The year is 1854, and we’re traveling north on the Little Miami Railroad. The conductor hands us a Railroad Guide, and opens it to the page describing Morrow:
"MORROW is 36 miles from Cincinnati, and 28 from Xenia. Morrow is one of the Railroad creations. It had no existence whatever, when the Railway commenced business. Now, it is a thriving and quite a well built village, with, according to the census , 458 inhabitants—but many more now; for it has much improved in the last three years. Morrow is well situated, at the mouth of Todd's Fork of the Little Miami, which, rising on the plain of Clinton county (to the east) becomes here a considerable stream. You cross it near by, on a handsome wooden bridge. But Morrow will become a much larger place; for it has another advantage. It is at the intersection with the Little Miami Railroad, of the Wilmington, Circleville, and Zanesville Railroad—one of the most important lines of Railway in the country.”
The picture on the page is a view of Morrow, looking from the east, and includes the bridge over Todd's Fork. Today we cross that bridge, now made of sturdy steel, by foot or bicycle on our trail. As we continue east beside the Little Miami River, we travel through a landscape that has not changed much since the 1800s. Back then, according to an 1852 description, “The country on either side of this [rail]road, and bordering this river, is beautiful—undulating—luxuriant. The products of agriculture are continually increasing, under the beneficial influence of this road—which by affording a means of speedily obtaining a ready and certain market, has advanced many hundred fold the price of land—added many hundred fold to the number of the population, and is now by reaction, reaping the advantage by continual increase of way freight and passengers.”
Below is another engraving from the railroad’s early days, showing a curve in the railroad between Morrow and Fort Ancient.
The present-day village of Morrow is proud of its railroad heritage and has preserved its railway station and also displays a railroad car that traveled the route of our trail when it was operated by Penn Central. Below is an old postcard of a Penn Central train on Railroad Street (now Main Street) in Morrow.