(The following was written by Lewis Garrison, and is reprinted from 1927’s “Grove City – The Town with a Future”, available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
The population of Grove City from 1880 to 1891 consisted of about 272 people, a large number of whom were German settlers. There were five saloons, a flour mill and four general stores, two in the north end and two in the south end. Some of the early homes were made of brick from clay found on the premises. Horses were the mode of transportation; spring wagons were a novelty.
The town was isolated except for a pike that extended from Columbus to Harrisburg. A hack line was the means of communication between this place and Columbus, which served the populace until 1884 when the Midland division of the B. and O. was built through the town.
In 1891, with the cooperation of the B. and O. commuter service. A.G. Grant opened up what is now known as the Beulah Edition. Prior to this time all of the land west of the B. and O. tracks was in farms. Within a short time houses began to be build on lots which then commanded from $50 to $200. Most of the original lot buyers were members of an organization in the employ of the old Columbus Buggy Company.
In 1898 A.G. Grant instigated and, with the financial support of the local people, built the Grove City, Greenlawn and Southwestern traction line which operated between this point and Greenlawn Cemetery, there connecting with the Columbus street car system. The fare to Greenlawn was 15 cents for the round trip, and the traction service was hourly, with half hourly service mornings and evenings. The B. and O. commuter service was then discontinued. The operation of the traction line to Columbus was one of the big features which gave impetus to the town. Residential sites afforded working people a pleasant place to live at a minimum of expense.
This traction line was operated for several years and then was absorbed by the Ohio Electric Railway, which subsequently extended the service into Columbus. This line has been in turn succeeded by the Indiana, Columbus and Eastern Traction Company.
When the traction line was opened, Beulah Park, consisting of seven acres, was established. This beautiful tract of primitive woodland was then purchased and land added for a county fair grounds. It was conducted for fair purposes, but after a few years, due to the proximity of the Ohio State Fair, was discontinued. This property is now owned by the Capital City Racing Association, and is a noted racing place. Due to its location on the traction line, B. and O. railroad, and find macadamized roads in every direction, it offers exceptional facilities for those who enjoy horse racing.
(The continuation of this story in the next blog entry).