GIRARD, Ohio (WYTV) – Standing idly next to railroad tracks east of the Mahoning River in Girard sits a relic of the area’s industrial past. It’s an eyesore for sure and Mayor Jim Melfi would like to see it gone.
The coal tipple dates back to the days when trains ran on steam. The top of it has broken off and is dangling over the edge.
It’s seen by everyone traveling along Interstate 80, though most Girard residents don’t even notice it.
“I’ve never had anyone call me and complain about that structure,” Melfi said.
Though it’s not a priority, he still wants the coal tipple demolished.
“It’s certainly an eyesore. Historical significance? I don’t know if anybody would even realize what it was. It’s probably more of a safety concern.”
In its day over 100 years ago, steam trains would stop at the tipple, loading up on coal to power them on their way. You can still see the chutes that delivered the coal. There are light fixtures, a ladder, even the remnants of old tracks.
Cleveland-based Mid-Continent Coal and Coke Company owns the tipple. Melfi has asked to buy it or have it deeded to the city so he could then look for a grant to have it torn down.
“We were told by a company official that they were not interested in selling to the city or giving, deeding, the property over to the city,” he said.
Melfi thinks they want to hold onto the land for possible appreciation.
While he considers the tipple ugly, thinks it’s unsafe and believes it should come down, Melfi said its demolition is not a pressing matter.
“Our efforts and our monies have been concentrated in neighborhoods and not much in an abandoned industrial area.”
WYTV 33 News contacted the Mid-Continent Coal and Coke Company earlier Tuesday, but the company said it doesn’t talk with reporters. We left contact information with them, but have not heard back.