The 1853 Construction Race...

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Map of Alpha, Ohio Map of Alpha, Ohio

In the early 1850's John Harbine and William Needles laid out the town of Alpha along the newly built Dayton, Xenia, and Belpre Railroad. The village began to thrive when the railroad went through in 1853.  A rivalry developed amongst the citizens as to who would put up the first house in the new town.  

Enoch Needles and Baur Dice each began to erect their houses across the street from each other.  The contest was an exciting one; and though Mr. Needles succeeded in getting the frame of his house up first, due to the rushed construction, it fell down the same night, giving Dice the opportunity of declaring that his was the first house built in the town of Alpha.  Enoch Needles kept the first drygoods store in the home he built.

The undated map above shows an early map of Alpha as laid out by Harbine and Needles.  Items of note:

  1. Dayton-Xenia Road prior to its relocation north of the school
  2. Alpha Church
  3. Beginning of the famed Alpha Panhandle
  4. The Dayton and Xenia Traction dips south of Alpha
  5. John Harbine's home
  6. Shakertown Road extended into Alpha
  7. The Shakertown Road covered bridge
  8. The Alpha dam
  9. The mill race
  10. The Alpha Road covered bridge
  11. The Harbine worker housing


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Brett Williford

Re-introducing you to the Beavercreek you love... from 1803 to today!


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