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From the desk of Alison Gibson, Director
While this is a fairly well-known postcard, we thought it would be a good one to post and share a little bit of one of Ripley’s endeavors that, well, didn’t go quite as well as it was supposed to! OR&C RR (Ohio River & Columbus RR) was a short-lived (1903-1917) short line, but we have to think the runs through town on Easton Alley were pretty noisy and exciting, and the potential for carrying freight from all of our industries would have seemed to have been profitable.
Our collection of Ripley Bees during the time of the laying of the track in 1903 is almost nil, but fortunately the News Democrat saw fit to cover the birth of Ripley’s own railway. Right of ways, accidents, a few deaths, and some stealthy building in the middle of the night make for interesting reading. Georgetown had the Cincinnati Georgetown and Portsmouth (CP&G) already in place for years, (although it never reached Portsmouth), and the Ripley line was to connect with it and then to other short run railroads.
Ripley thought about railroads many times before, businessmen would gather and talk about the investments needed, even contemplated the ‘Black Diamond’ RR of the 1890s—we don’t think Ripley’s residents actually invested in this, which was a good thing, as it appears it never laid any track. We welcome you to do your own digging for the rest of the story—browsing the old newspapers can be quite addicting. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you…)
Sanborn Map 1904 The only year the OR&C was drawn in, as the next Sanborn for Ripley was 1920, and the railroad was gone. Looking closely, you can see the freight station office at the corner of Easton and Main.