The year was 1853 and railroad was king, that is until you reached the state line at New York and Ohio then the railroad became a problem.
The standard gauge, or space between the rails was 4 feet 8 inches. But when you got to the state line, the gauge changed to 6 feet and once you hit the city of Erie limits, the gauge changed again to 4 feet 10 inches from Erie to Cleveland.
This was a major problem for passengers who had to change trains at the state lines then change again at the city limits. But for businesses, it meant big business when it came to unloading the trains. Restaurants and hotels made out as well as passengers waited to change trains.
But the Railroad wanted standardized gauges and when they told Erie officials to change their gauge, the residents went wild. Led by Mayor King, 150 residents took to the streets. When the railroad would lay tracks during the day, the mobs would tear them up at night. This went on for 6 months. The community was divided. This went on for 6 months until an agreement was reached to make the gauges the same, nationwide. But it took years for the community to get back on track