Sunday, March 30, 2014

Leetonia Railroad

Dropping logs from train

Not many trees left on the mountain

Leetonia Train late 1880's
There was a time you could hear a train whistle blow in Leetonia a time of loggers, trains, mills and the tannery. The time Leetonia bustled with work and tough men and women carving a life out of the wilderness. Driving through Leetonia now you would never know that life existed.  All that is left now are a few of the houses turned into seasonal camps a hint of where the old railroad beds lay buried in brush and trees along with and crumbled foundations and many a working man and woman's dreams.  
Many people died in Leetonia by disease or from the dangerous work of logging on step slopes and working on the railroad. Such was the fate of John Schwab(see original story) crushed under the wheels of the Leetonia train.
Charles John Schwab 1887-1919
The young were not spared either as the graveyard still shows to all who hike up the hill where many small children under two and babies were laid to rest because of disease. Another young boy whose last name was Campbell lost his life at ten years old. The boy played near the tracks when a runaway train car ripped off his leg, then slowly and painfully took his life.  Anytime I watch the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes," I can't help but think about Leetonia's similar accidents. If you lay quiet enough on a summer day you might still hear the whistle blow, and the brakes squeal of the Leetonia Train going through the valley into the busy town of Leetonia. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.


rockhouse said...

Like's hard to believe that an actual railroad ever was in Leetonia. I guess there may still be signs of it, but I never noticed anything. Again, hard to believe.....thanks for the great photos and background info.


buckstrang said...

Have a infant relative buried in the cemetery on the hill. Have been up to look. Very cool pictures thanks. Maybe this year I will stop by and intrrduce myself.