inside the car.”