Morrow, Ohio, is this quaint small town with some historical character. It was laid out in 1845 and named after Ohio’s ninth governor, Jeremiah Morrow. The town was created when the Little Miami Railroad laid enough track alongside the Little Miami River to reach this spot.
Today, US 22/Ohio SR 3 passes through the town and intersects with Ohio SR 123. What was originally the rail line is now the Little Miami Recreation Trail, which starts near Cincinnati and ends in Springfield–74 miles of paved Rails to Trails.
I have always found this piece of Morrow fascinating. Although the depot is in very good shape, it does not appear to be used on a regular basis. It has aged well since being built about 1852. Originally, there were two rail lines meeting at this spot. The Little Miami Railroad on one side, and the Pennsylvania Line on the other, giving the building its odd shape. Careful observation reveals the Pennsylvania Line route including abutments for brides that no longer exist–something easily discovered while motorcycling near and around Morrow.
Speaking of motorcycling, the depot is a great place for a photo op. And across the street is Miranda’s Ice Cream Shop. That’s worth a stop too.
I have always been fascinated by history—a student of historical figures, places and highways—and it often gives me pause for thought. Some years ago, when I was working in rural economic development circles, there was a study published addressing why people travel. Setting aside the travels to visit family, the number one reason people travel is to see art, culture and history. I am one of those.
There is a small, and old cemetery not far from my home. I have passed it many times and barely notice it anymore, but recently, it caught my attention and I wondered where is the cemetery in Morrow, Ohio? If you have followed my travels, you know I have a tendency to photograph old country churches and cemeteries. I have passed through Morrow many times on nearly all quadrants of the village except for the southeastern corner. And so, my exploration took me in that direction. I found what I was looking for … and more to ponder at the Morrow Cemetery.
The entrance to the cemetery is plain and somewhat deceiving. You find a cemetery on a hillside, but behind that hill is a very large plot of ground where hundreds have been laid to rest. And, like most other cemeteries, the graves of Veterans are marked with flags and plaques designating service.
Next to the entrance a gravesite stands alone, like a family plot, and quite set off from the others, the only gravesite on that side of the road. It’s what caught my eye.
David Ayers, Company F, 4th Ohio Cavalry, with a Veteran Plaque designating Civil War Veteran.
I wondered if there was some reason that this gravesite—one of a prominent place—was meaningful to Morrow’s history. I conducted some research, and although not exhaustive, I found a roster of Company F with Ayer’s name. He was mustered into the Army Jan. 5, 1864, at age 25, and mustered out July 15, 1865, when the entire unit was mustered out of service. The company participated in several skirmishes and battles in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
Other than a more recent headstone, I could find little more about David B. Ayers, of Morrow, Ohio. He was a husband, brother, probably father, and most notably, a Civil War Veteran.
The Morrow Cemetery is the resting place of other Veterans with their graves marked with flags and plaques. Their service duly noted. All this history, this service to country, laying in the ground. Families and friends mourned their passing. Were their stories passed on?
Today, our living military and Veterans, who have served our country faithfully, await to tell their stories. Who will write their histories?
There was a time when people feared the conversion of abandoned railroad beds into bicycle and walking paths. The fear was that crime would increase. Adjoining properties would be impacted by lower property values. How wrong were those naysayers.
Photo: Little Miami Recreational Trail, Morrow, Ohio. The LMRT is 75 miles long connecting multiple small and larger cities—all paved.