Phoneton, Ohio

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Location of Phoneton, Ohio

Phoneton (also known as Phonetown) is an unincorporated community located at the junction of the Old National Road (U.S. 40) and Old Troy Pike (S.R. 202) in southwestern Bethel Township, Miami County, Ohio, United States. It is part of the Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area. At one time, it was the center of telephone communications in America. The American Telephone & Telegraph Company (Bell System) established operations there in 1894 and the town eventually served as the junction of three long-line telephone wires: the Pittsburgh-Saint Louis line, the Maumee Ohio-Cincinnati line, and the Point Pleasant, West Virginia-Marion, Indiana line. The company constructed a three-story brick building to house the switchboards and operators to relay calls moving over its lines across the country. The town, which received its name in 1899, grew to supply the AT&T workers by providing housing, food and shopping for sundry items. The Phoneton Hotel was constructed by the company to house workers. A general store existed until the 1960s and also housed the local post office, which ceased operations in 1978, though the telephone switching ceased to operate early in the twentieth century due to automated call switching.

Bibliography

  • Barnhart, Julia R. (1982), "Phoneton", in Miller, E. Irene, History of Miami County, Ohio, The Miami County Historical Society. 

Coordinates: 39°53′49″N 84°08′07″W / 39.89694°N 84.13528°W / 39.89694; -84.13528