RailsandTrails.com - Texts - 1916 Pennsylvania Railroad Guide

Pittsburgh to Columbus

PENNSYLVANIA SYSTEM trains to Chicago, via Columbus, and to Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville, and St. Louis, traverse what is popularly known as "The Pan Handle Route," over which runs "The St. Louisan" and "The New Yorker," companion trains with the "Broadway Limited."

After leaving Pittsburgh, trains speed over a long bridge spanning the Monongahela River, and turn northward along the west bank of the Ohio for about two miles, thence through a tunnel under the high ridge which shuts in Pittsburgh's western borders, and up the valley of one of the swift-running little streams that feed the Ohio, to

Carnegie, a busy town in the center of the Chartiers valley, which is the heart of the famous Pittsburgh bituminous coal district. There are large manufacturing establishments in Carnegie, notably a number of steel plants.

It is also the junction point with the branch lines extending south to Washington and Waynesburg.

Washington is a manufacturing city of about 26,200 population and the seat of Washington and Jefferson College, founded in 1780. Crossing the high divide around which the Ohio River makes a big horse shoe curve, and passing McDonald, an oil and bituminous coal town, the picturesque valley of Harmone Creek is followed to

New Cumberland Junction, the junction with the branch line to Chester, running north along the east bank of the Ohio River, and

Wheeling Junction, the point from which the branch line to Wheeling, W. Va., leaves the main line, and also the last station in the State of West Virginia, the railroad crossing the Ohio River on a long bridge just after leaving the station.

Wheeling, twenty-four miles south, one of the most important business cities in West Virginia, is noted as being one of the first towns founded on the Ohio River. Fort Henry, named for Patrick Henry, was erected in 1774, and withstood three sieges.

Steubenville, a busy manufacturing city of 26,000, is noted as the place where steam was first used in the United States in manufactures. It was settled in 1797, following the erection of Fort Steuben here in 1786, and the start of Crawford's disastrous campaign against the Wyandottes, in 1782, from this point. Steubenville is the junction point with the branch extending from Beaver along the west bank of the Ohio to Powhatan.

Westward from Steubenville, the railroad follows the Ohio River for over three miles, and then turns abruptly west through the rolling hills of eastern Ohio. Many pretty little settlements dot the line.

Dennison receives its name from William Dennison, governor of Ohio during the war between the States, and postmaster-general under President Buchanan, who was very liberal in his benefactions to Dennison College.

Just west of Tuscarawas, the Pan Handle Route enters the valley of the Tuscarawas River, a stream which rises to the north, through the hills, and alongside of which runs for many miles the canal connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio River at Portsmouth. Thence for nearly thirty miles, the railroad, the river, the canal, and one of the Ohio main roads parallel each other.

Gnadenhutten, a little country village on the Tuscarawas, is reminiscent of one of the most tragic events in early American history. Here, in 1772, the remnant of the Delaware Indians, who had been converted by the Moravians, created a little settlement for themselves on the banks of the Tuscarawas. Forced away by the English invaders in 1781, a small number who remained to harvest crops, in 1782, were massacred by Colonel Williamson and American troops, in revenge for the part the rest of the tribe took in the French and Indian War.

New Comerstown is the junction point with the branch lines to Bayard and Goshen and with the Marietta Division.

Zoarville, nine miles north of New Comerstown on this branch, was for eighty years the community Zoar of the Separatist Society, founded in 1817 by Joseph Bimler.

Marietta, the terminus of the Marietta Division, the seat of Marietta College and a thriving community of about 15,000 persons, was the first organized settlement in the Northwest Territory, and the first court was held here in September, 1788. Fort Harmar had been built here two years before, and Fort Gower, at the mouth of the Hocking River, in 1782, by the invading settlers from the East.

Marietta was built on one of the largest of the old mounds or earthworks made by the ancient inhabitants of this country, of which this section of Ohio has many relics in the way of these peculiar "works."

Coshocton, marks the junction of the Tuscarawas and Mohican rivers to form the Muskingum. In addition to being a prosperous town of 12,000 people, Coshocton is also the terminus of the branch northward to the Fort Wayne Division at Loudonville.

From Coshocton the railroad follows the valley of the Muskingum for about fourteen miles; thence along the canal for nearly twenty-two miles. A number of towns dot the way.

Trinway is the junction point of the Pan Handle Route with the Zanesville Division, which follows the Muskingum southward to Zanesville, founded in 1799, and containing the largest tile works in the world. Thence, this division turns westward to the valley of the Little Miami, where it joins the Cincinnati Division at Morrow.

Lancaster, with a population of 14,480, the county seat of Fairfield County, is noted as the birthplace of General W. T. Sherman and of Senator John Sherman.

Circleville, on the Scioto River, was built on the site of a circular mound or earthworks left by the Mound Builders, hence its name. It has a population of 6,747.

A branch line also extends northward from Trinway to Killbuck, on the Akron Division, which follows the picturesque valley of the Killbuck River, a tributary of the Mohican.

Newark is the largest town passed between Pittsburgh and Columbus. It has a population of 28,000, and very extensive manufactures, embracing a locomotive works and electric car factory, glass works, chemical instrument and carriage factories. Near Newark is the encampment grounds of the Ohio State Militia. Newark is also noted for the large prehistoric mounds in the immediate vicinity, covering four square miles.

Between Newark and Columbus the Pennsylvania Lines cross the watershed between Muskingum and Scioto valleys, Summit station marking the divide.

Columbus, the terminus of the Pittsburgh Division of the Pan Handle Route, in addition to being the capital of the State of Ohio, is one of the most important railroad centers of the Middle West, seven lines centering here, six of them using the Union Station, one of the most ornate structures of its kind in the United States.

Columbus, which to-day has a population of 209,722, was settled in 1810. In 1816, it was made the State Capital. The first capitol buildings were of brick and cost $85,000-in those days very fine buildings. The present capitol, a Doric structure of native grey limestone, covers nearly three acres, and, with the other government buildings, has cost about two and one-half millions of dollars.

The city is a most attractive one with wide streets and fine business buildings and residences. Its manufactories are extensive and produce a wide variety of products.

Columbus is the seat of the Ohio State University, the Capital City University, and St. Mary's Academy, three noted schools. The United States Government maintains an army post on the northeastern borders of the city, known as Fort Columbus.