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Israelite House of David - The Benton Harbor Streetcar System

         

An essential part of the transportation system that moved tourists from the Chicago docks to the House of David Park was the Benton Harbor streetcar system.  Until 1933 this system was part of the Inter-Urban system that ran south from Benton Harbor through Berrien County and ended in South Bend, Indiana.  The House of David was a major political force in local politics with extensive commercial holdings in the area and a large membership who could be counted on to vote as a block.  They championed the improvement of this system from small horse drawn cars to a fleet of modern electric trolleys.  Benjamin attempted to get jobs for colony members as streetcar conductors on the Britain Ave. line to provide better service on this leg of the system.  The streetcar line management discriminated against bearded conductors.  After the colony bought controlling interest in the system this discrimination ceased and for many years bearded conductors were the norm on the Britain Ave. line.  In this photo of conductors in front of the streetcar office beards were well represented.

An essential part of the transportation system that moved tourists from the Chicago docks to the House of David Park was the Benton Harbor streetcar system.  Until 1933 this system was part of the Inter-Urban system that ran south from Benton Harbor through Berrien County and ended in South Bend, Indiana.  The House of David was a major political force in local politics with extensive commercial holdings in the area and a large membership who could be counted on to vote as a block.  They championed the improvement of this system from small horse drawn cars to a fleet of modern electric trolleys.  Benjamin attempted to get jobs for colony members as streetcar conductors on the Britain Ave. line to provide better service on this leg of the system.  The streetcar line management discriminated against bearded conductors.  After the colony bought controlling interest in the system this discrimination ceased and for many years bearded conductors were the norm on the Britain Ave. line.  In this photo of conductors in front of the streetcar office beards were well represented.

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Israelite House of David
Post Office Box 1067 • Benton Harbor, Michigan 49023-1067
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