After Barbara and I left Nelsonville, Ohio, on Memorial Day, May 28, at 3:30 p.m., we headed north on Ohio Route 78 for Zanesville. On the way, in Murray City, we spotted a depot with a displayed caboose. We stopped for a look see.
The depot had a Snow Fork Line caboose and a little dinky 0-4-0 switcher displayed alongside. We parked and walked around. The depot was a well maintained structure that turned out to be the Murray City Train Depot and Coal Mining Museum. It was not open on this Memorial Day, however. That was disappointing.
The depot is located at the end of a former Hocking Valley Railway branch, now abandoned. The branch led northeast from Nelsonville to Snow Fork Junction, where it split with one leg leading to Murray City, Coalgate and New Pittsburgh. The other leg led northwest to Monday Creek Junction, where it joined the HV branch from Logan to New Straitsville.
The Murray City Train Depot, established between 1890-1900, was for many years the only way in or out of the coal mine camp town Murray City, which once boasted of having the “largest coal mine in the world.”
Goods and people were shipped to Murray City aboard the Hocking Valley Railway. Coal was shipped out of the Murray City Sunday Creek Coal mines Nos. 25, 5 and the New Pittsburgh No. 7, and, before that, the Greendale No. 29.
he train line was so important because of a lack of any other transportation or roads. The depot at Murray City was called the “End of the Line Depot” because the railroad track ended there and the train had to turn around. The Murray City Depot is one of only three original historic train depots left in the state of Ohio.
The Murray City Improvement Committee has restored the historic train depot and added a coal mining museum inside. The depot houses railroad and coal mining artifacts, and looks to be close to the original facility.