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Unit 6: Getting from Place to Place in Aberdeen

horses and bobsledWhen Aberdeen was a new town, it was small enough that people could walk from place to place. However as the town grew larger, the  distance between places also became greater. People needed transportation to get from place to place when it was too far to walk.

Livery StableAt first, people used horses to help them get around. They either rode the horses or hitched the horses to a wagon or carriage. In the winter, the horses could pull a bobsled. People coming to Aberdeen on the train could rent horses and wagons at a livery stable to use while they were in town.Bicycle club

During the summer, people rode bicycles. There was even a bicycle club. People in the club would ride together to another town for a picnic and then ride home again. Some people rode bicycles as part of their jobs. Delivery boys would take written messages called telegrams from the telegraph office to the person the message was for. Sometimes mailmen would use bicycles to travel their mail routes.

Brown Brothers' carPeople in Aberdeen saw their first car at a special exhibit at the Grain Palace in 1897. This car came to Aberdeen on the train. After seeing this car, people wanted one of their own to drive. In 1900 two brothers who were bankers were the first people in Aberdeen to buy a car. Four years later there were 20 cars in Aberdeen. Women were even driving small electric cars at that time.

The first mass transportation for Aberdeen started in 1910 when streetcars took people all over town and even as far as Wylie Park. Streetcars were electric streetcarso they were connected to wires that ran above the street. The cars were like train cars and traveled on tracks that were put in the streets. There were places in the streets where two sets of tracks were laid so streetcars going in opposite directions could pass each other.  The fare to ride the streetcar was 5 cents for adults. Children under five could ride free. Dogs were charged full price unless they rode on their master’s lap. The streetcars stopped running in 1923 because more and more people were buying cars.

busA city bus company was started after the streetcar company closed. These buses would take children to school each day for 5 cents. Adults could travel most places in town on the bus, and a ticket cost them 10 cents. Buses left the depot on two routes, one that went north and one that went south. These buses left every twenty minutes from 7 in the morning until 11:20 at night.

Airplanes became popular in Aberdeen in the 1920s. Back then, not very many people flew unless they owned their own airplane. AirplaneThe first airport was small and was located at the fair grounds. A larger airport was built in the 1930s so bigger planes could use it.

Think about all the places you have to go today. Imagine using a horse drawn carriage or a streetcar to get there.