Hanging Rock artifacts

Published

All photos taken the week of Thanksgiving 2018.

Places
Royersville Tunnel west portal
Approaching the western portal of Royersville Tunnel in southern Lawrence County. This tunnel is 1,040ft long and was dug out in 1851 as part of the 13-mile Iron Railroad laid from Ironton to Center Station. It was in service as a branch line into the 1980s, when the rails were finally pulled up.
You can find this portal after hiking through a good amount of gullies and undergrowth. The whole thing appears to have been carved under a huge sandstone overhang.
The entrance has been dammed up by fallen material over the years. There's a strong smell of coal when you get inside.
Not too much daylight makes it in through the opening, but it's clear the way ahead is flooded.
Some more details are visible with the flashlight. A few remaining timbers that held the ceiling up.
Coal seams run along the pinch of both walls.
Looking out at the old northbound railbed.
Royersville Tunnel east portal
The other portal is on the other side of the hill and at the bottom of a steep gully.
This end is also topped by a large rock overhang.
These 150+ year old support timbers are all solid 12-by-12s.
Closeup of a joining dowel.
Need a boat to explore further in.
Lots of timber on this end.
This tunnel collapsed at some point around the bend just before the line was abandoned.
Lots of history resting under this hill.
Looking out the portal to where the southbound rail used to run.
The coal seam continues through the hill.
Big chunker that fell off the wall.
One Hundred Mornings
D&SE Dean Tunnel south portal
The Dean tunnel is located in Lawrence County and is the southernmost tunnel on the D&SE line that connected the Iron RR to Wellston. It was likely dug out in the early 1880s and was originally 700ft long. The tunnel ran under the ridge this road lies on top of.
The south portal has been completely sealed up as the hill has fallen in on itself over the years. An inspection in 1882 noted the crumbly material and fallen rocks within the tunnel even when it was new, so it's not too surprising that it's completely collapsed.
Looking back where the rail bed used to approach the tunnel. There were scattered pieces of coal along the path but otherwise no sign of man-made structure. The D&SE was truly a backwoods line.
D&SE Dean Tunnel north portal
On the other side of the ridge, this portal had the same fate.
Not sure if any of this material was part of the portal.
Looking back at the approach.
Some exposed roots as the hill crumbles down.
Buckhorn Furnace
Buckhorn Furnace went into blast around 1833 and was abandoned some time in the 1890s. It's located in central Lawrence County.
This furnace is on private property but sits near the edge of the road, so it's not too sketchy.
Olive Furnace
Olive Furnace from across the clearing. In the summer this stretch was full of ticks.
This furnace went into blast in 1846 and was most likely abandoned in the late 1800s. It sits just off the old railbed of the D&SE in central Lawrence County. The area surrounding it is full of glassy iron slag.
An arch that used to support a boiler structure still survives.
Checking out the arch from an old haul road that goes up behind the furnace.
This furnace is on public property and receiving some amount of preservation.
Looking up the stack inside the furnace.
DS&E Tunnel №2 west portal
From Dean Tunnel, the D&SE line passed through this portal heading northbound through central Lawrence County. Tunnel №2 was likely dug through around 1851 and now lies out in the Wayne National Forest near Telegraph Hill.
The camera doesn't pick it up very well, but the path leading up to this tunnel lies at the bottom of a severely steep gully.
Sandstone cliffs across the way.
Just like at Dean, this portal is also collapsing in on itself.
Looking into the crumbled portal.
Tunnel №2 was originally 700ft long.
The material surrounding this portal is all very crumbly. The 1882 inspection of the line noted how this end of the tunnel had loose sections in the ceiling that were prone to falling off.
Looking towards the portal from the old railbed makes it clear how much the hill has fallen in on itself over the years.
Big sandstone boulder that has fallen off the hill.
Pieces of coal are scattered in the small trickle of water that now runs at the bottom of the gully.
DS&E Tunnel №2 east portal
On the other side of the hill, the east portal remains standing.
From what I can tell, this section of line was finally abandoned at the end of 1917.
The portal is in surprisingly good condition.
Concrete and moss.
Closer look at the ornamental entrance.
The tunnel has been dammed up and flooded.
At some point over the last 100 years the tunnel collapsed a short distance into this portal.
The line ran northbound from here.
