All Aboard the Train
Bringing Ohio Resources to Market“The Valley Railway Company presents to the consideration of capitalists the most direct practical line of railway from vast mineral deposits of Ohio to the greatest distributing lake port.” Prospectus of the Valley Railway Company, 1874 The Valley Railway was founded in the late 1860s by entrepreneurs from Cleveland, Akron, and Canton. Their goal was to establish a railway that would transport the rich mineral, natural, and agricultural resources of Ohio to the industries and lake port of Cleveland. Geologist MC Read evaluated the natural resources accessible by the railway:
“The mineral resources of your road are not excelled by any other in the State . . . [T]he counties traversed are among the leading agricultural ones of the State . . . ” The railroad carried coal, stone, iron, copper, sand, lime, ore, agricultural products, and livestock north to Cleveland. Railroad promoters valued the downhill grade from Akron to Cleveland and wide curves of the track, which allowed more tonnage to be carried north.
The Valley Railway encouraged the growth and creation of business. The village of Boston boasted the Cleveland- Akron Bag Company; Jaite was home to the Jaite Paper Mill. Spur lines connected the railway with stone quarries such as Lawson Waterman’s in Peninsula. The increased speed of transportation also benefited agriculture. Farmers could ship produce and it would still be fresh upon arrival at market. For example, dairy could be shipped as milk rather than processed cheese.
Traveling by RailRailroad planners believed that railcars would travel northbound with bulk resources and return southbound with passengers. Within the Cuyahoga Valley, passengers awaited trains at depots in Independence, Brecksville, Boston, Peninsula, Everett, Ira, and Botzum. These simple buildings became hubs of activity. Telegraph service and mail delivery brought individuals together for the latest news and gossip, local and national.
Consolidation and corporate change are a constant with freight railroads. The Valley
Last updated: December 19, 2018