Friday, June 19, 2009

Dayton & Troy @ Chambersburg/Murlin Heights

Chambersburg was an early village on the New Troy Pike. It was platted in 1830 and apparently did collect some houses and such.

The Dayton & Troy ran on private ROW, but moved to street-running through pre-existing settlements. In this case the line bypassed the town. And the line had two stations on either side of the bypass, named Murlin Heights, after the traffic manager.

The only other place in the Miami Valley were something similar happened was at New Lebanon, where another interurban (with the same investor, Valentine Winters) bypassed the town and used a different name for the station.

The interurban ROW still appears on the property maps. And there are still traces of the line on the ground , too, via property lines and various subtle features of the landscape.

What's not evident is the loop for the local passenger service that was supposed to be here.

One the south side of Murlin Heights (south of Chambersburg/Little York Road), one can see a tree line and what looks like a road. Perhaps the route of the old roadbed and right of way?

On the north side of Murlin Heights the vegitation seems to follow the line of the curve of the ROW as heads back to following Old Troy Pike, or Dixie Drive.
And in the mid-section, maybe more as property lines, though one can see a small tree line that marks the old roadbed a bit clearer in the midsection of village.

But maybe not much of a village anymore. By the looks of the aeriel pix most of the old side streets of the plat have been vacated and the original structures replaced by smallish commercial things with the predictable parking lot in front. Readers familiar with mostly intact rural villages of the Miami Valley will recall that structures are usually much closer to the roads and streets, particularly those of antebellum provenance.

There are a few structures on site that do indicate commuter traffic as they follow the bungalow and foursquare typologies popular during the interurban era Plus a few small side-street plats showing real estate speculation was occuring here prior to the Depression.


Unknown said...

what does the acronym ROW stand for?

Jefferey said...


Bill Bolton said...

The New Lebanon bypass was a later alteration to that route, not the original line, which went through New Lebanon.

Reportedly, the New Lebanon bypass was built after a spat with the town authorities related to the interurban track down the main street.