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Photo of the Month - April 2007


200dpi jpg (243K)

Hocking Valley Railroad depot in Powell, Ohio.  The date is uncertain looks to be early 1900s possibly 1908.  (From the DAK collection)

       Powell, Ohio is fifteen miles north of Columbus on the Hocking Valley Railroad (later to become the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad).  The United States had thousands of small depots, just like this one, serving small villages.  Ohio certainly had its fair share.  Between Columbus and Toledo, a distance of 123 miles, there were seventeen depots on the Hocking Valley line alone.  Linworth the next town south of Powell was just 5 miles away and the next town north, Hyatts, was 4 miles away.   Both had stations much like this one.  While most trains did not stop at each station, as late as 1942 the Official Guide listed one train, southbound #36, that would stop at each station.  Ten of the seventeen were flag stops.  Before the automobile these little depots were very important to villages like Powell.  As late as 1942, sixteen of them also served as telegraph stations.

        Powell was located at the top of the grade for northbound trains from Columbus.  The Hocking Valley railroad was predominantly a coal hauler, taking coal from southern Ohio and West Virginia to the Lake Erie docks at Toledo.  Those heavy coal trains often required a helper engine as far as Powell.  There was a wye located at Powell, not in this picture, used to turn a helper engine for the trip back to Columbus.

       The signal located between the station and the track near the bay window was straight out meaning stop.  A women with a suitcase  is waiting for the train. The sign over the child near the roof line says "American Express Co."