I was lucky enough to visit Cuyamaca Rancho State park a few months ago on a visit to San Diego. Only a short drive from the city, the park is a sight to behold. California and the West Coast in general have some of the best locations for landscape photography, but this park stands unique amongst the crowd.
In 2003, a wayward hunter lit a signal flare hoping to attract the attention of passing aircraft. The dry California summers turned the surrounding landscape into tinder, and the forest went up in flames. Conservation efforts have been made to rebuild the forest, but progress is slow. The Emerald Ash Bore has only made matters worse by attacking what trees remain. I took the opportunity on my last visit to document some of the damage and regrowth taking place at the park, and hope to make a return trip to explore the park again.
Hocking Valley Railway
Abandoned things have always fascinated me. Once the fastest way to travel though Southern Ohio, the Hocking Valley Railway ran from Toledo down to Parkersburg WV. There's so many abandoned buildings in Ohio which all have stories to tell. The buildings I've documented in this series are what remains of this long abandoned railway in and around Athens.
Carroll - Side View
Originally located in Carroll OH, this station has since been moved to the Fairfield County Fairgrounds. No restoration work has been done to the exterior, but the station appears to be maintained along with many other old buildings that have been moved to the site.
Carroll - Depot Entrance
Carroll - Track Signal
Canal Winchester - Westbound
Marked on original railroad maps as Winchester, this station is the jewel of the line. The first station burned to the ground on October 11, 1894 and was subsequently replaced by this more lavish station. The stained glass, elegant roof supports, and ornate waiting room make this station one of the most unique on the line. It's fully restored and under care of the Canal Winchester historical society. They also maintain the grain elevator (seen in the background) and a few donated rail cars.
Canal Winchester - Decorative Corbels
Canal Winchester - Station & Grain Elevator
Haydenville - Eastbound
This station, closed in the late 1950's, exists in a deteriorated state. Haydenville is best know for its unique bricks that were once the main export of the town and station. Despite heavy damage and vandalization, there's a bright future on the horizon for the station. The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway purchased the station with the intent of restoring it to a functioning state. The tracks pictured are still active and used by the railway for scenic tours.
Haydenville - Demolished Rear Wall
Haydenville - Roof Damage & Graffiti
Logan - Baggage Shed
There's not much left where the Logan station once stood. Pictured here, the baggage shed is all that remains. The bricks, pictured below, are common amongst all station on the Hocking Valley Line. I was surprised to find them at every single station I visited. At one time, Logan was home to a stunning brick passenger station, hotel, freight station, five stall roundhouse, and a car shop. Today the baggage shed and brick platform are all that remain.
Logan - Brick Platform
Logan - "Hocking Valley Railroad Baggage Room" Sign
Murray City - Station & Rail Equipment
Fully restored to its former glory, the Murray City station is owned by the Murray City Improvement Committee. They've turned the station into a museum which contains artifacts from the station and the area. Tours are available if you call ahead, check out their website for more information. The main export of this station was coal, like many others along the line.
Murray City - Station Corner
Murray City - Typewriter, Adding Machine, and Telephone
Nelsonville - Train & Station
This is the only station on the line still serving its intended purpose. The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway operates trains on the same track the Hocking Valley Railway used before it closed down. They've restored the station and maintain the track with donations and volunteer hours. The trains pictured here are still used to ferry passengers down the line. The station is also home to many other restored rail cars on sidings adjacent to the main line.