Crawford County Ohio Villages Spotlight on
source: Hal Weiland, Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum, 6-7 July 2002
2 County Towns Products of Railroad, Post Office
How would you like to live on Spore-Puckertown Road? That could have been the name of County Highway 31 north of Bucyrus.
In the mid-1800s enterprising settlers established an early version of a business part at the intersection of CH31 and Beechgrove Road, north of Bucyrus. According to John E. Hopley’s History of Crawford County, Samuel Parcher built a sawmill there which was soon followed by another sawmill, a brickyard, cider press and a blacksmith shop. Although there was never a formal layout for a town, several families built homes near the intersection and the community became known as Puckertown. Why “Puckertown”? Well, that was the not-so-serious name of a newsletter occasionally written and distributed by Liberty township school children in the latter half of the 19th century.
Seeing the potential for business with the local folks, William E. Keplinger opened a general store at Puckertown in 1888. Shortly after that, the Post Office Department decided to open a post office to serve the growing population of Liberty township and chose Keplinger’s store as the location. The new post office was named Brandywine after the nearby stream. Brandywine then became the accepted name of the community and the name Puckertown slipped into obscurity.
In 1893 the CS&H Railroad was completed from Columbus to Sandusky and a station was built at the point where the railroad crossed the Spore-Brandywine Road, less than a mile west of Beechgrove Road. The railroad named the station Brandywine.
Expecting a business boom to follow the railroad, Keplinger relocated his store and Brandywine Post Office to the site of the new train station. That’s the reason for the dot on the map called Brandywine today. Unfortunately, the business boom never came and a town never developed to support Keplinger’s store. The Brandywine Post Office was closed when Rural Free Delivery was instituted and the railroad gave up the station.
Today when one slows to cross the track there’s not a clue that a general store, railroad station and post office brought hope and promises to the community of Brandywine only 100 years ago.
Driving west from Brandywine into Holmes Township, the traveler arrives at another dot on the map. This is Spore. But try as hard as you can, you won’t find a town there either.
Spore was another product of the early railroad and post Office Department. In the late 1880s the Brokensword Stone Company was a blossoming business and began shipping stone over a rail spur newly constructed by the Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad, the same line that built the beautiful old stone and brick station on East Rensselaer Street. The T&OC also built a railroad station near the quarry and the Post Office Department followed with a post office to serve people living in the area.
Both the rail station and post office were named Spore after a prominent local farmer and business man, Sydney L. Spore. Spore the man was also a Civil War veteran who fought in numerous battles, was captured, imprisoned and eventually returned home wearing his only possession, his long underwear. Off to a promising start, the Spore Post Office was initially operated by Postmaster F.D. Osborne who was appointed May 22, 1888, just 114 years ago. Rocky times followed for the post office at the quarry, however. Because of the remote location the Post Office Department had difficulty finding postmasters willing to take the job and service was frequently interrupted.
Finally in 1903, Rural Free Delivery from the Bucyrus Post Office began with eight horse and buggy routes, bringing an end to the Spore Post Office on July 30, 1904. Eventually the rail station was also abandoned, and today, driving through Spore, one can only guess at the locations of the rail station and post office in this town that never was.
Rocky times followed for the post office at the quarry, however. Because of the remote location the Post Office Department had difficulty finding postmasters willing to take the job and service was frequently interrupted.