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R.R. Yards

ail Yards.

The R.R. Yards photograph of the railroad yards at Forest shows the C.C.C.&St.L. R.R. tracks. The photograph was taken atop the Dickelman Mfg. Co. while the photographer was looking west. The Freight House is seen in the upper left background. The building in the immediate right front is a part of the Dickelman Manufacturing Co.

At the upper center of the photograph is the depot and switching tower. One tower watchman may have been a man named L.C. Fortney. Two people can be seen standing on the loading platform in the front of the depot. In July, 1911 O.W. Yahney took days off from the tower due to sickness. D.R. Spoon covered his third shift at the tower in the meantime.

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Forest Hotel

The Forest railroad yards showing the Forest Hotel on the C.C.C.&St.L. R.R. and later, the Pennsylvania tracks. The tower sits just west of the NYC and south of the Pennsylvania tracks. Behind the tower is the Ticket Office and behind that the Freight House which is not visible. To the left in the photograph is seen the Dickelman Manfacturing Co.

Until 1892 this was the site of the Scott House hotel. In 1927, the Ticket Office and part of the Dickelman Manfacturing Co. was destroyed when a wreck occurred burning down the Ticket Office and destroying some of the Dickelman buildings. The Forest Hotel is the building to the right in the photograph.

The west bound Pennsylvania Flyer wrecked at the crossing of the Big Four and Pennsylvania on November 24, 1916. Between that time and the publication of the next Review-Advertiser (30 Nov 1916) the entire scene had been cleaned. "Not even a splinter, misplaced gravel stone or piece of stone ballast" was left to reveal that a wreck had occurred. The east-bound No. 1136 usually passed thru Forest from 70 to 85 miles an hour. This time it derailed tearing up 300 feet and digging a trench four feet deep before coming to a stop after "knocking in the door" of the Forest Hotel. There were three sleepers, two day coaches, a combination car and a mail car. No one was injured beyond scratches. The engineer was H.E. Wagner of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The conductor, C.C. Maines, was from Ft. Wayne also. One unidentified passenger was asleep, but was awakened, thought the train had stopped, so rolled over and went back to sleep. Operator Frank Miller was operating the tower. An explanation offered for the wreck was that lights on the distance signals were misread due to a "regular blizzard.", the signals did not show a clear track, and the operator didn't have enough time for braking. Landlord Norris of the Forest Hotel was awakened with the noise of the wreck. Frank Miller was quoted as saying, "This is the second time an engine has made for the tower as though to get me. I suppose the next time they'll get me."

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Coal Yard

The Coal Yard sign gave notice against "trespass." The photograph was taken while standing on Dixon street and looking north on Davis sometime in the 1920s. The Coal Yard photo was taken after an ice storm. Many trees were destroyed. In 2005 another massive ice storm hit the area destroying more trees; maples suffering the most. A no trespass Sign was quite common around rail yards during this period. The fence in the background surrounds the John A. Ash Coal Yard.

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Sign
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3-light Semaphore

In September, 1910 railroad men installed a signal system on the Pennsylvania railroad that would be far superior to anything used by railroads to date. A 3-light Semaphore was a visual signaling apparatus with mechanically moving arms used by the railroads.

Coal yards were also common around railroads during the steam era. The G.W. Fox Coal Yard was sold to the Sanderson Brothers in January, 1915. Then John Wier opened a coal yard south of the Stock Yard in 1917. It sold White Ash lump and Virginia Splint coal. It was during the First World War so conditions in the coal market forced Wier to get cash up front. Weir was getting his coal from Ohio, Virginia, and Kentucky. George Thakler was manager of the Forest Coal Yard in 1920.

In 1932 Wilson & Turner Coal company also sold Chestnut split fence posts. Harry Turner of Wilson & Turner Coal Co. bought out _ Wilson in September, 1934 and became Turner Coal Co.

John F. Ash had been in the coal business for 30 years by 1935. He operated under the name John Ash Coal Yard. His coal yard was located at the corner of Mad River and Dixon streets.

S.H. Poling was in the coal business. Art Harris leased the Wilson Coal Yard which was operated by Harry Turner in 1936. Harris handled Paragon Red Ash coal and also bought hay and straw to sell in small quantities retail. His father, James Harris, was employed to help. He operated as Harris Coal Yard.

Edna Harris of the Harris Coal Co. placed an ad in The Forest Review in September, 1938 indicating that the company would continue to operate the coal yard in Forest. Why this notice was placed is unknown.

Land belonging to the New York Central railroad company and some land at the John F. Ash Coal Yard was needed to straighten a curve on SR53 in 1950. The same month ground was broken for four new 30,000 bushel cement grain silos erected by Forest Grain & Supply Co. between Martin and Davis streets on the site of the former stock yards along the Pennsylvania railroad.

The Krout Coal Yard office was damaged on October 25, 1955 when an automobile crashed into the northeast corner of the building.

The John F. Ash Coal Yard office was moved about six feet west of its former location along Warehouse avenue (SR53) by John Ash and Robert Spencer in August, 1957.