May 3, 1984
PIX #1 - Eagle Tunnel, Ohio River Division, near Delaware on CHV&T.
PIX #2 - Powell's Run Mine
PIX #3 - Merrick Hall at Ohio Wesleyan
PIX #4 - University Hall at Ohio Wesleyan
(AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the fourth in a series of articles about the CHV&T Railroad (now Chessie System)...the towns along the line from Toledo to the Ohio River..some of the industry and the scenery, as it was before and after the turn ofthe century.)
My information reference, The Remembrancer, published by the CHT&T Railroad, described Delaware: "This beautiful and progressive city, properly termed the "Parlor City of the Buckeye State."
"Delaware is additionally attractive by the palatial character of its man- sions, and the cozy and comfortable cottages, to say nothing of the archi- tectural grandeur of its public edifices and commercial emporiums. The com- mercial houses of the city are quite a metropolitan character and the retail trades are well represented."
CITY OF AMPLE TRANSPORTATION
Back then, in addition to the CHV&T Railroad, there was also the Big Four, The B&O, and the Central & Columbus Short Line serving Delaware, as well as an electric street railway which covered nearly all sections of the city.
Delaware also had the celebrated Odevene Springs, the waters of which were noted for their medicinal qualities, attracting thousands of people annually.
Manufacturing in Delaware covered a variety of products: chairs, sewer pipe, buggy wood work, handles, flour, cigars and machinery
Greenwood Lake, on the edge of the city, was said to be one of the most charming excursion resorts in the state. The lake itself covered more than 30 acres and abounded with fish. A 50-acre grove surrounded the lake, and contained restaurant, dance hall, amusements, tennis courts, swings, bowling alleys, croquet courts, speaker's stand, drives and walks.
The lake itself was constructed in 1873, and progressively the other features were added.
OHIO WESLEYAN BOON TO DELAWARE
Today, just as back then, Ohio Wesleyan University was an important institu- tion in Delaware. Many readers will recall the days spent at OWU, and its contribution to their education and careers.
"Ohio Wesleyan University...this great, grand institution was founded in 1843-44, the first term being held in the latter year," said The Remembran- cer.
"In 1873 it was unitd with the ladies' seminary, also in Delaware, since which time the University has been accessible by both sexes."
OWU was founded and supervised by five conferences and the alumni of the Methodist church. In 1893, attendance was 1,200, consisting of students from the U.S. and all parts of the world. Thirty-three regular tutors, besides others, made up the staff.
DELAWARE BUSINESS DELAWARE CHAIR COMPANY
Established in 1870, that company manufactured cane-seat and upholstered chairs and rockers. Its location was near the river and close to the Big Four Railroad. Between 150 and 200 skilled workers were employed. Their products had world-wide reputation.
RIDDLE GRAFF AND COMPANY
Established in 1867, the company manufactured cigars and were wholesale deal- ers in cigars and tobaccos; 135 skilled cigar-makers were employed to produce as many as 7,000,000 cigars annually. Their products were distributed na- tionwide and required five travelling salesmen.
DELAWARE CLAY MFG. COMPANY
They manufactured vitrified sewer pipe, drain tile, paving brick and other clay products. Established in 1891, the plant was located next to the Big Four tracks. A three-story 150 by 150-foot building and six kilns, plus other buildings, comprised their facilities. Thirty people were employed. The Dennison family were the principals of the company.
HOUSER & HOEFFLE
This was a business located in a three-story brick building, and doing both wholesale and retail business in hardware and specialities, including "baby" carriages, guns, fishing tackle, paints, oils, glass and farm implements.
U.S. CARRIAGE WOOD WORKING CO.
Located on Union Street, in a two-story brick building, this company manu- factured gears, seats, bodies and other parts for all types of carriages.
A manufacturer of hoe, fork and rake handles. All handles were made of second-growth ash.
Delaware had two hotels back then. Hotel Donavin had 60 sleeping rooms and was owned by J.W. and L.K. Donavin.
The New Hotel Blee was opened in 1893. It was located one block from Odevene Springs, to accommodate those taking treatments there.
First National Bank received its charter under the National Banking Act of the U.S. in 1864. It was capitalized at $100,000.
The Delaware Savings Bank Co. was established in 1891. It rapidly built up individual deposits aggregating $125,000.
MINING WAS IMPORTANT BUSINESS
Leaving Delaware, the CHV&T passenger train passed through Hyatt, Powell, Elmwood and Olentangy before reaching Columbus.
In that area, referred to as the Hocking Valley, was located Powell's Run and Monarch mines, operated by the New Pittsburgh Coal Co.
The daily output of bituminous coal from those mines was 5,000 tons daily; 730 men were employed at the two mines.
Coal from those mines was said to be of superior quality and brought great demand for both domestic and manufacturing uses.
The company had extensive dock facilities at Toledo for lake shipments.
Continued next week.