History

The Wabash Cannonball Trail runs on two lines originally established by the Wabash Railroad. The southwestern leg was first built in 1855, running from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Toledo, Ohio, making it one of the oldest rail lines in northwest Ohio. Passenger service ended in 1959, while freight service continued until 1969. The line had depots in Maumee, Whitehouse, Colton, and Liberty Center. Colton was once a bustling railroad town having a coal yard, hotel, saloon, and a pickle plant. The Wabash Maumee depot was "razed" in 1982, and the Liberty Center Depot is currently being restored by the Liberty Center Historical Society. The Whitehouse Depot was purchased and moved to Michigan. The Norfolk and Western Railway purchased the Wabash line, and then consolidated with the Southern Railroad to form the Norfolk Southern Railroad.
 
The east-west line of the Trail was a "new" railroad, having been built around the turn of the century. Some of the towns that sprang up along this line, lacked the ability to thrive when the railroad ceased to be the primary means of transportation. It passed through the communities of Brailey and South Delta, where depots remain in private ownership. It continued on through Wauseon, Elmira, West Unity, and Montpelier. There is an historical museum at the Williams County Fairground in Montpelier, which contains railroad memorabilia, and an old Wabash caboose. Rail service ended on this line around 1990, less than 100 years after it was built.