Pioneer Furnace
Pioneer Furnace sits in the woods about 400ft behind the rear of this retention pond. It's located within the Wayne National Forest in northern Lawrence County.
You can make it out in the center of the frame.
This furnace went into blast in 1857 and was likely abandoned by the late 1800s.
Pioneer was one of the first furnaces in the region to use stone coal for fuel.
From the southeast.
Some fallen blocks.
Color in the sandstone.
View from the northwest.
Wear patterns on the sandstone.
Mossy rocks.
Tree growing out of the western face.
Fairly precarious blocks.
Madison Furnace
Madison Furnace is located off the old D&SE railbed in southern Jackson County. It went into blast sometime around 1854.
This furnace is easily accessible on public land and appears to be pretty well maintained. It has a stout presence with its base of solid rock.
Here you can see the front arch looking into the blast area.
Inside looking at the right duct.
And at the left duct.
View up the stack and the transition to stacked blocks.
The furnace base appears to have been carved out of the surrounding hillside of solid rock.
Moss on the furnace backside.
Limestone Furnace
Limestone Furnace is located just north of Madison Furnace in southern Jackson County. It went into blast around 1855.
I got spooked by a "no trespassing" sign and the house right across the way from this site, so this is as close as I walked. Looking at the maps and property lines, this furnace is in fact on public land off a public road, so I'll be getting a closer look next time.
Richland Tunnel
At some point Richland Furnace Rd was a haulage road that traveled safely under this railroad underpass. Now it's a little bit wet, but it can be passed on foot. This area is located at the Jackson-Vinton county line.
Luckily the way isn't too deep.
The road separates from the creek on the other side.
Drier ways ahead.
The ground in this area is chock full of glassy iron slag.
Not much farther ahead the road turns into a muddy mess and then fully into a creek.
You can hike up to the tracks and trespass to get the rest of the way. These rails once belonged to the M&C line that ran from Cincinnati, through Athens, to Marietta, and they now survive as part of a branch line that runs from Chillicothe north to Zaleski and south to Jackson.
Looking back at the cut. From here it's a half-mile walk to where we're going.
Discarded rail anchor. Also notice the dull oxidation on the rail top... seems like there hasn't been any traffic through here in a while.
Approaching the eastern portal of Richland Tunnel. This was dug through to 125ft some time around 1855.
Eastern portal is a little worse for wear but still standing.
Same view from the past with fresh timbering. Credit to John Grabb.
The body of this tunnel is solid rock.
Approaching the western portal from the inside.
Western portal appears to be in similar condition to the other side.
Timbers are not in the best shape.
View out the eastern portal.
Richland Furnace
From the tracks Richland Furnace is just barely visible across the creek, in the center of the frame. Richland went into blast in 1853 and was probably abandoned in the 1890s.
The path leading to the furnace is filled with baseball-size chunks of slag.
View of the furnace complex in its heyday, probably sometime in the mid-late 1800s. Credit to John Grabb.
The front of the furnace is now severely deteriorated.
The blocks in this furnace have taken on a neat green hue.
Sharp lines on the west-facing side.
Notice the chamfering around the edge of the blocks.
Haydenville Tunnel east portal
Haydenville Tunnel was in use around 1904 at least. It's part of a track that connected the C&HV main line in town with mines to the east, through a big hill. This is part of the old grading leading to the eastern portal. Lots of bricks scattered around here.
My best guess is it was a narrow-gauge branch that carried minecarts between the Haydenville brick manufacturing site and nearby clay or coal mines (or both.) Notice the brick retaining wall to the right.
This portal lies on public land, near the old 33 off ramp that's now closed and abandoned. You can pull off where the road is closed off near town, jump the barriers, and walk a little over half mile to reach it.
Brick craftsmanship.
This tunnel is pretty cramped, which leads me to believe it was for minecarts.
Dammed, flooded, and collapsed not too far from the portal.
King Hollow Tunnel
King Hollow Tunnel is about a 0.7 mile walk from Mineral, in western Athens County. Getting there this way requires a stream crossing over Hewitt Fork. Not far from the crossing the old bridge trusses lie on either side of the grading.
It's a pretty wide stream, but crossable a little ways downstream where some logs have fallen across.
View from the other side, on the western bank.
Here you can get a better idea of the crossing.
