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Lakeside Heritage Trail
28. L&M Railroad Station
710 Central Avenue
L&M Railroad Depot circa 1877
Train Station 2022
The Lakeside & Marblehead (L&M) Railroad and the Lakeside Station (Depot) were built in 1886. The railroad opened for business on January 17, 1887, for the purpose of moving limestone and passengers between the Danbury connection to the main line of the Lake Shore and Michigan-Southern Railroad and the quarries at Marblehead, Ohio. This distance covered approximately 7 miles.
The trains on this line consisted of a steam engine and one or more coaches. There were usually four trains each day, year round. Two of the trains went eastbound to Marblehead and two went westbound to Danbury where passengers could make connections for Cleveland, Sandusky, Port Clinton and Toledo. During much of Lakeside’s first half-century, the L&M Railroad was the major way for visitors to reach Lakeside and the only connection during winter and inclement weather.
The L&M Railroad lost much of its revenue to the Toledo, Port Clinton & Lakeside Railway, an electric interurban line built in 1905. It ran from Toledo to Marblehead and later Bay Point via 5th St. L&M passenger service was discontinued in February 1930.
The Lakeside Printing Office that stood at the northwest corner of 5th and Walnut was destroyed by the 1929 “Big Fire.” Within a week, the printing office opened for operation at the depot and became the home for the Peninsular Printing Company for the next 55 years.
Lakeside Association purchased the former depot from its owners, The Standard Slagg Company for $25,000 in 1985. However, the building was left unattended with no plan or funds for using or repairing the building.
In 1991, a dedicated group of volunteers began stabilizing, painting and improving the structure. The tracks were removed in 1994, except alongside the station. The Train Station saw its first public use since 1930, when the Lakeside Heritage Society used the grounds for its annual Labor Day auction in 1999.
In October, 2002, work began on a $400,000 project to renovate the structure including replacing the concrete foundation, restoring eaves, new siding and adding outdoor lighting. Lakeside leaders at that time said they envisioned a place for conferences, picnics, farmer’s markets and wedding receptions.
The Train Station is used for an ever widening variety of activities including meetings, special meals, picnics, receptions, seminars, crafts and religious services. This would not be possible if it weren’t for the dedicated volunteers and leaders who envisioned this depot to not only be a glimpse of the past, but an important part of Lakeside today and in the future.