Jackson depot of Hocking Valley Railroad
In 1895, the Wellston & Jackson Belt Railway was built by the Hocking Valley group from McArthur Junction, near Dundas, to Jackson - a distance of 17.5 miles - with the CHV&T wholly owning the company. This subsidiary passed through the coalfields of Jackson County and was fully opened in February 1896. The property was quite prosperous, especially under Mr. Waite's direction, until the panic years of 1892 and 1893 when the earnings ran so low that they could not cover the fixed charges. Application for Receivership was filed in February 1897. The appointment was asked in order to conserve the assets of the Company and to prevent a dissolution of the property. Nicholas Monsarrat was appointed Receiver on February 25, 1897 and the property was operated under his direction until March 1, 1899. At this time the road was reorganized under M. E. Ingalls and G. H. Gardner, acting as reorganization managers. It then became the Hocking Valley Railway Company.
In March 1910, the control of the Hocking Valley was acquired by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway. N. Monsarrat served as president from time of the reorganization to 1910. On March 22, five members of the board of directors resigned and were replaced with C&O men, among whom were Frank Trumbull and George W. Stevens, elected chairman and president respectively.
Old C&O depot in Jackson, Ohio
Dr. Raymond Boothe Collection
A Hocking Valley RR locomotive steaming through Vinton, Ohio in Gallia Co. in 1911
Mark Howell collection
The old railroad depot at Hamden, Ohio in Vinton Co., behind the depot you can see the water tank containing water for the steam locomotives.
Mark Howell collection
Wellston and Jackson Belt Line at Wellston Shops, 1910
Bob Lewis collection
1910 showing the Carbarn for the Wellston Jackson Beltway at Wellston. A three-car train trailed by Car 3 is in the clear on the siding, while Car 2 is about to leave the Wellston city trackage for Jackson
The man on the ground handing up the orders appears to be C.C. Waite, president of the Columbus, Hocking Valley & Toledo Railway (1881-1899).
Hocking Valley Rail Road map
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Picture May 2010 by Tyrone Hemry
My name is Chris Essman and my Grandfather had this old photo of the Coalton, Ohio train station. My Grandfather's oldest brother Frank Essman worked for the Railroad; Grandpa said Frank did the run from Coalton to Dayton. Frank married Helen L Mahle on June 21 1917, where they then resided in Dayton, Ohio. Frank was 17 years older then my Grandfather Bob Essman and he always looked up to him.
Robert "Bob" Patrick Essman 1910-1991
Wellston and Jackson Belt Railroad Depot about 1909 in Wellston
Note steel mill in background to the left of the box cars. Harvey Wells chartered a railroad corporation of which he was president. It was named The Wellston-Jackson Belt Line. Wellston & Jackson Belt Railway was chartered 22 January 1895 and was capitalized with $500,000 stock issue. The line was opened to traffic on December 1, 1895, and to Jackson on February 10, 1896. The Hocking Valley Railway's Fifth Annual Report stated it was a total of 17.5 miles from Dundas to Jackson. This station was built about 1895 by the Wellston & Jackson Belt Railway as an interurban electric it came under control of the Columbus, Hocking Valley & Toledo Railroad in June of 1885, a C&O predecessor. The interurban line service ended August 12, 1914 but steam passenger service continued another 17 years and the C&O made a coal carrying road out of it. The 9.8 miles between Wellston and Jackson ran a train every hour and every half hour during shift changes at the mines. Operating the 600 volt DC power was a problem before the use of high voltage AC current came into general use. Passengers noted that lights dimmed and the trains slowed as they approached Jackson because of the drop in current so far from the power station in Wellston. The Wellston & Jackson Belt line operated with a current collection system that was extremely unusual -- the trolley wire was mounted on the west side of the right-of-way, and the trolley poles were on the corresponding side of the motor cars, mounted just below the clerestory and situated above the front axle of the rear truck. Only one pole per motor was needed, as the cars were never turned. Tickets were at a low cost. A monthly commuter book good for 54 trips between any two points on the line cost $2.00. Later when the line was extended to Hamden the price went to $2.50. A round trip between Wellston and Jackson took 6 tickets costing .25 cents each. The trip from Jackson to Wellston took 50 minutes. The Jackson B&O station was about 300 yards south and on the other side of the tracks. The B&O and B&O SW, DT&I, C&O and CH&D and even the Iron Railroad from Ironton went into the Jackson/Wellston coal fields in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Over in Wellston across the tracks to the west of the C&O depot in Wellston was the two story CH&D depot. South of them was the DT&I and south of it was the B&O.
Wellston-Jackson Belt Depot at Wellston was built in 1891 to serve both the Wellston and Jackson Belt Railroad and the Columbus, Hocking Valley, & Toledo Railroad. It was restored in 1992 as a historical site and used now used as a community center.