Another discarded rail anchor. This line was also part of the M&C, which continued east from Richland Furnace, through Zaleski and the Moonville Tunnel, to this section, and on to Athens.
Approaching the eastern portal about half a mile from the stream crossing. This tunnel was probably dug through around 1855, and the rails were finally pulled up in the 1980s.
In a few steps you can start feeling the chilly air flowing through the tunnel. A little closer and you start picking up the strong presence of moldy, damp wood.
The tunnel is about 350ft long.
View of King Hollow from around 1870. Credit to John Grabb.
Closer view of the timber cribbing
This was the only fully timber tunnel on the M&C line.
In some sections of the wall the boarding has disintegrated. Here some coal has fallen through the gap.
Through another gap you can see some extra reinforcement engineered into this thing, as well as an old rock bolt right beside.
A little drier on this side.
Western portal situated in the rock.
Timber work on the western portal.
View of the railbed out the western portal.
Another gap with coal falling out of the wall.
View out the eastern portal.
Eastern portal timber work.
Eastern portal cribbing slotted into the rock face.
Old, wet wood.
Vinton Furnace
The remains of Vinton Furnace sit out on public land in eastern Vinton County. The site can be accessed by crossing either of the two disintegrating bridges over Elk Fork.
There are block ruins scattered around the peninsula area, but the main complex is located on the hillside.
This furnace went into blast sometime around 1853.
The operation was abandoned sometime before the 1880s.
This might have been part of the stack.
More remnants of the furnace complex continue up the hillside.
Looking down from the top of the hill.
View looking to the east,
More blocks.
Belgian Coke Ovens
On a flat clearing just above the main Vinton Furnace complex sits the Belgian Coke Ovens.
These ovens were apparently meant to expand the capabilities of the Vinton Furnace operation. The bricks were pre-fabricated and shipped as a sort of puzzle to put together.
View through a chamber from east to west.
Brickwork inside the chamber.
It's peaceful up on the hill. These ovens were assembled in the later years of the operation and never worked properly.
Iron door of some kind.
Closer view of the western side.
Looking from west to east.
Adjacent portals.
Some bricks scattered around the site.
A shaped corner brick and T section.
Eagle Tunnel east portal
Heading south from Vinton Furnace you can find Eagle Tunnel. This tunnel is located on public land in southeastern Vinton County and was part of the River Division of the C&HV line that ran from Dundas to the Ohio River.
Eagle Tunnel was dug through around 1877 and is 340ft long. The last train ran through this section in 1979, and the rails were finally pulled up around 1992. The portals were also sealed at that time. The old railbed leading to this portal passes under a highway bridge and is full of water under the leaves. I found this final stretch to be impassible in the summer due to the muck and ticks.
View of this portal prior to 1940. Credit to Edward Miller.
Taking a peek inside you can see this end is dammed and flooded.
The tunnel is still open to the other end.
Eagle Tunnel west portal
Hiking down the road a little farther and jumping into the woods, you can find the other end of the sealed tunnel.
At this point your lungs are filled with the overwhelming presence of soaked, moldy wood from the air screaming out of the darkness.
The old railbed on this end is also mucky, but the way is more passable.
Closer view of the framing timbers and source of the heavy air.
Looking inside you can see this end is drier.
Could go in, but a respirator seems like a good idea.
Eagle Furnace
Eagle Furnace is located just up the road from Eagle Tunnel. It went into blast around 1852. It's located on public land, off an old strip mine access road and was apparently heavily damaged while that mining was active. The winter doesn't reveal much more than was visible in the summer.
Campbell Tunnel south portal
From Eagle Tunnel the C&HV continued south to Campbell Tunnel. This tunnel was dug through solid rock around 1878.
It's 896ft to the north end.
View of this portal when the line was active.
This tunnel lies under private property in southeastern Vinton County. The north portal emerges right into a backyard, but the south portal is secluded and easily accessible from the road.
The clear view to the other end shows the solid rock has so far withstood collapse.
This tunnel is dammed and flooded throughout, but the water and muck isn't too bad for the most part.
The air in here is cool and earthy.
In this section a big chunk is cut out of the ceiling.
Discarded rail spike rotting away.
It's getting more watery.
Almost to the north portal.
The water quickly gets deeper at the very north end, and I wasn't equipped to continue on.
The line ran southbound from here to Gallipolis and the Ohio River.