The Village of Moscow had its plat recorded in 1816 by owner Owen Davis. The name of Moscow may have been from the officers of Napoleon's army who fled to the United States after his defeat at the Russian city.
Underground Railroad activities had a strong presence in the Village of Moscow. Robert and Thomas Fee became Underground Railroad Conductors, with their homes as "stations" or "hiding places" for slaves as they crossed the Ohio River into freedom. The "candle in the second story window" was a sign that it was clear to cross to freedom. Tunnels under these homes created the escape route for the slaves to move from house to house and eventually travel northward. The Fee Villa remains above the Moscow wharf which is still in place today as the public boat ramp, located at Broadway & Water Street. The visible cobble-stones were put in place in 1882.
From 1829 to 1839, the Moscow Union School was in a log building. In 1853, state law required each Township to subdivide its schools into numbered districts. The Moscow Seminary opened in 1844 at the present Masonic Lodge location. The Moscow School as known today was built in 1932 and closed in 1980. The structure is currently used as the River Valley Community Center.
A swinging foot bridge was a landmark that crossed Ryan's Run, a creek that feeds into the Ohio River on the southern boundary of the Village. A glass factory, pork packers, lumber yard, barber shop, drug store, flour mill, distilling and milling, tailor shop, millinery/hatter, grocer, shoe shop, saloon, hotel, hospital/cancer clinic, hardware store, theater (5 cents for silent movies), and car dealer all were sources of business and family activities that made up the Village of Moscow in the early days.
Historic Fee Villa
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Pictures courtesy of Village resident, Cheryl Richards.
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