Toonerville Trolley

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The Toonerville Trolley, Palo Alto's electric streetcar line, was built in 1906. Its completion was cause for a citywide holiday.

The red streetcars, nicknamed the "Toonerville Trolley" after a popular cartoon of the day, ran the length of University Avenue with a branch down Waverley Street. Elinor V. Cogswell, a longtime editor at the Palo Alto Times, remembered them "as a social and cultural center":

Faculty and students rode back and forth between town and Quad, studying, making dates, chatting with friends, weaving plots and plans...If the regulars failed to board the car at the usual corners, the motorman would wait for a few minutes while ears strained to hear hurrying footsteps. When the "Toonerville" left the scene (in 1929), we townsfolk lost a sort of community center. And Stanford students lost a source of more-or-less innocent merriment derived from pulling the trolley off its wires, detouring the cars from established routes and pushing peanuts along the tracks with their noses.
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