Before the railroads reached Xenia, Ohio, locals had to depend on turnpikes and other back roads for travel between nearby communities. Those often unreliable routes made commerce a real slog in wet weather and icy winters. But after the Little Miami Railroad arrived in 1845, Xenia suddenly found itself fluidly connected to markets in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and beyond. Trains through town shuttled everything from Civil War recruits and ammunition to farm goods and faraway passengers. On a map, Xenia looked like the hub of a great bicycle wheel, with rail spokes shooting out in from almost every direction.