Side A: Bellefontaine was a railroad town from the 1890s to the 1950s. The city was the site of one of the largest roundhouses and repair centers on the Big Four/New York Central Lines and trains stopped here to have steam engines serviced and to switch crews. Up to ninety freight trains and over forty passenger trains came to Bellefontaine each day. The railroad was a major employer in Logan County. Over two hundred employees worked at the roundhouse and shops at any one time and many others were members of train crews. Bellefontaine’s importance as a railroad center waned in the 1960s with the increased use of diesel engines, newer technology, and other modes of transportation. Yet, the railroad and its workers left an indelible mark on the history of Bellefontaine.
Side B: Bellefontaine’s significance as a railroad town brought many railroad workers to the area. The workers who did not live here needed a place to stay and eat while they waited for their next shifts. In 1901 the Big Four Railroad opened its first YMCA in Bellefontaine and in 1923 built a larger building at this site to house and feed its transitory employees. The building contained forty-nine small bedrooms, a restaurant, and was a social center for railroaders. Nearly 8,000 workers used the Railroad YMCA each year. It was a second home for many and a symbol of Bellefontaine as a railroad town. The building was razed in 2009.