The Bee Line Rail Road



Crestline's First Railroad

“Did You Know”
About Crestline.

Written by Dr. Ernest G. Hesser
for the Crestline Advocate June 23, 1949

Interesting Facts about our town and its History of Close to A Century.

A interesting newspaper clipping from the Cleveland Leader with important historical information regarding Crestline just came to our attention. The Article was written about 50 years ago and the title reads “The Lost Opportunity of an Ohio Town”. The account is written by J.F. McMahon and with it in the “Leader” appeared a picture of the the old Bauer Building which stood on the south side of East Main Street just north of the present Evans Grain and Supply building along the Big 4 tracks about where the coal pile stands.Here is the article dated “Crestline Ohio” December 27.

The Bauer building in this city was burned to the ground a short time ago was one of the pioneer landmarks of Crestline. It stood on the south side of Main Street, which is the original Mansfield and Bucyrus Road and was built in the summer of 1850 by the late Thomas C. Hall. Who afterwards removed to Bucyrus and resided there for many years prior to his death.
The Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad, later known as the “Bee Line” until it merged into the Big Four system about a dozen years ago, was the first railroad built in Crawford County. Chartered in 1836, it lingered on paper for many years and it was the original intention of the promoters to build the railroad through the country know known as Leesville. But the Leesville people strenuously refused and would not sell the railroad any land, because the Leesville Quarry was the sole support of the village and a great many of the residents made their living hauling stone from the quarry to different points, sometimes forty and fifty miles distance. They argued that if the railroad came through their village it would do the stone hauling and thereby rob the residents of their only means of making a living. At that time Leesville was a thriving village with excellent prospects, but their refusal to let allow the Big Four to build through there was the cause of their downfall, and Crestline's growth. The work of the construction of the railroad was finally begun, and in 1850 trains were run from Cleveland to Crestline.
The old Bauer building recently destroyed was the scene of many conferences between the promoters of the railroad and the people of Leesville.
The Mansfield and Bucyrus road was the principal highway of the vicinity-one of the great thoroughfares of the state. To the thirteen mile to the East was Mansfield and in the same distance to the West was Bucyrus, while only 3 miles to the west was thriving village of Leesville. For those days those were trifling distances, and at the crossing of this railroad the company loated its station calling it
Vernon station, The next year the village of Livingston was platted and around the building Mr. Hall had erected a town grew up. Mr Hall continued in this location for two years. His dwelling and store as well as the Post Office were located there. Mr Hall was not the only pioneer merchant of the town , but the man who handled its mail. He was the Post Master for 4 years. In 1852, it having become evident that the Pennsylvania and Ohio and the Ohio and Indiana Railroads which together were to for a continuous line, would cross the “Bee Line” farther south, Mr. Hall built down closer to the crossing and was established when the new railroad came through in 1853. This Railroad later became the Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne and Chicago, now a leased line of the Pennsylvania North West system. The town of Crestline was platted in 1864 though a plat which was substantially the same had been filed two years earlier. Crestline absorbed Livingston and Vernon Station and those names for years have been mere historical reminiscences.
The original Hall building passed to other hands but continued to be used for dwelling and business purposes. It was finally purchased by the Bauers, who went to Crestline from the German Settlement. Jacob Bauer, who died a few years ago, owned it for years before his death, and from him it became known as the Bauer Building. The last tenant of the building was Patrick Rayle, who suffered the heavy loss. Thus has gone out of existence the building that had become the oldest in Crestline, its first Post Office and business place and its most ancient landmark. Soon even its memory will pass away, as things of yesterday give way to those of today. This article was kept through the years by W.A. Blicke of Bucyrus who's father was the late Thomas C. Hall. The Crestline Historical Society is very glad to preserve this valuable information.

Abstracted from the June 23, 1949 Crestline Advocate-Crestline Public Library


Calendar Contributed by Terry Feick



Early Bee Line Christmas Card submitted by Terry Feick