Two canals (Ohio and Hocking) pass through the central part of
Fairfield county. The Ohio canal traverses its surface a distance of
nearly thirty miles. It enters the county through Winchester, in the
southwest corner of Violet township, through section thirty-two; it then
assumes a southeast course, passing the northern border of the village
of Carroll, in Greenfield township. It then runs east, across the south-
east corner of Liberty township, passing the villages Basil and Balti-
more, entering Walnut township, turns north, and passes out of the
county through section twenty-two.
     The Hocking canal opens into the Ohio canal at Carroll. From
this point it runs southeast, entering Hocking Valley near Hooker's
Station, four miles above Lancaster. Passing Lancaster on its western
border, and entering. Berne township, continuing a southeast direction,
it passes out of the county south of Sugar Grove, through section ten,
Berne township, seventeen and one-half miles from Carroll. It then
runs via Logan, Nelsonville, and Chauncey, to Athens, fifty-three miles
from Carroll.
     Slack water navigation in Ohio, in the form of inland lock canals,
was first mentioned in the Legislature of 1821, under a proposition, 
contemplating the connection of Lake Erie with the Ohio River, on the
lock and dam principle. This was introduced with that of a proposed
school law, and the changing of the mode of public taxation, to be more
equitable, the measures all being popular with the public at large, were
no sooner promulgated, than they began to receive the popular approval
of the people. The Act, previously passed in regard to canals, had not
taken effect. A few private individuals had been interested in the matter, 
with a view of obtaining a charter, for a company to construct a
canal. For the want of popular favor they failed in that scheme. In
1821, being introduced, as it was, with the school and taxation project, it
at once became a dominant theme. M. C. Williams, of Cincinnati, was
that year a member of the Lower House, of the General Assembly, from
Hamilton county. After the meeting of the Legislature in December,
Mr. Williams began the discussion of the subject of a canal, with vari-
ous members, and presented his resolution on the sixth of that month.
This provided for the appointment of a committee of five members,
whose duty it was to discuss that part of the Governors message relat-
ing to the subject---canals. The resolution was approved and passed,
the following gentlemen being appointed to act as a committee: Messrs.
Williams, Howe, Worthington, Moore and Shelby.
     Immediately after the passing of this resolution. Caleb Atwater, of
Pickaway county, presented a resolution, calling for the appointment of
five, to report on schools and school lands. The resolution offered in


regard to taxation was next introduced and adopted, so with the aid of
these two the canal question was settled.
     Mr. Williams was the leading spirit of the committee, encountering
many difficulties in the prosecution of their work, although adhering to
it with prudence, discretion, and perseverence. January 3, 1822, they
presented their report to the house, in elaborate form. This embodied
a recommendation for the passage of a law, authorizing an examination
into the practicability of connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio River by
canal, at the same time introducing a bill, embodying the 
recommendation of the report.
     The bill passed the House at its third reading, January 21, 1822, 
although bitterly opposed for a time. In the Senate it became a law on
the 31st of January. The resolution for the appointment of seven school
commissioners passed the Senate, and both messages were carried 
together to the House. Both originated in the House of Representatives
December 5, 1821, and both became laws January 31, 1822.
     Soon after the enactment of the canal law, commissioners were 
appointed to take charge of special duties; first, the employment of an
engineer to examine the location of the country lying between the two
points, Lake Erie, on the north, and Ohio River on the south. Mr.
James Geddes, of New York. was employed to ferret out the most
eligible route, and report the same at an early day. He first examined
the route to Columbus, via Cuyahoga Summit, arriving in Columbus in
June, 1822. During the summer and fall he traveled a distance of nine
hundred miles.
     Samuel Forrer was one of the interested parties at home, traveling
about eight hundred miles. All this preliminary examination was
completed in eight months, showing the energy with which this work
was received.
     The commissioners took active interest, spending a large share of
their time in the service, taking notes of the different proposed routes,
in the years 1823, '24, '25.
     At last it was decided to locate the starting point at the mouth of
the Cuyahoga River at Lake Erie, entering the Ohio at the mouth of the
     The same year a canal was located between Cincinnati and 
     While the above work was in progress, a board of canal commis-
sioners had been created by law, and a stock company organized. A
sufficient amount of money, to carry on the work of excavating on the
respective canals, for one year, was borrowed of New York capitalists.
     David S. Bates, of Rochester, New York, was appointed chief 
engineer of Ohio canals, with the necessary number of assistants. The
following notice is from an old copy of the Lancaster Gazette:

