Now largely collapsed, the Pilcher Tunnel lies east of Athens, near Canaanville. The Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad began constructing the tunnel in 1855 as part of the line that ran from Marietta to Athens. The line to Marietta opened for rail traffic in 1857 while the tunnel was still under construction. For years trains had to climb the hill, until September of 1865 when the tunnel opened. Not long after, in 1868, a fire damaged a large portion of the tunnel's wooden reinforcement. The railroad repaired the tunnel, replacing the wooden reinforcements with stone arches, but after the Baltimore and Ohio abandoned the line in the 1870s the tunnel fell into disuse and disrepair.