A Volunteer Non-Profit Supporting Multi-Use Trails in Fayette, Ross and Highland
A Little History of our trail!
It began as the Dayton & Southeastern Railroad. Colonel S. N. Yeoman of Washington
Court House created the railroad in 1871 hoping to build a standard gauge railroad
to connect Dayton, Xenia, Washington Court House, Frankfort, Chillicothe and Wellston
to connect to the coal mines of southeast Ohio. The railroad would provide a good
way to move coal from southeastern Ohio to shipping on the Ohio and west to Dayton
and beyond. There was a roadbed that had been graded 25 years earlier connecting
Dayton and Washington Court House. Yeoman was able to gain the rights to this roadbed
to build the railroad but was unable to gain financing for the project.
Three years later he hired a promoter to raise interest and funds to start construction.
Ultimately he was able to raise funds to start the project but in 1875 he was discharged
at a directors meeting and replaced by the railroads chief engineer. Construction
began in 1875 and the first train ran on the tracks from Dayton and Washington Court
House in 1877. Part of this section from the Fayette county line west to Xenia has
been converted to a recreational trail passing through Jamestown to Xenia Station
Bicycle Hub on S. Detroit Ave in Xenia.
The section from Washington Court House through Frankfort to Musselman was completed
in November of 1877 and onto Chillicothe in 1879. This included at 1,000’ bridge
over the Scioto River. This section was abandoned in the 1970’s by CSX and is now
the Paint Creek Recreational Trail (Tri-County Triangle Trail) and is approximately
30 miles in length from a trail head on Robinson Rd 2miles east of Washington Court
House to the east side of Chillicothe.
By 1890 the railroad was extended to Richmondale and onto Wellston in 1891. Then
by 1892 the railroad reached Ironton. The dream of Colonel Yeoman was finally realized
to connect the coal fields of southeast Ohio to the shipping port of Ironton and
west to Dayton and beyond.
In 1990 a non-profit, Tri-County Triangle Trail, Inc. was created by interested citizens
purchase and convert the abandoned rail bed to a recreational trail (commonly known
as a rail-trail) to connect Chillicothe, Frankfort, Washington Court House. Part
of the right-of-way that was available for purchase between Washington Court House
south to Frankfort was purchased by the City of Washington Court House. Approximately
50% of this route was sold to adjoining property owners. A serious attempt was made
to purchase the right-of-way between Greenfield and Musselman Station near Frankfort
was unsuccessful. Purchase price, environmental concerns and missing sections made
this effort impracticable and ultimately abandoned.