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'OHIO'S GREATEST RAILWAY' TRAVELED THROUGH FOSTORIA
April 12, 1984


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PIX #1 - Route of CHV&T through Ohio

PIX #2 - Carey's New Galt House, built in 1886.

PIX #3 - Interior view of the elegant parlor cars on the CHV&T in 1883.

PIX #4 - Snyder's Planing Mill, Carey, Ohio.

"Ohio's Greatest Railway" is what The Buckeye Remembrancer, published in 1893 by The Columbus, Hocking Valley & Toledo Railway called its line. Only the old-timers will recognize that name for the railroad...for younger readers, if predated the present Chessie System.

Fostoria has been recognized as a railroad town for 100 years or more and this column on various occasions has presented information on that subject.

Today's article is the result of Ray Dell showing me his copy of The Buckeye Remembrancer...part of his great collection of memorabilia. It was my first opportunity to see it.

Immediately there loomed in my mind that therein were the makings of another interesting railroad article..maybe two of them. I thought of the many post- card views taken many years ago along "Ohio's Greatest Railway" as the owners called it, and the excellent photographs in The Remembrancer.

PASSENGER CAR SERVICE TOO

One-hundred years ago the Columbus, Hocking Valley &Toledo (CHV&T) was not only a heavy carrier of freight, including coal from the mines in southern Ohio, but it also provided excellent passenger service. The one accompanying photo shows the interior view of the deluxe parlor cars, part of the passen- ger trains. An extra charge of 25 cents was added to the regular fee for riding in that coach.

Similar facilities were still offered by the Chessie System when passenger service was suspended in 1971. One of the fine passenger trains provided by Chessie in later years was The Sportsman, running from Toledo to Norfolk, Va. The service on the sleeping and dining cars was superb. During the daylight hours of the trip, beautiful scenery existed along the right-of-way.

The CHV&T, and later the Chessie System, helped to build the towns and cities through which it passed by offering both freight and passenger service, and many of those towns had "boom" years. Some of them were featured in The Re- membrancer by both photos and description, some of which is included in this article.

TRIP BY RAIL BACK THEN

For the benefit of the oldsters who will recall the CHV&T and trips they may have made as passengers, and for the benefit of younger readers who never had the opportunity to know about passenger trains and the advantages of that mode of travel, here is a portion from The Remembrancer. It describes a nor- mal trip fromToledo southward, including a description of "Ohio's Greatest Railway."

"The CHV&T (Buckeye Route) is the longest line of railroad doing business in the state extending from the Ohio River on the south, to Lake Erie on the north, a distance of 250 miles. It is divided into three divisions...The Toledo Division, extending from Toledo to Columbus, a distance of 123 miles; The Hocking Division from Columbus south toLogan, Athens, and a branch from Nelsonville to Straitsville, covering 100 miles; and The River Division ex- tending from Logan to Gallipolis and Pomeroy, a distance of 87 miles, as well as other branches penetrating the vast coal fields of the Hocking Valley.

RELAXED RIDE NICE SCENERY

"Passengers who, from inclination or limited means, do not desire to travel in chair cars will find comfortable accommodations in elegant day coaches, and ample time is given to enjoy meals at proper hours in first-class dining rooms. There are many points of interest along the line, both scenic and historical.

"The train passes through country unsurpassed in agriculture in the United States. Fields of grain under cultivation, along with cattle grazing on pasture land can be seen as the train passes through rich farm land.

"The dense forests, beautiful valleys, numerous streams, which fairly team with game unknown to this locality, have made the Buckeye Route a favorite with tourists and sportsmen. The towns and villages along the route increase the variety of the scenery.

MANY WILL RECALL THIS

"Taking the train at the Hocking Valley depot in Toledo, it passes through Walbridge, LeMoyne, Pemberville, Bradner, Risingsun, Longley, and thrifty villages finally stopping in Fostoria, 35 miles from Toledo. Leaving Fostor- ia and passing through Alvada, we arrive at Carey, 15 miles further on, which is a beautiful and prosperous town. After passing Crawford and Lovell, we arrive at Upper Sandusky where the first dining station is located.

We pause at this point in quoting from The Remembrancer about the trip from Toledo southward, to present data about the important businesses and industry in the various towns through which the Buckeye Route ran. The listings for Fostoria are not included since they have been described and illustrated at various times in Potluck.

CAREY

SNYDER'S MILL - One of Carey's important me in 1883 was W.H. Snyder and his planing mill. The business was started in 1876 by Manichon & Co., and ac- quired by Snyder in 1883. The plant covered five acres, adjacent to both the CHV&T and Big Four railroads. His planing mill was said to be equipped with the newest improved labor-saving machinery for the execution of every type of planing mill and general job work. Snyder manufactured pine and hardwood lumber, lath, doors, shingles, blinds and sash. The factory employed 20 men.

NEW GALT HOUSE - Carey's leading hostelry in 1886 was the new Galt House. It was erected and opened that year containing 50 large, airy and well-furnished sleeping rooms. The dining room had a seating capacity for 42 people. Heat- ed with steam and lighted with natural gas, the hotel had a fire escape, hot and cold water and other conveniences. The elegant bar room was stocked with a full line of choice liquors and cigars. The proprietor was Mr. Fetter.

(Continued next week.)

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