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Named for Daniel Nelson, who arrived with his family in 1814, Nelsonville grew to become a boomtown by the mid-1800s. Coal mines and brick factories were its major employers, and the town attracted emigrant workers from England. Two major routes, the Hocking Canal and Hocking Valley Railroad, not only provided transportation for the area but also a means to export coal. The canal suffered attacks by Gen. John Hunt Morgan and his Confederate cavalry during the Civil War and was ultimately destroyed by spring flooding, but the railroad has remained a premiere tourist attraction. The Public Square, around which the earliest establishments such as the Dew House were erected, continues to thrive as an arts district. Images of America: Nelsonville uses archival photographs and postcards to celebrate the most influential people and beloved places of the “Little City of Black Diamonds” and to recap the challenges and triumphs that helped earn Nelsonville its distinctive reputation.
- Arcadia Publishing Inc., October 2015
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