Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower



Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

View All Posts

May 26

The History of Greene County's Little Miami Scenic Trail

Posted on May 26, 2021 at 4:31 PM by Elise Kelly

One of the most popular Ohio bike paths, which happens to weave its way through Greene County, is the 76 mile Little Miami Scenic Trail (See Fig. 1). The trailhead begins in the City of Springfield; winds it’s way south through Yellow Springs, Xenia, and Spring Valley; continues past Caesar Creek State Park in Warren County; dips down to Loveland in Clermont County; and ends in Hamilton County, ten minutes away from the Ohio River (See Fig. 2).

Riding Bikes on the Little Miami Scenic Trail (JPG)
Fig. 1 Little Miami Scenic Trail, 1987 -  courtesy of Greene County Parks & Trails photos

GCPT-Trail-Map-071019 (JPG)
Fig. 2 Bike Paths in Greene County - courtesy of Greene County Parks & Trails' website

The Greene County Archives has created an online exhibit that tells the remarkable story of the fourth longest paved path in the United States. The exhibit begins with the trail's early beginnings as a railroad route. The Little Miami Railroad (LMRR) was one of the first chartered railroad lines in Ohio and in 1845 it operated between the cities of Cincinnati and Xenia. By 1846, the LMRR continued past Xenia, through Yellow Springs, and stopped in Springfield (See Fig. 3). For over a century, the LMRR efficiently operated along its eighty mile route. However, by the late-1960s, passenger services ceased on the LMRR and in the 1970s the track line south of Spring Valley was abandoned (See Fig. 4).  

Ohio Pioneer Railroads (JPG)
Fig. 3 Ohio Pioneer Railroads - courtesy of Next Stop! Xenia

05 - Panel of Little Miami Railroad (JPG)
Fig. 4 Panel from History of Greene County's Little Miami Scenic Trail online exhibit

 In 1976, the Railroad Revitalization Act was passed and permitted the takeover of abandoned railroad facilities for recreation purposes. In the early 1980s, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Department of Transportation began purchasing segments of the Little Miami Railroad's abandoned transportation corridors. In addition, local agencies such as the Greene County Parks and Recreation Department, played a significant role in acquiring, funding, building, and maintaining the Little Miami Scenic Trail (See Fig. 5). 

Certificate of Authority purchasing Little Miami Railroad Corridor (JPG)
Fig. 5 Penn Central Corporation selling part of the LMRR section to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources - courtesy of Greene County Parks & Trails Records

During the early 1980s, the Village of Yellow Springs purchased a major portion of the Xenia-Yellow Springs corridor. The trail remained unpaved until its completion in 1991. Former Greene County Parks and Recreation Department Director and "Father of the Trails," Ed Dressler, played a pivotal role in planning and executing the 10.2 paved trail section from Yellow Springs to Xenia (See Fig. 6). In 1995, construction began on an 11 mile stretch of the Little Miami Scenic Trail from Hedges Road, near Xenia, south through Spring Valley, to the Village of Corwin in Warren County. Furthermore, by the end of 1998, the Little Miami Scenic Trail extended north to Springfield (See Fig. 7). 


Newspaper Clipping of Ed Dressler (JPG)
Fig. 6 Ed Dressler, "Father of the Trails," is pictured on the far left - courtesy of Greene County Parks & Trails Scrapbook

12 - Panel of Little Miami Scenic Trail extending to Springfield (JPG)
                 Fig. 7 Panel from History of Greene County's Little Miami Scenic Trail online exhibit

The Little Miami Scenic Trail is a popular and extensively used recreation path that also serves as a trail connector for the Ohio Buckeye Trail (See Fig. 8). This summer, take advantage of the delightfully fun and peaceful Little Miami Scenic Trail. Also, please check out The History of Greene County's Little Miami Scenic Trail online exhibit. 

15 - Panel of Ohio Buckeye Trail (JPG)
                Fig. 7 Panel from History of Greene County's Little Miami Scenic Trail online exhibit

Sources:
Greene County Parks & Trails Records
Shell, James H. Next Stop! Xenia: Highlights of "the Railroad Era" in Xenia, Ohio. Xenia, Ohio: Greene County Historical Society, 1994.
https://www.gcparkstrails.com/activities/cycling/




Comments

You must log in before leaving your comment