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Written by Bruce Dzeda

Railroads and trains have interested Bruce Dzeda all his life. Born in Cleveland just a few houses away from the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad, Bruce spent his childhood in East Cleveland in a house next door to the double track mainline of the Nickel Plate Railroad, where the daily parade of magnificent steam locomotives and shiny passenger trains captured his attention and affection. He later moved to Kent to study at Kent State University, where he earned both his B.S.Ed. and M.A. degrees. Bruce’s interest in the Erie and Baltimore and Ohio railroads stems from that time. He taught history for 37 years, the last 25 at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent, where he was well known for his Advanced Placement United States History course and his many field trips to places of historical or cultural interest. He has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards. When not riding a train to someplace, Bruce can be found riding his bicycle on trails that were once railroad tracks, reading about or talking about railroads or, in his pensive moments, thinking about them.

This profusely illustrated book traces the history of the Erie railroad from its inception as the A&GW railroad as well as the profound affect it had on the economy of the city of Kent. The book is filled with historical photos of the railroad from the early steam engines to the powerful diesels. Mr. Dzeda's timeline tracks Marvin Kent's vision for the rail line through to the final days of passenger service. The book gives a vivid picture of the many immigrants that settled in Kent and worked in the rail shops and the social impact they had on the city. We not only gain an understanding of the historical importance of the Erie rail line and Kent but we see through extraordinary photos the building of the depot in the 1870's, its eventual demise, and finally its resurrection in the early 1970's.
50 pages with over 60 historical photos, maps and illustrations that amplify Mr. Dzeda's engaging narrative.
To purchase a copy of the book click here.

On April 3, 2010 John Wunderle and Bruce Dzeda sat down at the Kent Historical Society and as luck would have it they started to discuss regional railroading. I quickly placed a recording device in the room and saved for posterity this wonderful discussion. I know all you local and regional rail fans will enjoy this conversation. It is also wonderful that we have this recording as John passed away one year later in 2011. He is certainly missed by all.

John Wunderle
A History of Transportation
Delivered at the old A&GW/Erie Yards in Kent

Bruce has written a wonderful history of the Erie Depot and the Car Shops. Click on the pdf icon and you will download a copy.