Stepping back in time

REPRINTING of “An American Railroad Portrait: People, Places and Pultney” is a case of history helping teenagers interested in history.

All royalties from the sale of the book, first published in 1993 and authored by attorney Daniel L. Frizzi Jr., help each year to support a local history competition for senior students of Bellaire High School.

Reprinting of the book is sponsored by the Bellaire High School Endowment Fund, a nonprofit corporation, which owns the copyright to this publication. The reprinted book now is available.

Noting the original book had not been available for at least a year, Frizzi said he has continued to receive calls from those who wanted it. Therefore, it appeared to be a good idea for the endowment group to have the reprinting as a project.

In addition, the reprinting coincides with the upcoming filming in Bellaire of the movie, “Unstoppable,” starring Denzel Washington. The movie about a runaway train will be filmed partially in Bellaire and other areas of Ohio as well as in Pennsylvania.

On a light note, Frizzi said he hopes to give one of the books to Denzel Washington if he comes to town.

The history competition at Bellaire High School has been under way for three years, and the endowment fund provides for scholarships for students who make presentations, both orally and written, on local history to a panel of judges. These scholarship awards are to help students whether they’re going to college, technical institutions or some other kind of applied education, Frizzi said.

Last year alone, a total of $3,000 was awarded in this program, according to the author.

More than 2,000 copies of “An American Railroad Portrait: People, Places and Pultney” have been sold since its original publication in 1993.

“The book details the history of railroads in Belmont County through 272 pages filled with more than 230 photographs, maps and artwork,” Frizzi noted. It received an award from the Ohio Historical Society in 1994 for its contributions to the local history of Belmont County.

Frizzi added that he decided to write the book, “because the railroad line between Bellaire and Lamira shut down when the coal preparation plant closed. That was a sad occasion for me, because that railroad had been the one that I used to watch the trains pass from my grandparents’ house in West Bellaire.”

The book traces the early history of the railroad in this area until it reached “the end of the line” in some areas during the 1990s. Photographs recall the time when the railroads were a vital part of Belmont County.

In addition, there are photos of notable persons who visited the area, such as presidents, American Indians (including a chieftain whose face is engraved on the “Buffalo Nickel”) and former Ohio State head football coach Woody Hayes.

Reprinting of the award-winning book is limited in number to 250 softbound copies which contain the original dust jacket artwork as was produced in the original printing in 1993. Cost of each book is $28.50, plus postage and handling of $5 if the purchaser requests the book be mailed.

Anyone wishing to purchase a copy of this book may do so by sending a check in the amount of $33.50 payable to the BHS Endowment Fund at P.O. Box 75, Bellaire, OH 43906-0075 along with the name and address where the book should be mailed. Any local purchasers may pick up a copy by submitting a check for $28.50 at Frizzi Law Offices, 224-32nd Street, Bellaire.

Pokas can be reached at