LOUDONVILLE -- On Feb. 22, 1853 the first train passed through Loudonville.
It ran along the newly built Pennsylvania & Ohio Railroad. The depot was built on North Water Street and would soon witness over 100 trains passing through on a daily basis, though only seven would stop to load and unload passengers.
Eventually, two more depots would be built in town. One, known as South Loudonville, was along the T.W.V. & O Railroad built in 1893 on the west bank of the Black Fork. The other, known as West Loudonville, as built northwest of town at the junction of the Pennsylvania and the T.W.V. & O.
The railroads transformed Loudonville, connecting both residents and manufacturers to the rest of the world.
After nearly a century of use, the railroads went into decline as Americans began building highways and favoring automobiles.
In the mid-1940s the struggling T.W.V. & O finally closed, and in the 1950s passenger service along the Pennsylvania ended. Freight service, offered by Railway Express, continued to operate until the early 1970s when that too ultimately closed down. Without any need or use, the depot was razed and the platforms slowly decayed.
Rail service in Loudonville hasn't completely ended, however, as the occasional train still stops and backs up the siding to Ardent Mill to haul grain in and flour out.
More information on the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum can be found at this link.