     "You are hereby ordered to parade in front of 'Reed's Tavern,' at
Monticello, on the Fourth of July, 1827, at nine o'clock, for the purpose
of saluting the canal boat "Hebron,"which will be the first to run on
the Ohio canal.                        By order of the Captain.
                                                                     " JACOB BOPE, O. S."


     HOCKING CANAL---The following response of Senator Carlisle to a
toast, "The Hocking Canal." given on the occasion of the anniversary
of the Hocking Sentinel, at Logan, April 26th 1877, gives a complete
history of the canal: "'In response to the subject assigned us, we beg
to be indulged, while we review in abstract, and briefly, the history and
reminiscences, of the Hocking Canal. Its history, though brief, and
to some probably monotonous and uninteresting, is fraught with facts,
important, and will be remembered by the pioneers of the Hockhocking.
We call upon you friends, who have lived for two and a half or three
score years, in this beautiful valley of milk and honey, to return with
us on the wings, of memory and hear again the shouts of joy echo
throughout the length and breadth of this valley, as we heard them in
the earliest days of our settlement.
     "The first part of the Hocking Canal was built by the Lancaster 
Latteral Canal Company from there to Carroll, there forming a junction
with the Ohio Canal. The Lancaster Latteral Canal was put under
contract in 1832, by Samuel F. McCracken, Jacob Green, Elnathan
Schofield, Benjamin Connell and others, with Frederick A. Foster as
secretary. This piece of canal, known at that time as the Lancaster
side cut, was completed, and the first boats towed into Lancaster on
the Fourth of July, 1836, amidst the booming of cannons, beating of
drums, and the waving to the breeze of flags and banners, and being
witnessed by some ten thousand of Fairfield's yeomanry, who were 
assembled at the Cold Spring Hill, near Lancaster, where there was a
roasted ox and a free dinner served, after which the Greens, Bill
Furguson and others indulged in the popular exercise of fisticuff's.
     "Up to this period our farmers usually got from 25 to 40 cents for
their wheat; but many of them became rich from prices received for
their surplus products afterwards. Lancaster was then one of the large
commercial cities of the country, getting all the grain from most parts
of the county, as well as from parts of Perry, Hocking and Pickaway
counties. There were nine dry goods stores, all doing a good 
     "In March 1838, an act was passed by the Legislature of the State,
authorizing the then Commissioners to purchase the side cut from its
owners. April 6, 1838, a committee was appointed to confer with the
Lancaster company and negotiate terms; and December 22 1838, a
contract was matured for the same, at a cost of $61,241.04.
     "The Hocking Canal was projected and put under contract by the
board of public works in 1836, that board having just been made to
substitute the canal commissioners of the State. Sixteen and one half
miles, being from Lancaster to Bowner's lock, was put under contract
in 1837, and to be completed in 1839; and that portion from Bowner's
lock to Nelsonville, being sixteen and one-half miles, was put under
contract in 1837, to be completed in 1839, but was not completed until
1840. In September of this year, the first boats loaded with coal, came
out of the Hocking Valley, and served as a curiosity to most of the
upper valley citizens, who had never seen stone coal. In 1841 the canal
was completed to Monday Creek, being forty-four miles from Carroll;
and from Monday Creek to Athens, completed, and boats running
through in 1841.


