History of Moonville and Moonville Tunnel


Moonville Tunnel came into  existence with the Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad whose tracks crossed Vinton County right around 1856. Later, in 1883, the railway would change ownership to the Baltimore and Ohio. The town name is most likely from an early farming family in the region by the name of Moon, a common surname in the region in the 1800s. Many of these residents were scattered about a couple mile area, their homes tucked into hollows and hills wherever land would allow them to build a home. There were folks like the Shirkeys, the Kennards and the Fergusons. Most of them worked in the Coe’s mines or in the small towns surrounding them. 

The town itself had a saloon, depot, schoolhouse, strip of homes, and a cemetery. A tunnel was built through a hillside on the Henry Ferguson property, the infamous Moonville Tunnel. The town remained a little less than a hundred years until the last family left, leaving it nothing more than a ghost town among many in the declining economy of the 1940’s.