HISTORY OF THE RED PINE & OXVILLE RAILROAD
In l922 the Red Run Lumber Co. was formed by two brothers that had been loggers for many years but where getting a little too old and savvy for such a difficult line of work. Besides, most of the big lumber companies and their sawmills had either burned down or moved to a more prosperous areas.
While Red & White Pine Timber was nearly depleted during the logging heyday of the 1890's there was still a lot of hardwood and a few old growth trees that survived. Knowing there was a lot of good timber still standing in some areas, Red Run Lumber Company decided to build a small lumber mill near the Rifle River.
With all the abandoned equipment around, they built a small logging railroad with 42” gauge and rebuilt a little Porter and an old Shay. These little engines performed beautifully for many years and were the main stay of Red Runs success even through the big 1929 crash.
Because of the difficult economic times in l933, the nearby NYC wanted to abandon their branch line between Oxville and Red Pine, so in a stroke of genius, the Red Run Lumber Co. made an offer to buy the trackage for 2 cents on the dollar but not the land. In the same deal Red Run also secured trackage rights to the NYC mainline servicing Oxville along with the engine facility in Oxville.
Within a few short years the economy was booming with new and reborn industries. The Rifle River Coal Mine reopened after being forced to close because NYC refused to put in a siding unless it could produce l00 tons of coal per day.
The gravel plant was working 24/7 providing aggregate for new roads all over the country.
The lumber business was pretty good because the local people were working and building, and the agricultural business was saved because the new Red Pine and Oxville Shortline Railroad could get product to market.
Work was so good, hobo's from all over the country could be seen scattered along the NYC and RP&O in the Hobo jungles.
The RP&O provides freight and passenger service to the local population and interchanging with the NYC, PH&N, JBX and the Pere Marquette. Freight and passenger trains service the Oxville area on a daily basis with an occasional sighting of the 20th Century Ltd.,whenever the major rivers in Ohio become flooded and bridges collapse.
We are here in l937 with an eye on the future and money in our pocket. Even though the RP&O is a very frugal operation, if you need a job, the railroad needs Fireman and Gandy Dancers. Life is good.
The Red Pine & Oxville Railroad exist in my mind but is based on actual places, events and dates to give them an area to come together.
My dad owned Red Run Lumber, his uncle had a Berghoff beer distributorship. My grandfather was a logger, carpenter and farmer and I live in an area riddled with gravel pits between Oxford and Lakeville Michigan (Oxville). By the way, Red Pine wood (now called Norway Pine in some areas of the country) was burned almost exclusively in my grandmothers kitchen wood stove because she really like the aroma.