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Clang, Clang, Clang
1911 commuters get a new ride

OCT. 2, 1911
Oct. 2, 1911 was a day of major historic proportions in Alamance County.

Not only did a new mode of transportation open, it sparked an opportunity for residents to move from one community to another to work.

The Piedmont Electric Co. launched a streetcar operation on that date, connecting Burlington, Graham and Haw River by rail. The cars operated out of a facility on Rainey Street, and cars began moving there very early in the morning and ran a schedule that lasted until 11:30 at night.

People could now live in Burlington and work in Haw River or Graham. Students could ride the streetcar to school. And families could joyride on a Sunday afternoon.

There were very few automobiles in the area in 1911, and public transpiration was a huge benefit to the area. They could run in almost all kinds of weather, and in the summer, windows were taken to open cars and relief from the heat.
At one time, some of the operators had a deal with a local restaurant for wild game. So it was not unusual for the streetcar to stop along the way while the conductor went after an unfortunate rabbit or squirrel.

The streetcars operated into the early 1920s when autos had become the major transportation mode in the area.

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