By FRED MAIN
HOWARD — Robert S. McKay and his son, William, built several culverts, abutments and bridges along the old Cleveland, Mount Vernon and Delaware Railroad in the 1800s.
But, their most famous might just be the arch at Howard.
The arch, built around 1874, will now be remembered for eternity as an Ohio historical marker has been approved. Robert’s greatgrandson, David McKay, along with some help from the Knox County Commissioners, put together the documentation necessary for its inclusion and it was approved recently by the Ohio Historical Markers Program. The dedication ceremony will be April 3, at 2 p.m.
R.S. McKay and Son was created in 1864 after William finished his 100-day term with the Ohio 142nd during the Civil War. The masonry company was contracted for bridges, culverts and arches along the railroad in 1870. McKay and Son got the stone for the arch from Samuel Israel, a Mount Vernon attorney, and hired 12 to 15 men to help complete the jobs.
The cost for the arch stones, as well as stones for the abutments for bridges over the Jelloway, Schenck’s and Dry creeks, was $455.25.
The arch carries traffic across a 24-foot span which stands 23 foot high from the old railroad to the top of the arch.
The railroad soon became the Pennsylvania Railroad and operated until the 1950s.
The arch now serves as a bridge for U.S. 36 over the Kokosing Gap Trail. The former Howard railroad station now has a playground for children and is a stopping point for travelers on the trail.
The marker will include a picture of the quarry workers who helped complete the arch.
Submitted photo The stone arch at Howard can be seen in the background of this old photo of the Howard Railroad depot. An historical marker has been awarded for the arch, built in the