|Because You Asked . . . .|
First passenger train near trestle over Little Walnut Creek in Galena
Railroad Was Major Asset to Residents
|To get a railroad to go through your town,
the residents had to contribute land and money to build the
railroad. The early cost to get the railroad through Delaware County
was $100,000. Galena paid $13,500 and Sunbury contributed $22,000 to get
the Cleveland, Mt. Vernon & Columbus Railroad to go through their
villages. Farmers along the route donated land. Each community built
a train station to accommodate freight and passengers as well as provide
water and fuel for the trains
The railroad came through Trenton Township but missed the community of Condit. The railroad station was built south of Condit and the crossroads became know as Condit Station.
In Memories of Early Sunbury, Louise Sedgwick wrote of her memories of the railroad coming to the community and the first passenger train in 1873. "I remember well when the first passenger train came over the road. I had measles and my Aunt Nett Armstrong wrapped me in a blanket and held me on her lap and it was a big time."
Four passenger trains a day ran each way with an additional passenger train running south at 10:23 p.m. low passenger rates boosted railroad business in 1936. That year the Alf Landon Special went through the community.
For years, people would go to the station to meet the train just to pass the time. Often political candidates road the train and gave speeches from the back of the train during its regular stop. Two young men decided to ride the cowcatcher on the front of the train from Centerburg to Condit but the train did not stop so they road all the way to Sunbury and were very embarrassed when many people were there to see the train arrive.
The railroad not only made Columbus an easier trip, it served as mail carrier to the communities. Each train had a mail sorter to sort the mail after each stop. When this became to expensive, a post with a hook was install near the tracks so the men on the train could hang bags of mail over the hook without the train stopping. This stopped in 1941, during Governor Frank Lausche's term of office, when main was shipped and sorted on vans or mail buses. Now it is shipped by truck.
Ohio State University sponsored Farmer's Institutes which were educational courses taught in the railroad cars while they sat on the siding. This brought the latest in agricultural and home economics to the rural communities. Extended courses were held in the Town Hall and called Sunbury Institute.
Spurs from the main railroad went to Blue Grass Grove along High Street to Hartford Road and to Camp Clifton north of Sunbury on Old 3-C. These became summer resorts. Wild Bill's Wild West Show came into town and unloaded on the siding east of Granville Street to put on their show in the field at the bottom of the hill in the southeast coiner of Cherry and Morning Streets.
In December, 1956, a train was chartered to take the Big Walnut High School band and fans to the Cleveland Browns football game in Cleveland where the band provided the half-time entertainment.
Nestles, Landmark, Sunbury Mill, Carter Lumber, Cellar Lumber, Galena Shale Tile and Brick and the quarries were big users of the railroad.
The railroad changed hands many times with Pennsylvania Railroad the longest owner until it was finally closed by Amtrak in 1984 - 101 years after the first passenger train.
. . . .And Now You
The Railroad Stations
|1966 picture by Mid Ohio Camera Club|
|High School Band Takes Train to Cleveland Browns Game|
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