I Am From Lima, Ohio

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I am from Lima, Ohio, which has its roots as both a railroad and oil town. The city was founded in 1831, when its first citizen, Absalom Brown, made his home in the area. Thanks to the five railroads that run through the city, it began to boom as a major railroad port, and when oil was found under the city in 1885, the population grew massively. However, around halfway through the 20th century, the city suffered the classic “boom or bust” economic downturn like other towns similar to it. Today, Lima is still an oil town with a large refinery on the south side, and a railroad port on the north side, but still struggles to break from its past. Once a major railroad city with a locomotive factory and a canteen/passenger depot, what is left of them are but shadows of Lima’s railroading past. The locomotive factory, Lima Locomotive Works, was founded in 1878. It later became a major leader in locomotive development, being primarily responsible for developing “Shay” locomotives, named after a lumberman by the name of Ephraim Shay, of Haring, Michigan. LLW was also a player in the manufacturing of gas-mechanical engines, competing with a company by the name of Baldwin, who had a monopoly on the market because of their production of trench locomotives during WWI. In 1949, the last of the locomotives made by LLW came through its gates. Today, the land the factory used to sit on is empty, save three buildings. However, the canteen/depot is still standing and currently used as the
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