    "The Hocking Canal cost has 31 locks, 8 dams, 34 culverts, and one
aqueduct of 80 feet span.
     "The total cost of construction of this canal, was $947,670.65.
     "To the opening of this canal, Lancaster, Logan, Nelsonville and
Athens, owed their principal prosperity, in affording an opening for the
importation of goods and the exportation of grain, pork, lumber, salt,
and various minerals of the Hocking Valley. Hemmed in as you were
by towering hills, your agricultural  wealth undeveloped, your
mineral wealth unknown, to the Hocking Canal you owe your intro-
duction, to the world without. Through the medium of the canal, a
market was brought near. The latent wealth of your hills was then
developed, and the beautiful hills of Hockhocking became the hub of
the mineral wealth of Ohio.
     "By the introduction of this old water horse (the canal), the long
hidden treasures of mineral wealth of this valley, were brought into
notice, and general use; manufactories built up in all the contiguous
towns and territories; this affording employment to a large and needy
class of mechanics; and the employment of an equal number of labor-
ers, in penetrating the bowels of the earth for fuel, the employment of
horses, boats, and men, to ship the fuel all along the lines of our
canals, enriching many of the citizens of the valley.
     "Allow me to say in conclusion, that, although the iron horse moves
majestically along the valley, bearing the greater share of your trade,
yet the old boat-horse still lives, and possesses a large amount of vital-
ity, and is therefore not as yet ready to be turned out to die, as some
would have him. And if any animated object were capable of waking
in the human breast, sentimenis of gratitude and esteem, these the
citizens of the Hocking valley owe to the canal."
     TURNPIKE ROADS.---Fairfield county has eight turnpike roads, all
being gravel road beds with the exception of the Maysville and Zanes-
ville roads, these two being originally made of broken lime stone, and
completed between the years 1837-42. A joint stock road with toll
gates was also made at this time. This road was made substantially,
and during the forty-three years it has been in use, but little repairing 
has been required. It enters the county from the west, crossing
the south line of the Clear Creek township, and the southeast corner
of Amanda township, thence east through Hocking township, forming
the Main street of Lancaster. From Lancaster east, it deflects a little to
the north, crossing Berne, Pleasant, Richland, and Rushville 
townships; it then enters Perry county. .
     The Lancaster and New Salem road is twelve miles long, and con-
sidered the best in the county. All the gravel roads were built under
the provision of legislative enactment, providing a pro-rata taxation on
land, lying within two miles of the road bed, on both sides, the per
cent diminishing as the distance of the land from the road increased.
     The cost of this road to commissioner Fink of Pleasant township
was six hundred dollars. The act, however, provided that tax payers
might at their option, form joint stock companies, and erect toll-gates.
Some did so, while others made their road free.
     The Cedar Hill pike intersects the Maysville and Zanesville road,
half a mile west of Lancaster, passes through Amanda township one


