Woodsfield in Monroe County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
“Bent, Zigzag, and Crooked”
The Bellaire, Zanesville, and Cincinnati Railroad
While it served a vital role in the Monroe County life, by 1886 the BZ&C had defaulted on its construction bonds and entered the first of many receiverships. Its 300 trestles and bridges were expensive to maintain; frequent landslides added to operating costs. Only the coal and oil booms of the 1890s, along with convoluted financing schemes, kept the railroad operating into the 20th century; a benefit for the people of Monroe County if not its stockholders. Reborn as the Ohio River and Western (locally called the "Old, Rusty, and Wobbly" in 1902, it continued to operate at a loss until the Great Depression. Hundreds turned out in Woodsfield on Memorial Day 1931 for the final run. Ohio's longest-lived narrow gauge railroad, it had lasted 52 years. This is the site of the former BZ&C rail yards.
Monroe County's rugged terrain hindered commerce and communication during the 1800s. In the early 1870s Woodsfield businessmen, led by banker Samuel L. Mooney, promoted a narrow-gauge railroad to connect to the Baltimore and Ohio at Bellaire. Narrow gauge railroads were popular during this boom era because they cost less to build and operate than standard-gauge lines and could traverse sharp curves and steep terrain. The Bellaire and Southwestern Railway was completed through Armstrong's Mills and
Erected 2003 by The Ohio Bicentennial Commission, Monroe County Tourism Office, The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 5-56.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
Location. 39° 45.528′ N, 81° 6.938′ W. Marker is in Woodsfield, Ohio, in Monroe County. Marker is at the intersection of Mill Street and East Marietta Street, on the right when traveling south on Mill Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Woodsfield OH 43793, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sad Sam Jones, 1892-1966 / Mary Weddle-Hines (approx. half a mile away); Beallsville Veterans Memorial (approx. 7.2 miles away); Beallsville / Monroe County Honors Vietnam War Casualities (approx. 7.3 miles away); Sardis Veterans Monument Captina African Methodist Episcopal Cemetery (approx. 12.6 miles away); Sardis Historic Town Pump (approx. 14.4 miles away); George Washington (approx. 14½ miles away); Fly Landing of the Sistersville Ferry (approx. 14.6 miles away).
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 29, 2014, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 270 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 29, 2014, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.