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The Western Trolley - History and Commemoration

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bullet The Western Trolley, a two-track cable car system on East Campus, was installed in 1908.  The Class of 1949 graduated the year the campus trolley ceased operations.  At their fiftieth reunion, in 1999, it was decided to provide a class gift for the commemoration of the trolley.  Below are the graphics and text of the sign that was completed the following year.  It was installed on the south side of East Hall, facing the parking lot.

Western Trolley commemorative sign



The "Trolley", an alternative to
the 105 grueling steps running
up Prospect Hill between Davis Street
and East Campus, was also known
as "Normal Railroad" and sometimes
as "Toonerville Trolley."
The two cars on side-by-side tracks
ran continuously from 1908 to 1948.
Today all that physically remains of the
Trolley is one of the seat benches.
It was salvaged and restored by emeritus
speech professor Dr. Zack York,
who used it as a prop for theatre
productions for many years before
donating it in 1992 to
Western Michigan University.