Tucked throughout Washington County are communities with interesting historical stories-that can only be told if those stories have been passed down from generation to generation, put on paper or typed into a PC.
Three such communities are featured below: Caywood in Fearing Township, Beavertown in Grandview Township and Moore's Junction in Warren Township.
Moore’s Junction neighbors, from left to right, Jesse, Skyler and Jeff Richards and Fran Stephens stand near the end of a railroad tunnel dating back to the Civil War Friday.
Like many a community, the village of Caywood was put on the Washington County map-where it remains today-when Duck Creek Railroad established a rail line in 1871.
Situated near Duck Creek in the southern part of Fearing Township, Caywood was named after William Caywood who settled on a farm there with his wife Phoebe (Moore) Caywood. They were the parents of six children.
According to records at the Washington County Public Library's Local History and Genealogy branch, the Caywoods were members of the Presbyterian Church of Salem, which ministered to members in Salem and Fearing.
At a glance
Located in Fearing Township.
Named after settler William Caywood.
Caywood Station was a railroad stop on the line that ran from Marietta and on to Macksburg.
Caywood Post Office opened on Oct. 6, 1871 and closed in 1922.
Located in Grandview Township.
Named after settler Michael Beaver.
Beavertown was known as a "big moonshine town" from the late 1880s and into the 1900s.
Located in Warren Township.
Named after Civil War veteran Col. Thomas W. Moore.
During the Civil War, Moore's Junction became known among those who used trains to smuggle Southern slaves northward.
Caywood owned a large tract of land near what would become Duck Creek Railroad's Caywood Station, said Rudy Biehl, 84, of Whipple.
"There was so much land that the railroad company had a railroad 'siding' with a different set of tracks," Biehl said. "They used that (siding) a lot for getting pipe casing for the wells they drilled in here after the turn of the century, when there was the first big boom in oil and gas."
The tracks were also used for sending in farming supplies like fertilizer.
"All that country was all small farms," Biehl said. "Farmers would do teaming, or bring horses and wagons for hire."
According to Biehl, Caywood Station was the first station on Duck Creek Railroad's line from Marietta. Other stations farther on down the line were located in Stanleyville, Whipple, Warner and Macksburg, he added.
"Dad said they ran two trains a day, one in the morning and one at night," said Biehl.
"(Locals) called it the butter and egg train," he added, because farmers would walk from their homes with fresh eggs and butter, hop on the train, sell their goods at Marietta homes and then come back to Caywood.
Allen Miller of Caywood, 50, grew up just half a mile from the railroad.
"I can remember as a child that train going through there," he said.
"The railroad (tracks) went right over top of Caywood. It crossed Caywood Road more than once," Miller added.
Even today, part of an old railroad trestle still stands not far from where Miller lives.
Caywood also built a post office near the railroad station.
Called Caywood Post Office, the post office opened on Oct. 6, 1871 on the same day that another Fearing township post office was begun in Whipple.
In 1922, the Caywood Post Office was closed for lack of business.
Born in Germany in 1784, Michael Beaver settled in what would be named Beavertown around 1832.
Located at the bottom of Parr Hill and Sheets Run in Grandview Township, Beaver and his wife are buried at the family homestead there, according to David "Packy" Beaver, 47, of New Matamoras.
Packy Beaver is a descendant of one of Michael's six sons-"Dragon" John Beaver who fought in the Civil War.
"Every other person in that direction is named Beaver," said local historian Louise Zimmer.
Beginning in the late 1880s and on into the 1900s, Beavertown was known for its moonshine stills, Beaver said.
Zimmer was in agreement.
"It definitely had a big reputation for that. It was definitely moonshine territory," she said.
Beaver's father, born in 1928, told him the story of hopping on a riverboat at a young age and riding it to Pittsburgh. There his father saw a liquor bottle marked "Beavertown, Ohio."
Born in 1928, Beaver's father could remember stories of "revenuers" coming into Beavertown to "bust up stills," he said.
"After they left, people would get the scrap metal (from the stills). Anything to make a penny in the Depression times," he added.
An old newspaper clipping Beaver has seen from the 1970s about the town of Beavertown had a headline that read "Knock on the door for any pint," he laughingly said.
At one time, Beaver's family owned a couple of sternwheelers.
"They took mussel shells out of the river to a button factory in St. Marys, Va.," Beaver said.
Moore's Junction was named for Col. Thomas W. Moore who served in the Civil War.
Already a fixture in Washington County before the war, Moore purchased between 600 and 1,000 acres of land at Moore's Junction in Warren Township in 1863, where he built a grand home.
Robert Lemasters, 81, of Warren Township was born in Moore's Junction in a farmhouse not far from where Pioneer Pipe is located today.
Lemasters is a descendant of the Wittikind family-five brothers from Germany- who settled along what is now Ohio 7 after the Civil War.
"They dominated all Route 7," Lemasters said.
The Wittikind family were farmers who did all kinds of farming including "putting in hay and having livestock and cattle," he added.
Lemasters said he can remember riding into the town of Marietta with his grandfather as a youngster. His grandfather owned a Model T.
When the Underground Railroad was active smuggling southern slaves northward, those escaping by train crossed through Moore's Junction, according to Lemasters.
The railroad built a big trestle at Moore's Junction because trains did not have enough power to go up the hill there, where Lang's Tractor is located on Bender Road today, said Lemasters.
"They had to get high up enough to switch trains so they could go in the right direction towards Cleveland, Cincinnati (and other locations,)" he added.