Route to the Coalfields
"Recent investigations have developed a wealth of coal...deposits, which will find an outlet to market over the Valley Railway...." So declared the founders of the Valley Railway Company in an 1874 prospectus. While this railroad line, the precursor to Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, transported both passengers and freight along an 83-mile route, it was the potential of providing coal to the industrial centers of Cleveland and Akron that initially appealed to investors.
In the 19th century, coal was an abundant, accessible, and inexpensive fuel, especially for the purpose of generating steam that powered transportation and industry. Initially, Cleveland and Akron relied on coalfields in the Mahoning Valley to the east. By the 1870s, demand had exceeded the supply in that area and attention turned to Tuscarawas and Stark Counties to the south. The developers of the Valley Railway capitalized on the need for a direct rail line between these new fields and Cleveland, Akron, and Canton. By the mid-1880s, coal constituted approximately 44 percent of the total freight tonnage hauled for this railroad route through the Cuyahoga
[Right side illustration captions, from top to bottom, read]
Miners at the entrance of a mine operated by the Marchesi Coal Company in Tuscarawas County.
Railroad Map of Ohio, 1873. The shaded area indicates the location of an iron ore belt.
Advertisement for the Valley Railroad, 1886.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1874.
Location. 41° 23.568′ N, 81° 37.852′ W. Marker is in Independence, Ohio, in Cuyahoga County. Marker is on the wall of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's Rockside Station. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7900 Old Rockside Road, Independence OH 44131, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Industrial Cleveland (here, next to this marker); Ride the Rails (within shouting distance of this marker); Late Prehistoric Period (approx. Ύ mile away); South Park Village and the Whittlesley Tradition (approx. Ύ mile away); The Quarry Era (approx. 0.9 miles away); Old Stone Church of Independence Sesquicentennial (approx. 0.9 miles away); "Veterans Plaza" (approx. one mile away); Valley View Veterans Honor Roll (approx. 1½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Independence.
Also see . . .
1. Valley Railway at Wikipedia. (Submitted on August 15, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Cuyahoga Valley National Park. (Submitted on August 15, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 15, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 15, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 91 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 15, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.