1800’s Transportation & Technology

Horse and BuggyTravel in the 1800s was very different than it is today. People did not have cars to make their daily commute. Without cars, how do you think they would get from one place to another?

People used covered wagons, horses and buggies. They would walk. If they were near water, they could take a boat. They could also ride on a train. 


rail passesIn 1852, the first railroad tracks were laid in Hilliard, Ohio. These railroad tracks were completed in 1853 and the railroad opened in Hilliard. The railroad station was made up of three boxcars put together to form a building, and it was called Hilliard’s Station. The trains took people from the village of Hilliard, which was founded by John R. Hilliard in 1853, to Pleasant Valley. The trip fare to Pleasant Valley, what we now call Plain City, was 28¢. The railroad also had a train that took people from Hilliard to Columbus for a fare of 10¢. This train left Hilliard early in the morning for workers and shoppers to travel to Columbus and then return back home to Hilliard in the evening.

Around 1890, the Pennsylvania Railroad Company replaced Hilliard’s Station with a new building. This new building was a combination depot where the town’s transportation and communication needs were met.


Passengers, mail, and baggage were handled at the Hilliard’s Station depot to be transported on the trains since automobiles were not introduced until 1910. Also, there was a telegraph service for people to communicate before the invention of the telephone around 1900.

Other forms of communication in the 1800s were paper and pencil, newspapers and storytelling. Storytelling was an important part of history because very few people had the ability to read and write. People would pass the history of their family and town through stories.


oil lampThe earliest washing machine was a washboard called the scrub board invented in 1797. There was no dryer, so people would have to hang their clothes up to dry on a line.

Today we use electric lights, but in the 1800s, there was no electricity in Northwest Franklin County. People would light their homes with candles and oil lamps.

Cooking on the farm was done over an open fire or in a fireplace. They would cook their food in large cast iron pots.


America’s First All Weather and All Terrain Vehicle
Rewritten from an article found at the home of Mary W. Miller
Adapted by Christina Dorr

History of the Railroad in Hilliard, Ohio
Adapted by Jordan Main

Overview Compiled and Edited by Lauren Davis and Rich Boettner

Northwest Franklin County Historical Society Library