HISTORY OF TUNNEL HILL, OHIO
By Todd Fast
Coshocton Tribune July 4, 1976
When Henry Haines, one of the first settlers of what is now Tunnel Hill wanted to go to the nearest town which was Roscoe, he got out an ax and blazed his way through the forest which covered the area.
State Route 271 (541 in 2006) now follows, with few changes, the course marked by Haines, who died in 1863. His death occurred 10 years before the railroad appeared which gave the village its name.
Just before the panic of 1873. Work was started on a tunnel through a hill near the town by the Cleveland, Akron and Columbus railroad. Construction was suspended because of the panic and was resumed about six years later. The road was completed about 1887 and continued to haul coal, wood and other m\commodities of the district until 1935, when it was discontinued.
The tunnel was built of brick and wooden beams and was 1492 feet long. Brick for the shaft was baked in nearby kilns. Workers of all nationalities dug the tunnel through the hill. When the work was begun, the workers lived in a camp on top of the hill. Later they moved into the town.
A siding and railway station were built and steam mill was put into operation about 1894. Still standing, the railway station is now used by the state highway department as a garage.
John Thompson started the first store. It was located just behind the present Sproull Bros. Store, which was started just after the railroad came through.
The patrons of Industry, forerunners of the grange, also had cooperative store in the town. A chapter of the grange is still there, although the store has been gone for years. It is one of the oldest chapters in the country, having been started before the days of the railroad in the community. Its members meet in the township house.
About 50 years ago, a Presbyterian congregation met in the hall above the Sproull store. The Tunnel Hill church is now Methodist with about 75 members. "Brush College" an elementary school, served the town for years.
As with many country towns, Tunnel Hill seems destined by circumstances to remain a quiet nestled among the hills in southern Bedford Township.
For more pictures of the area, please visit the gallery
Walhonding Valley Historical Society