HARROD RAILROAD PARK • HARROD, OHIO

THE VILLAGE OF HARROD, OHIO OWES ITS VERY EXISTENCE TO THE RAILROAD. IT BROUGHT PEOPLE, MERCHANTS, LIVESTOCK AND SUPPLIES TO THE LOCAL RESIDENTS. IT ALSO PROVIDED AN OUTLET FOR THE PRODUCTS THAT NEWLY FORMED BUSINESSES IN TOWN PRODUCED. THE RAILROAD DEPOT WAS BUILT AND THE CHICAGO AND ATLANTIC RAILROAD COMPANY LAID THE TRACK IN 1882. THE FIRST TRAIN ROLLED THROUGH “HARRODS”, AS IT WAS THEN CALLED, ON MAY 1ST, 1883.

PROGRESS BROUGHT THE RAILROAD TO HARROD AND PROGRESS TOOK IT AWAY JUST SHORT OF 100 YEARS LATER. IT WAS A SAD DAY WHEN THE DEPOT WAS TORN DOWN IN 1972. RAILROAD OPERATIONS CEASED IN 1976 AND THE FINAL BLOW WAS REALIZED WHEN THE TRACKS WERE REMOVED IN 1982.

WORD SPREAD THAT HARROD WOULD RECEIVE A CABOOSE TO DISPLAY IN THE CENTER OF TOWN.  THE RAILROAD PARK IN HARROD INSPIRES PRIDE AND FROM THAT PRIDE HARROD, OHIO IS GROWING ONCE AGAIN.

THE PARK ITSELF IS LOCATED ON VILLAGE PROPERTY WITH THE AUGLAIZE TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL SOCIETY MAINTAINING ALL EQUIPMENT AND BUILDINGS. IN 2000, A CANOPY WAS CONSTRUCTED OVER THE ENGINE AND CABOOSE TO AID IN THEIR PRESERVATION.

CABOOSE

DISPATCH SHOPS INCORPORATED, ROCHESTER, NEW YORK MANUFACTURED THE CABOOSE IN APRIL OF 1963. IT WAS ASSIGNED TO THE MAINTENANCE POOL IN LIMA, OHIO AND WAS USED PRIMARILY FOR THE RAILWAY GANGS. THE MAJORITY OF ITS SERVICE WAS IN THE LIMA, OHIO AREA AND WAS RETIRED FROM SERVICE IN AUGUST 1980.

IN 1991 THE AUGLAIZE TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL SOCIETY SUBMITTED A REQUEST TO CONRAIL FOR A CABOOSE TO BE USED FOR DISPLAY IN HARROD, OHIO. THE REQUEST WAS GRANTED AND THE DONATED CABOOSE WAS MOVED TO ALGER, OHIO WHICH WAS THE CLOSEST OPEN RAIL SIDING TO HARROD. IT WAS THEN TRANSPORTED BY TRUCK TO ITS FINAL DESTINATION IN HARROD IN 1993 AND SET ON THE RAILROAD TRACKS THAT WERE LAID BY MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY.

THE CABOOSE ITSELF UNDERWENT EXTENSIVE RENOVATION BY MEMBERS OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY. THE EXTERIOR WAS RESTORED AND PAINTED WITH ERIE COLORS AND MARKINGS TO REFLECT THE HISTORY ASSOCIATED WITH THE LINE THAT RAN THROUGH HARROD FOR SO MANY YEARS. THE INTERIOR WAS REFURBISHED AS WELL. IT WAS OFFICIALLY DISPLAYED TO THE PUBLIC FOR THE FIRST TIME JUNE 8TH, 1994 DURING OUR ANNUAL PORK RIND HERITAGE FESTIVAL. THE FOLLOWING YEAR, SLIDING GLASS DOORS AND SHELVES WERE ADDED TO THE INTERIOR OF THE CABOOSE TO FACILITATE DISPLAY OF MEMORABILIA THAT THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY HAD ACQUIRED.

1905 SHAY LOCOMOTIVE

IN 1882, EPHRAIM SHAY ASSIGNED THE RIGHTS OF THE LOCOMOTIVE THAT WOULD BEAR HIS NAME TO A COMPANY THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY BECOME LIMA LOCOMOTIVE WORKS, LIMA, OHIO. SHAYS COULD BURN COAL, OIL, OR WOOD, AND VARIED FROM TINY TWO CYLINDER, TWO TRUCK MODELS TO THREE CYLINDER, FOUR TRUCK MONSTERS WEIGHING OVER 400,000 POUNDS.

THE SHAY PRODUCED A DISTINCTIVE SOUND. THE RAPID FIRING OF THE CYLINDERS MADE IT SOUND LIKE IT WAS GOING ABOUT 6O MPH WHEN IT ACTUALLY CHUGGED ALONG AT 12 MPH! THE LOCOMOTIVE WAS CAPABLE OF CLIMBING GRADES AS GREAT AS 14 PERCENT.

SHAY LOCOMOTIVES WERE PRODUCED UNTIL 1945. THERE WERE 2,771 SHAYS BUILT, OF WHICH APPROXIMATELY 84 STILL EXIST. IT'S A TESTIMONY TO THE SHAY DESIGN AND QUALITY THAT MANY OF THESE REMAIN IN ACTIVE SERVICE, MOST IN TOURIST RAILROADS.

