Hanging Rock: A Divided Village
The small hamlet of Hanging Rock boasts a big, historical background. In this place, early 1800's, the iron industry exploded to life and the Hanging Rock Iron Region became internationally famous. To this very day, metallurgists, iron ore experts and heavy industry enthusiasts know about Hanging Rock. We take great pride in the fact that our village served as the epicenter for iron furnaces and the industrial age in the United States.
Yet, even with this great start, our village has always been a divided one. Please don't think we can't get along, however. We're proud of our small village and the people here greet each other with warm affection. The problem? The actual geographic village-scape has always been divide by either railroad lines or, more recently, US Route 52.
Years ago, our village founders always searched for better, more efficient ways to export the iron ore and pig iron to market. At first, our forefathers used the Ohio River, which borders our town to south, for transporting the heavy product to markets. Using oxen teams to sled the iron to Union Landing which lay at the edge of our historic village, the iron masters shipped tons of iron each week to waiting fabrication shops up and down the river. Soon the railroad became the method of choice for shipping heavy goods and, because the sheer rock walls border our hometown to the north, the rail line cut right through the flat fields between the river and rock cliffs. We found ways to cross the railroad lines with only a little inconvenience.
In more modern times, and with the demise of the railroad, US Route 52 came through our community and literally cut our community in half. Only one access passage was constructed for a connector, and Hanging Rock became an even more divided community. Without opportunity for grievance or protest, imminent domain divided our village into two nearly equal parts. Like the union divided during the Civil War, so Hanging Rock now operates with a 'north' and a 'south.'
Today, a raised railroad bed and US Route 52 cuts through the core of Hanging Rock and prevents anyone from truly recognizing the two parts as one village. We know that we belong together. The residents on one side of the divide recognize the folks on the other side as family, friends and fellow citizens of the famous Hanging Rock. You might say that we have an iron-clad bond that ensures our unity despite the barriers that others may construct. We love Hanging Rock!