Left: Mapquest image featuring the long-disappeared village of Vulcan, OH
(Toledo, OH) I am a map afficianado, and I like to study maps to get a geographic sense of the places in which I live and visit. Even as a child I used to love being the navigator on trips, and I would read them for hours on end.
Over the years I have noticed the place name "Vulcan" on maps of Toledo. This was an unincorporated village that grew up around the Vulcan Iron Works near what is now the area by Dorr Street and Westwood Avenue in Toledo.
Left: An empty lot is all that is left of the Vulcan Iron Works facility along the Toledo Terminal tracks
Vulcan Iron Works was a national firm that set up operations throughout the country. Vulcan operated a number of facilities in Toledo, including a large plant on the Maumee River.
I set out today to try and find a "piece" of Vulcan, if there were still any to be found.
Little remains of either the Vulcan Iron Works or the area known as Vulcan. A few maps continue to reference the village, and some city deeds still contain references to "Vulcan" in plat descriptions.
Left: The 'Little Giant' excavator produced in Toledo by Vulcan Iron Works in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
There are references on the Internet to documents related to the Vulcan Iron Works, such as this 1911 lawsuit over the purchase of a steam shovel.
A 48-ton Vulcan steam shovel was used in 1887 to dig the Stewart Tunnel in Belleville, WI.
Beyond these vague refences, plus a few scattered mentions on pages devoted to railroad history, little can be found on the Web about the village of Vulcan.
The Toledo Terminal tracks are no longer used by trains to visit the area that was once Vulcan, OH. There are now a few dozen trailer homes in spaces once occupied by industrial firms and a train depot.
Stop signs are posted on the northern and southern end of the tracks, should an engine for unknown reasons find itself in the vicinity of what was once Vulcan.
Rotted ties, rusted rails, and weeds are all that remain of the Vulcan station on the Toledo Terminal line. The nearby light industrial businesses butt up against the rail line, but are situated in a way that one might view them as turning their backs on the railroad, a form of outmoded transportation for smaller firms that now rely on trucks.
A bitterly cold wind blowing out of the west whistled through the trees and the brush, and for a moment it sounded like ghostly voices whispered behind me as I walked along the tracks.
I drove away from what was once Vulcan, Ohio, knowing little more than I earlier did about the vanished village.