Minnesota Streetcar Museum Presentation

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Columbia Heights was once home to streetcars from 1893 to 1951. One streetcar line came into Columbia Heights via Central Avenue and then turned onto 40th and ran down to 5th street. Another streetcar line turned onto Reservoir Blvd and traveled north to the Minneapolis Filtration Plant.

The town was to be served by the Central Avenue Electric Car Line on the east side, and the Electric Street Railway would be extended when and where needed. Thomas Lowry later extended a double streetcar track on Central Ave. from 29th to 40th Avenues, and a single track along 40th Ave. to 5th St. in 1916 (abandoned in 1954).

This public transportation established the intersection of 40th and Central and the stretch of land from Central west to 5th St. as the nucleus of the budding town, as planned by the Minneapolis Improvement Co. NE. A five-cent fare was the cost of a streetcar ride. Before the 1890s, streetcars were powered by horses and mules, and the grassy slopes of Columbia Heights provided pasture for many of the animals which pulled streetcars in Minneapolis.