mile south of Royalton, to Cedar Hill; thence to the Pickaway county
line; it is smooth, substantial and free of toll-gates.
     The Baltimore and Kirkersville road, commencing at the north-
west corner of Lancaster, continues in a northern direction through
Dumontsville to Baltimore, eight miles; thence northeast through
Liberty and Walnut townships, into Licking county. A toll-road, at
first, by a subsequent act of the Legislature, it was made free.
     The Amanda road, the shortest in the county, starts from a point on
the Maysville and Zanesville pike, nearly a mile east of Amanda,
forming its Main street, and continues a distance of six miles, to the
Pickaway county line.
     The Lancaster and Lithopolis pike commences at Main street, in
Lancaster, and from Columbus street enters Greenfield township;
thence past Hooker Station, on through the villages of Greencastle and
Lithopolis, in Bloom township; thence to the Franklin county line.
In 1881 this road was finished only to a point west of Lithopolis. The
Lancaster and Carrol road connects with the Lithopolis road at the
canal bridge, near Hooker's Station, and running parallel with the
Hocking Canal, to Carroll, enters Bloom township, passing through
Jefferson to Canal Winchester, there terminates.
     A free road is to be graded from Lancaster to the State Farm, a
distance of six miles. Already two miles of that distance has been
     Seven of the last roads mentioned, were constructed on the same
legal and financial plan, in about three years' time, and have 
contributed largely to the convenience of the public.
     RAILROADS.---Within the limits of Fairfield county, there are seventy-
eight miles of main track railway, and ten miles side track; making a
total of eighty-eight miles.   The total valuation for taxation for
the year 1880, was $824,704. In this summary three roads are 
     First, the Cincinnati, Wilmington and Zanesville, being the first in
the county. It was chartered by the Legislature on February 4th, 1851,
soon after the work was put under contract west of Lancaster, and
soon completed. The western termination of the road being its con-
nection with the Little Miami road, at Morrowtown, in Warren county,
and in 1853 cars were running into Lancaster from the west. Its east-
ern termination was at Zanesville, in Muskingum county.   It had a
mileage of twenty-eight and fifty-two one hundreth miles. Appraised
at $411,280. In 1856 the road was completed, and regular trains run-
ning between Morrowtown and Zanesville, thus opening communica-
tion between Cincinnati and all eastern seaboards, by connecting at
Zanesville with the original Central Ohio Railroad.
     To the capital stock of this road, the citizens of the county con-
tributed liberally. The commissioners of the county, as provided for
in the act of incorporation, subscribed $250,000, for the payment of
which, bonds were issued bearing seven per cent. The company, 
negotiating them in the markets at favorable rates, similar rates were 
subjected to the market, and sold by all the counties through which the
road passed. In this way sufficient funds were raised to complete the
road, including bridges, tunnels, ties, and the principal part of the


iron. The road remained, however, to be completed, by the required
stock having acquired a substantial value of first, second and third
mortgages; bonds were issued and sold, and with the help of an 
income, loans were secured with these for security.
     After three or four years of experience, the road found it had too
heavy a debt to contend with.  The interest on the bonds, and the
running expenses of the road, exceeded the earnings.  The stock be-
gan to decline in the market. An effort was made by the capitalists to
save the road, by contracting the price of the shares from fifty to fif-
teen dollars, but the first mortgage bonds became due, a fore-closure
took place, the road was sold, and the name changed to that of the
Cincinnati and Muskingum Valley; having since changed hands, it is
now the Muskingum division of the Pittsburg, Cincinnat and St. Louis
     The county bonds and interests, together with the entire amount of
the individual stock, was a total loss. The stockholders' loss was equal
to that of the county.  The first mortgage bonds were probably liqui-
dated by the sale of the road. The second, third, and income bonds
were valueless.
     The route of the road through the county is as follows: Entering
from the west, through section nineteen, of Clear Creek township;
passes through this township in a northeast direction, crossing the north-
west corner. It passes near Amanda, in Amanda township, entering
Hocking township, still pursuing a northeast direction to Lancaster;
from there east, through the northern part of Berne township, entering
next, Rush Creek township; after passing Bremen, its course is north-
east, through section twelve, of Rush Creek township, here entering
the adjoining county.
     THE HOCKING VALLEY RAILROAD has a mileage in Fairfield county
of twenty-three and fifty-three one hundredth miles, main track, and
five miles side track, making an aggregate of twenty-nine miles.  It
was placed on the county duplicate for taxation, in the year 1880, at a
value of $205,364. This road was first chartered in 1864, under the
title of "Mineral Point Railroad Company," and was to extend from
Columbus to Athens, a distance of seventy-four miles. In June, 1867,
the name of the road was changed by the court of common pleas,
of Franklin county, to that of the Columbus and Hocking Valley 
R. R., its present title.
     The charter provided, that as soon as the company should reach the
point of a specified stock, and expended this amount in making the
road-bed, it should be authorized to issue one and one-half million dol-
lars worth of bonds, secured by mortgage on the road, these to be sold
in the market, and the proceeds to be applied to the further completion
of the road. The required amount of stock was soon taken, and the
bed of the road constructed without delay; whereupon the bonds were
issued and sold on favorable terms to the company. Within one year
from the commencement of this road, cars were running between Col-
umbus and Lancaster. In 1868, four years after the granting of the
charter, the road was completed, and daily trains run from Columbus
to Athens.
     For the construction of the Hocking Valley road, the authorities of