THE SHAY ENGINE DISPLAYED IN HARROD WAS MANUFACTURED IN SEPTEMBER 1905 AT THE LIMA LOCOMOTIVE WORKS, LIMA, OHIO. IT WAS BUILT FOR THE TIOGA LUMBER COMPANY, NICHOLAS COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA AND WAS DESIGNATED C/N 1568. IT WAS OWNED BY SEVERAL LUMBER COMPANIES OVER THE YEARS AND IN 1963 WAS REPORTED TO BE THE LAST SHAY ENGINE OPERATING IN DAILY LOG TRAIN SERVICE IN THE COUNTRY. THE GEORGIA-PACIFIC LUMBER COMPANY OWNED THE ENGINE AT THAT TIME.

C/N 1568 WAS PURCHASED IN 1964 AND MOVED BY TRUCK TO WYTHEVILLE, VIRGINIA WHERE IT WAS OPERATED IN A THEME PARK CALLED DRY GULCH JUNCTION AT BIG WALKER MOUNTAIN UNTIL 1972. IN 1978 THE SHAY DEVELOPED A THROAT SHEET CRACK AND THE EXPENSE TO REPAIR IT WAS MORE THAN THE STRUGGLING OPERATION COULD BEAR. THAT WAS THE LAST TIME THE LOCOMOTIVE WAS UNDER STEAM.

ANOTHER ENTREPRENEUR WITH THE INTENTION OF DEVELOPING A TOURIST RAILWAY PURCHASED THE SHAY. UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS TO SECURE A RIGHT-OF-WAY FOR THE PROPOSED PROJECT ENDED THAT ENDEAVOR AND THE SHAY WAS SOLD TO A FLORIDA SHIPYARD OWNER. DETAILS ARE VERY SKETCHY IN THIS CHAPTER OF THE ENGINE’S LIFE. THERE WERE RUMORS AT ONE POINT THAT IT HAD BEEN CUT UP AND SOLD FOR SCRAP. APPARENTLY THOSE RUMORS WERE STARTED TO DETER VANDALISM AND THEFT OF PARTS FROM THE ENGINE. IN 1992, AN ADVERTISING CIRCULAR FROM A NORTH CAROLINA DEALER, KEEPING THE SECRECY OF THE EXACT WHEREABOUTS OF THE ENGINE, LISTED IT FOR SALE AND ENDED SPECULATION ABOUT ITS DEMISE TO THE SCRAP PILE.

AMERICAN HOUSE, INC., CREATED TO PRESERVE LIMA HISTORY AND CULTURAL HERITAGE, PURCHASED THE ENGINE AND TRANSPORTED IT FROM MOSSY HEAD, FLORIDA TO LIMA, OHIO. A COMMENDABLE EFFORT WAS MADE TO CHRONICLE THE LIMA LOCOMOTIVE WORKS AND ITS WORKERS BUT THEY ELECTED TO DISBAND IN 1996 AND THE AUGLAIZE TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL SOCIETY WAS GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE THE SHAY ENGINE. IN DOING SO, AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR LOCAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE WAS KEPT IN THE LIMA, OHIO AREA WHERE IT WAS MANUFACTURED SO MANY YEARS EARLIER. THE SHAY WAS DISMANTLED AND TRANSPORTED BY TRUCK FROM LIMA TO ITS PRESENT LOCATION HARROD IN 1996.

 

"LITTLE RED BUILDING"

AFTER RETURNING FROM THE CIVIL WAR, SAMUEL T. WINEGARDNER OPENED A SAWMILL ON WALNUT STREET IN HARROD. HE WAS ALSO A CARPENTER AND BUILT OR SUPPLIED THE LUMBER FOR MANY OF THE HOMES THAT STILL EXIST IN THE VILLAGE TODAY. HIS OFFICE, LOVINGLY REFERRED TO AS THE “LITTLE RED BUILDING”, WAS ORIGINALLY AT THE LUMBERYARD AND WAS MOVED TO ITS CURRENT LOCATION AT THE RAILROAD PARK IN 1994. THE INTERIOR WAS RESTORED IN 1996 AND IN 2001, THE EXTERIOR UNDERWENT MAJOR RENOVATION IN AN EFFORT TO RESTORE IT TO ITS ORIGINAL CONDITION.

WORKMAN’S SHANTY

THE “WORKMAN’S SHANTY” WAS DONATED TO THE AUGLAIZE TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL SOCIETY BY THE LATE JOHN KELLER. IT WAS MADE TO CONTAIN TOOLS AND OTHER ITEMS NEEDED FOR EVERYDAY MAINTENANCE ON THE RAILROAD. THE SHANTY WAS RENOVATED IN 2001. 

VISIT OUR PARKS

WE WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND AN INVITATION FOR YOU TO VISIT OUR PARKS.

THE AUGLAIZE TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL SOCIETY, A NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION, SUPPORTS TWO WONDERFUL AND UNIQUE PARKS. THE HARROD RAILROAD PARK HONORS THE RAILROAD INDUSTRY AND ITS HERITAGE. THE HARROD VETERAN’S PARK HONORS ALL VETERANS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES AND IS LOCATED DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE RAILROAD PARK. THE FUNDING FOR BOTH PARKS IS RAISED THROUGH DONATIONS AND BY RAFFLES THAT ARE HELD DURING THE PORK RIND HERITAGE FESTIVAL HELD THE SECOND WEEKEND IN JUNE EACH YEAR.

 

BOTH PARKS ARE OPEN DAILY FOR WALK THROUGH VISITORS. GUIDED TOURS ARE AVAILABLE BY REQUEST ONLY. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT THE AUGLAIZE TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL SOCIETY, P.O. BOX 3, HARROD, OHIO 45850. PLEASE ALLOW SUFFICIENT TIME FOR US TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS FOR YOUR TOUR.

 

DIRECTIONS: STATE ROUTE 309 APPROXIMATELY 10-MILES EAST OF LIMA, OHIO. GO SOUTH ON NAPOLEON ROAD 2- MILES TO HARROD.