All Aboard Brinkhaven
Welcome to Brinkhaven also known as Gann and Mount Holly on the Mohican Valley Trail. You have reached your final destination on our Points of Interest Trail on the Ohio to Erie Trail (Knox County Section). We hope that you have enjoyed the beautiful scenery of Knox County from Centerburg to Brinkhaven and have learned a little history of the railroad along your journey.
Mohican Valley Trail
The village of Brinkhaven (formerly known as Gann) was incorporated in 1892 although it had been in existence for about 20 years on a property donated by William Gann.
Gann was known as Mt. Holly in prior years and was laid out by John Hibbitts in 1838. It is situated on the east side of the Mohican River. The name was changed to Gann by the railroad president of the Cleveland, Mt Vernon and Delaware Railroad in honor of George Gann. George was instrumental in securing the right away for the railroad. Gann came to Jefferson township in 1831.
The first Grist Mill was built in 1840 by Robert Long and the village included (2) dry goods stores, (2) groceries, a drug store, harness ship, blacksmith and (2) hotels. The village school was taught by Joesph Blubaugh. Joshua Ferebaugh was the agent for the Cleveland, Mt Vernon Columbus railroad. An Iron railroad bridge several hundred feet long spanned the Mohican River.
The Toledo, Walhonding Valley and Ohio Railroad (TWVO) also known as the “Wally” railroad ran through Brinkhaven and Greer along the Mohican River valley, making connections with other railroads near Loudonville and Walhonding. It was a freight and passenger service for half a century until is declined and stopped operation in the 1930’s.
In September 1905 an Ordinance was written the Gann Village Council to require the Cleveland, Akron Columbus Railway to light its railway crossings within the village boundary. With the expansion of the railroad, Gann was a location for two tracks as the Wally remained a well traveled rail line.
In 1913, much of Brinkhaven and the railroad was destroyed from a flood. On Easter Sunday, March 23 and ending March 27, 1913 8-12 inches of rain destroyed the tiny hamlet next to the Mohican River. Nearly 600 people died as the Mohican River water rose 9′ in a relatively short amount of time.
Passengers of three Pennsylvania railroad trains stranded in Brinkhaven stated 35 house were washed downstream and three people had been found dead. The Mt. Vernon Democratic Banner announced on March 28, 1913 that at least five were killed and the number was expected to grow. The newspaper headlines became a frenzy as they read; “Like Rats in a Trap were Brinkhaven People, When they Little Home Was Washed Away”, “Harry Workman, Wife and Child Lost Lives, Two Unidentified Bodies are Recovered”, “Most Appaling Condition in Knox County” “People Fleeing to Higher Ground”.