Union Traction Company Shops
In 1891, Charles Henry, a prominent attorney and politician from Anderson, acquired the “mule car” streetcar system in Anderson. In the six years following, he developed eleven miles of track inside the city on which twenty-one electric streetcars ran. It was one of Indiana’s first interurban lines, the Union Traction Company of Indiana. It ran first from Anderson to Alexandria, then to Indianapolis, Marion, Muncie, and Kokomo. The company also ran streetcar lines in Anderson, Elwood, Marion, and Muncie.
The interurban lines alleviated the isolation of rural Indiana. Instead of being limited by the speed of a horse on poor roads, those with money could take advantage of the interurban with its cheap, high-speed service to nearby cities.
This would not only enable the people of small towns to travel to big cities for visitation, but the interurban would allow for people to seek employment in big cities without moving from their small towns. These individuals basically commuted to work daily.
The powerhouse generated the electricity to run the Anderson area of the system. The shops were where the cars were built, inspected, and repaired. Both were located on what is now Broadway Street just north of the White River.
In 1930, the Union Traction Company of Indiana was acquired by Indiana Railroad. They also purchased several other interurban lines creating a new system. It ran for ten years, and by the end of 1941, the interurban service was dead.
Most of the transit complex north of the White River were destroyed in a fire. Some of the powerhouse and shops building survive with the company logo on the side of the building.