Log CabinOne-Room School HouseBloomfield HouseCarriage House

The Henry County, Ohio, Historical Society
P.O. Box 443
Napoleon, OH 43545

The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad

Probably few persons, including perhaps many of its present employees are acquainted with the interesting history of the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad, which began with the construction of one of the pioneer railroads in Ohio incorporated by the industrial leaders of Ironton March 7, 1849, under the name of Iron Railroad Company. The chief purpose for building that road was to bring in iron ore, fluxing stone, coal, charcoal, and timber for use in the iron industry of the city, and to furnish a route for shipping out to the north the products of that industry, and to ship in the manufactures of the north for local use or transfer to boats on the Ohio River.

(The D.T. and I. Yard Office in 1911. First man on the left, Jack Downey; first man on right, Bill Lockard; second man on right, Bill Young.)

The Iron Railroad Company in 1849-50 constructed six miles of broad gage (4' by 10") railroad from the Ohio River at Ironton to the Vesuvius Tunnel Mines to Lawrence County. Timber cross ties and stringers supported from strap rails were bought secondhand from the Little Miami Railroad. The timber bridges were supported by stone abutments, most of which are still in use. The only tunnel on the DT&I is located at Vesuvius, being opened for trains in December, 1851, with a length of 956 feet.

The locomotives were brought to Ironton on Ohio River Boats and the first coal cars were mounted on four wheels. The Iron Railroad was extended from time to time, until it reached Center Furnace, 13 miles north of Ironton. Periodically, extensions and various takeovers of other railroads brought the railroad up to Lima, Ohio under the name then as the Ohio Southern Railroad -- and completed in 1893. The Lima Northern, incorporated March 27, 1895, built the railroad from Lima, to the Michigan-Ohio Line 1895-96 and passed through Napoleon in 1896. The builder overseeing the work was the late Hon. Charley Haskel. It has often later been said that Mr. Haskel built this part on his nerve. Money was hard to obtain, and the workers on the job were months behind in receiving their pay. This man Haskel built another railroad from Findlay to Ft. Wayne, Indiana (F.Ft W and Western Ry). After making these two lines, he moved on out to the state of Oklahoma and constructed an Interurban Railroad between two important cities. Later on he was elected Governor of Oklahoma.

Getting back to the D.T.&I.R.R, the next extension was built from the Ohio-Mich. State Line to Lenawee Jet. in connection with the Wabash Railroad. That part was purchased from the Detroit and Cincinnati Railway Company. That put the Lima Northern Railroad to South Adrian. Next in 1897 the line from South Adrian to Tecumseh was purchased from the Detroit and Chicago Railroad. From Tecumseh to Dundee trackage rights were secured. The Dundee to Durban Jct. was built in 1897 by the Lima Northern and the Durban Jct. to Trenton in 1897 and in 1898 from Trenton, Mich. to West Ave., Detroit, Michigan. The Lima Northern had changed its name from Lima Northern R.R. to Detroit and Lima Northern and now they had a continuous railroad from Lima to Detroit — and the first through train ran into West End Ave., Detroit, on Jan. 8th, 1898....Read more

Bloomfield Home & Carriage House
Hours of Operation

Sept 10th 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Sept. 24th Harvest Tea 2:00 p.m.

The content that used to be here on the homepage can now be found HERE. We wll make it easier to find in the near future.


The Henry County Historical Society was formed in 1970 to perpetuate the history of Henry County, Ohio, to learn about and preserve the artifacts of the county, and to generate interest in the past of the county. Our primary focus at this time is the completion of the restoration work on the beautiful Dr. John Bloomfield Victorian home, built circa 1879. This house is located at the corner of West Clinton and Webster streets in downtown Napoleon, across from the Napoleon Public Library. The house has been completely restored and is decorated with authentic period furnishings. Work is in progress on the carriage house and gardens. The home is open for special events, educational programs and private tours. We welcome new and old members alike to lend a hand and help us in our many programs and activities.

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Christmas 2015
Open House

Log Cabin Open House
Dec. 5, 2015

Garden Tour, 2015


Gazebo Moving, July 2014




Photo Gallery




This site is proudly sponsored by Spengler's Restaurant, Napoleon, Ohio.


Wine and Cheese Parties

Visit our photo gallery for scenes from past events at held by the Henry County Historical Society.