Lancaster issued to the company of the road, twenty thousand dollars
of seven per cent. bonds, to enable the purchase of the right of way
through the city. This, an act on the part of the city council, unauth-
orized by law, caused much dissatisfaction, at first, among the tax-
payers. Many declared their determination to resist the payment of
the levy, but, at length, acquiescence was accorded, and the bonds and
interest paid.
     This road has proved to be one of the wealthiest in the State, chiefly
on account of the extensive transportation of coal out of the lower
     The stock of the road has always been above par, paying an 
annual dividend of eight per cent., at times exceeding that, as well as
carrying a large surplus fund. Their bonds, a million and a half in
number, are at a premium in the market.
     The transportation of coal, in prosperous times, has been twenty
trains, each containing thirty loaded cars, these passing Lancaster
every twenty-four hours.
     The Muskingum and Hocking Valley have a joint depot at the
south terminus of Broadway.   The tracks cross the canal within
twenty feet of each other, one hundred and fifty yards west of the
     The Hocking Valley enters the county from the northwest, at Win-
chester, through section twenty-nine, of Violet township, and bearing
a little south of east to section thirty-six, takes a southeast course
across the northeast corner of Bloom township, entering Greenfield
township a short distance above the village of Carroll; thence in the
same direction to Lancaster, where it takes a southern course, following
the Hocking Valley, passing into Hocking county through section ten,
of Berne township, one mile south of Sugar Grove.
     The Hocking Valley has five stations in Fairfield county,viz.: Lock-
ville, Carroll, Hooker's, Lancaster and Sugar Grove.  The five sta-
tions on the Muskingum Valley are, Stoutsville, Amanda, Lancaster,
Berne and Bremen. Both roads have six passenger trains daily, three
each way.
     THE CENTRAL OHIO RAILROAD was originally projected from
Toledo, on the Maumee, to Pomeroy on the Ohio, being designed for a
mineral road to run into the coal fields of southern Ohio.  It was first
chartered as the "Atlantic and Lake Erie." For nine years it strug-
gled through difficulties, when funds were plenty, the work was con-
tinued with energy, until the ground work of the northern division was
well advanced. During this time Gen. Thomas Ewing, of Lancaster,
was president of the company.
     At last the road became so involved in debt that it had to be sold,
but not until the company had endeavored to involve the stockholders,
by bringing suit against them for more than the amount subscribed by
them. Suit was entered in the court of common pleas, of Fairfield
county, to inforce the payment of this, but the stockholders resisted,
and, pending the suit, an accommodation sale of the road was effected,
and the suit was withdrawn.
     When the road passed into new hands, the name was changed to
Central Ohio, and at once completed from Columbus to Corning, in


the southern part of Perry county, a distance of sixty-five miles. In
the early part of the summer of 1880, trains were run through.  That
part running into Columbus is a branch, leaving the main track at
Bush's Station, in Walnut township.   The southern terminus of the
road, at present, is at Corning, with a branch extending to Shawnee,
seven miles to the west. On the northern end of the main line, cars
run through to Fostoria, (Hancock county,) in 1880, or beginning of
the year 1881.  The Central Ohio enters Fairfield county from the
north, through section twenty-two, of Walnut township, and receives
the Columbus branch at Bush's Station; here the route turns southeast,
to Pleasantville, in the northern part of Pleasant township, from here
into Richland township, where its course changes to due south, to
Rushville, passing between the two villages into Rush Creek township.
At Bremen it runs on the track of the Cincinnati and Muskingum
Valley road to New Lexington. The Columbus branch has six stations
in Fairfield county, viz.: Pickering, Basil, Bush's, Pleasantville.Rush-
ville and Bremen. The mileage of this road, in the county, is twenty-
nine and six one hundredths; the appraisement being $208,030, 


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