The stretch of railroad between Chewton, Pennsylvania and Marion, Ohio served the then-valuable coal fields that had been discovered there.
Coal was mined heavily throughout the area in the mid-to-late 1800's. Industrialization in the years following the American Civil War prompted economic advances in the mining regions. By 1887 Ohio coal mines were producing ten million tons per year.
The town of Marion prospered greatly during the coal-productive years as it became a major railroad hub. Later it was determined that Ohio coal contained a disproportionate amount of sulfur, rendering it less desirable.
This map of parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio was published in 1887 by G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co. It notes cities, towns, waterways, counties, and coal regions. Railroads are labeled and distinguished by color.
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