By the mid-1880s a steam railroad was planned to run from Charlotte to Grand View Beach. This plan never went beyond being chartered and was soon abandoned. The electric trolleys that began to appear on the streets of large cities seemed a more practical solution for this short line, which would eventually be just over seven miles.
The Grand View Beach Railroad was organized in 1891 and ran from Charlotte to Grand View Beach, which was not far west of the end of Long Pond Road. By 1895 the line was extended to Manitou Beach with a long trestle over Braddock Bay. Washouts and deterioration of the trestle caused the line to go into receivership in 1907 and a new company was formed in 1908. Improvements were made along the line including a new Braddock Bay trestle.
After the World War of 1917-18, the popularity of the automobile caused revenue to plummet. The Manitou trolley had never been a huge money maker and by 1924 it was apparent that it would have to suspend operation at the end of the season. The passenger service was not resumed in 1925 and finally, the entire line and rolling stock were offered for sale in August 1925.
If you live along Beach Avenue or Edgemere Drive, the former route of the trolley can be hard to trace. But, an odd rail spike or strange jog in the road oftentimes reveals itself as part of that old Manitou line.
Photos, data supplied by Alan Mueller, Greece Historian’s Office.
If you have any information on our photos, call Alan at 663-1706.