Remarkable Ohio

Serpent Mound Marker

Home / Hancock County / 18-32 Rawson and the Railroads / The Rawson Heritage [7]

Title, side A
Rawson and the Railroads
Title, side B
The Rawson Heritage
Text, side A
The original town plat of Rawson was filed on February 3, 1855, consisting of fifty-five lots in sections 13 and 14 of Union Township, Hancock County on the Frederick Keller and George J. Kelly farms. Several residential and business structures were built in anticipation of completion of a railroad rumored to pass from Fremont through the "Rawson" area on its way to the western boundary of Ohio. Farmers Keller and Kelly named their village Rawson after L.Q. Rawson, President of the railroad company, hoping that the name would encourage him to build through their area. Financial troubles delayed construction causing a standstill in Rawson. Seventeen years later the first locomotive arrived in Rawson, spurring new construction. At that time the railroad was called the Lake Erie and Louisville; in 1879 it was changed to the Lake Erie and Western and in 1922 became part of the Nickel Plate Railroad. (Continued on other side)
Text, side B
(Continued from other side) When local residents heard the shrill blast of the steam whistle sounding from the first locomotive to arrive in Rawson in 1872, they thought that their small hamlet was finally assured of growth and prosperity. Fire, however, the plague of towns everywhere, almost destroyed Rawson in 1887. In a matter of hours nearly every building, especially those in the business district, was consumed by flames. Without the aid of the Lake Erie and Western Railroad, which transported a hose cart and men from Findlay, the town would have burned to the ground. Determined towns people rebuilt Rawson adding new features. The Depot was built in 1898, and the Western Ohio Electric Railroad, an interurban line, connected Rawson to major urban centers from 1906 to 1932. In 1937 wells in Stringfellow's Grove began supplying water to the town. This site later became a park, and on June 11, 1951, the Nickel Plate Depot was relocated here.
Address
East Street, in Village Park
Rawson, OH 45881
Location
Village Park, at the 1898 Railroad Depot building
Coordinates
Latitude: 40.9532200, Longitude: -83.7836550.
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