While a trolley ride is a new occurrence for many of the museum's young riders, the Fox River Line itself is not new, dating back to 1896. At the turn of the century this interurban line was part of the Elgin, Aurora and Southern Traction Company and ran about 40 miles along the Fox River from Carpentersville to Yorkville. It also included and was connected to the streetcar systems of Elgin and Aurora. In 1906 the EA&S itself became part of the high speed interurban, the Aurora, Elgin and Chicago Railroad. This line ran west from its connection with the Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad Company and had four branches with western terminals along the Fox River in the same towns that the Fox River Line served. Even though the two divisions were part of the same company from 1906 - 1919, they were always operated separately with different equipment, repair facilities and employees. In August of 1919, the AE&C went into receivership, both divisions emerging from bankruptcy in the early 1920's. They were separated and renamed. The third rail division to Chicago (former AE&C) was renamed the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin Railroad (CA&E) and the Fox River Division was renamed the Aurora, Elgin and Fox River Electric Company (AE&FRE).
The AE&FRE on its own began again in 1924, acquired new one man cars, cut costs and modernized its track, signalling and operations. Business was good through most of the 1920's but as more people purchased automobiles and the roads in Kane County were paved, ridership began to drop. First to go were some, then all of the streetcar routes in Elgin and Aurora with the last one being retired in 1934. All of these were torn up and replaced by company owned bus routes with the interurban line between Aurora and Elgin (including our right-of-way) being the final one in March of 1935.