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September 20, 2012
By BETTY?POKAS - Times Leader Area Editor , Times Leader

CHANGE is inevitable in communities as illustrated by the accompanying pictures taken in southern Jefferson County about 100 years ago.

Around 1900, "Rayland (then Portland Station) gained a reputation as rip-roaring and rambunctious. The train depot was a hubbub of activity, with passenger trains arriving and departing at frequent intervals," according to "A Time and Place in Ohio" by Robert H. Richardson.

The book also relates that there were many transient occupants of the town, and the three taverns in the village did a thriving business. At that time, Samuel Hutton and Brothers, a tannery, was the main industry, and it "occupied all of Leathersburg, a small suburb of Portland Station near the Warrenton Cemetery."

Article Photos

THE C&P depot at Brilliant was one of the many railroad stations which existed when the railroads were a major means of transportation. This is among the photos gathered by the late Robert Richardson for his book, “A Time and Place in Ohio.”

Rush Run never was surveyed officially into uniform town lots, and one of the earliest settlers in that area was James Maxwell, who was Ebenezer Zane's cousin. Richardson's book relates Maxwell had fled to the Zane settlement in Wheeling to avoid prosecution for a murder of which he later was proven innocent. The area was named for David Rush, an early settler who lived along the creek in 1798.

Depots such as the one pictured at Brilliant were commonplace during the railroad's heyday. Alas, most of these railroad stations no longer exist.

The photos were provided, courtesy of Ethel Richardson.

Pokas can be reached at



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