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FOSTORIAN GATHERED MEMORIES AS A RAILROADER SINCE 1915
June 7, 1984


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PIX #1 - Bill Richardson, local man, remembers this: Falls Mills on extreme right and the old swimming hole in the foreground.

PIX #2 - No. 174 steam locomotive in the Roundhouse at Logan. The men in the photo worked in the car repair shop. Richardson is fifth from the left. He says as far as he knows, he and possibly one other are all that's left of that group.

PIX #3 - Bill Richardson recalls the deluxe station at Logan pictured here plus the early vintage steam engine.

"You forgot about the "HV, running down to Jackson, Ohio," said Willard "Bill" Richardson, 932 Leonard St., after one of the articles about the CHV&T Railroad was published.

Jackson was the last town on the spur that branched off from the main line at McArthur, going southwest. Actually I didn't include anything in the ar- ticle about Jackson. Richardson, being an old "HV" employee, was familiar with everything in the articles about the southern end of the railroad and missed any mention of Jackson.

Richardson's comment prompted me to spend some time with him. It was most rewarding for both of us since he got to see unpublished photos in The Remem- brancer and I learned some new things for readers.

WORKED FOR CHV&T 48 YEARS

Richardson started railroading for the CHV&T in 1915, retiring in 1963. Between those dates he accumulated many memories of his work and those with whom he worked.

The car shop at Logan, where he put in a lot of time, once employed 750 men, according to Richardson. He recalls that the shop had six tracks, accommo- dating 10 cars on each track. This allowed for 60 cars to be worked on at one time.

When C&O took over the CHV&T, car repairs were handled elsewhere and that was when Bill was transferred. He landed in the "yards" of Fostoria.

RECALLS BRIDGE & SWIMMING HOLE

The accompanying photo of the bridge over the Hocking River near Logan where Falls Mills was once located struck a responsive cord when Bill saw it. He came to Logan from Indiana when he was a boy to live with relatives, and the old mill was where he got his first job. The mill was run by water power from the river.

"Just above the falls was the deepest place in the river," he said. He re- calls one of his friends used to dive from the top of the bridge into the water. The area swimming hole, where they swam every day in the summer, was just off the rocks in the front of the photo.

Three of Bill's prized memorabilia include photos from long ago of that area. One is the Hocking Valley baseball team which, according to Bill, once played a Fostoria team. Another is of the steam locomotive No. 147 taken in 1928 with the Roundhouse force of workmen. The third is a scene taken at the ele- gant HV Station at Logan, with a passenger of that era.

ENGINE DEMOLITION WAS BIG BOOM

Another interesting but unusual recollection Bill retains is about the planned demolition of two steam locomotives. He did not see it happen but others told him about it. The demolition took place near the bridge and Falls Mills. According to the story told by Bill, the locomotives were ready for retirement but the demolition was arranged to provide an unusual event to be witnessed by anyone wishing to be present. A spot was selected where the audience could see from a hilltop.

The locomotives were positioned on a level stretch of track, facing each other, with sufficient distance between to gather speed. The engineers for each locomotive were aboard and had set them in motion, headed for each other. The time and speed was well calculated for a head-on collision. At the right moment, each engineer jumped from his engine and in a few seconds there was a big boom.

Bill said it was like a thunderous explosion as told to him by spectators. He said it was written up in the papers at that time and he saw the articles but does not have a copy of any of them.

BILL REMEMBERED OLD BOOK SCENES

There were many photos in The Remembrancer which were not published in the series of articles. As Bill thumbed through the book he found many for which he recalled the actual subjects...bridges, curves around hills, tun- nels, and views in the towns and villages.

We discussed the salt wells. He said there were many of them in the Pomeroy area and many owners became wealthy from salt production.

"Many of the tile and brick yards mentioned in the articles are still in operation," he said. "But the volume is not as great for bricks since black- top and cement have captured part of that market."

Many of the streets in Fostoria were probably paved with bricks from that area many years ago. Whenever it is necessary for the city street depart- ment to make repairs and they dig holes some of those bricks are brought to the surface...still in good condition.

READER FEEDBACK

ABOUT PROSPECT AND U.SANDUSKY

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Baumgartner and son, Richard Dillon, relatives from Belle Vernon, came to wish me a happy birthday recently.

Before they left I was the recipient of the interesting information about te CHV&T Railroad articles, including Upper Sandusky and Prospect.

First of all, some have probably never heard of Belle Vernon. Today it con- sists of a few houses and a church, located at the intersection of Ohio 587 and 67. Sycamore is the closest town.

At one time it was a thriving village with three churches, a school, a hotel with a dining room, a sawmill, two grocery stores, general store and barber- shop. The cemetery, on the present church site, is evidence of the people who once lived in that area. Some of the tombstones mark the graves of the pioneers who lived there 100 years or more ago.

NOL GARDNER REMEMBERS

"When yo wrote about all those small towns located on the southern end of the CHV&T railroad it brought back many recollections," said Nola Gardner, 320 W. Lytle St., when she stopped me to talk about them. She lived in that area many years ago before she came to the Fostoria area. "Yes, I remember the Ohio River," she said.

There must be quite a number of people in the Fostoria vicinity who came from that area. They should get together to relive the earlier days.

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