Berea - Puffer Belly  LbNA # 45256 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateMar 5 2009
LocationBerea, OH
Found By Wee Walkers
Last Found May 10 2009
Hike Distance?

It appears that Puffer Belly has found a new home. Perhaps it is riding the rails to some far off place.

I have put it on my list of boxes to replace.


You will be looking for a two cup (5x3x3½”) lock & lock container that is covered with camouflage duct tape.

MATERIALS NEEDED: The box contains only a logbook and a stamp. Please bring your own Stamp-pad or Inking pens as well as a writing instrument.


DIFFICULTY: Recovery of this box will require round trip travel of only a few feet with minimal elevation changes.
Hike Length: 0.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 2 feet


CAUTION: This location is within 20 feet of an active high speed rail line. There are no intervening barriers. Children and pets must be closely supervised.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Our family has resided in Berea since 1980, but we have only recently developed an interest in letterboxing.

Although we are very fortunate that the area is rich in letterboxing opportunities, I find that few of them have themes that are specific to the Berea area.

I am now placing a number of letterboxes featuring local culture, points of interest and history.

This, my fourth Berea box, is planted to document the Old Union Station.



The Berea Union Depot was a significant hub in the railroad networks of northeast Ohio from the time of its construction in 1876 until its closing in 1958. It is an unusual, but well-designed example of Victorian Gothic Architecture.

With the development of an expanding stone quarry industry in the area, Berea and its railroad facilities grew rapidly and by the early 1870s developers and townspeople alike called for construction of a new passenger and freight station.

When this Berea sandstone station was completed and then dedicated on May 3, 1876, the Cleveland Plain Dealer called the building "the finest facility outside the big cities."

From 1958 until 1980, the building remained closed until it began a second life, restored as a restaurant and gathering place.

It was first operated as “The Puffer Belly”. The success of this operation led to expansion. Two additional units of the same name were soon in operation in other Ohio communities. Then the original owner sold them and a new name was sought for this operation. It became the popular “Station” Restaurant. Recently the owner, faced with loss of business due to road construction which will last several years, elected to close this operation and begin a new dining enterprise in Medina. We miss this first class operation and wish Bob good luck.

Some interesting photos and information about this location and other aspects of early Berea Transportation can be seen at: A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE



The union station is located in the north end of Berea on Depot St near its junction with Front Street. Depot St. also joins North Rocky River Drive just south of the railroad underpass.

If you drive into Berea from the North use the Berea Freeway (RT 237)past the Airport and IX Center. As you enter the city there are two traffic lights very close together. At the second light the road splits. Take the left fork for Front Street. As you cross the second set of RR tracks you will see the station on your right.

NOTE: Construction work is now in progress at the intersection of Depot Street and Front Street. Front Street is closed to traffic just North of the Intersection so if approaching from the North take the Right hand fork as you come into town. Doing this you will find yourself on N. Rocky River Dr. Continue on and turn left onto Depot street as soon as you drive under the RR underpass. Rocky River Dr. can also be reached off of Bagley Road. Depot Street (Lou Groza Blvd East of this intersection) is now open it's full length.

While operating as a restaurant additional seating space was desired. In order to preserve the character of the building a Railroad dining car was brought in to provide this additional seating rather than modifying the station house.

Park your car by the wooden platform which was built at the west end of the dining car.

I wish to repeat that you can’t be too careful here. Please stand well clear of the tracks. Things which can hurt you can and do frequently fall off the trains. Please DO NOT walk on, cross, or allow children to play on the tracks The CSX tracks (the near pair) are built for 70 mph -- and the trains often run that fast! They are less than 20 feet away

The assemblies that include the wheels of a train car are known as trucks. Walk around the platform to the back side of the car. Look between the shackle springs of the truck on the dining car which is nearest to the air conditioning compressor to locate “Puffer Belly”.

This is a busy area and you can be seen from many directions. Please exercise caution not to be observed while getting and placing the box. I suggest that you take the box to your car to accomplish your stamping activity and then replace it hiding it well.


Please let me know the status of this box when you find it.
It is helpful if you log your find both here and on Atlas Quest

I hope that you enjoy this adventure.