Before the railroad, there are indications that Silver Grove existed as a retreat from the city. That was common in those days when the manufacturing in the city was everywhere, and the air wasn't fit to breath and the water needed to be boiled. Several resorts sprung up, up and down the Ohio, where people could go, relax, breath clean air, and maybe drink some beer. Silver Grove was not a town, per se, but a “grove,“ not unlike a private park, with events, vendors, and other attractions. Local lore and common sense, while not absolute proof, suggest that the grove was predominantly made of Silver Maples.
The C.& O. was frustrated by the City of Covington. They needed more space, but buying the land they needed would have been expensive, and maybe not even possible to get. They thought about investing more money at Russell, near Ashland, but ultimately decided, c. 1909, to keep the roundhouse in Covington for light maintenance, and buy the land at Silver Grove for a big yard. They planned a yard big enough to hold 3,000 cars, and an Industrial World article on May 9, 1910, reported “Two steam shovels are being placed in operation at Brent, Ky., to clear a million square yards of area which will embrace the new yards of the Chesapeake and Ohio, at Silver Grove.”
They would spend an estimated $900,000, and not only build a yard, but a “model town, which will become a suburb of Cincinnati.”
In the process of putting Silver Grove on the map as a bustling center of industry everything went smoothly until the railroad invited their people to move out and buy lots and prepare to make their homes in the “model town.” The workers, most of whome lived in Covington, objected. To solve the issue, an electric rail car was purchased and put into service hauling workers from Silver Grove to Covington and back. Known locally as “The Chippie,” it made 12 trips per day, in addition to the three regularly scheduled passenger trains that plied the route.
There are numerous citations in the national trade magazines of c. 1909-1912 about the building of the yard at Silver Grove. Go to Google Books and search for “Silver Grove” (use the quotes) and Ky, or Kentucky, and you can read a bunch of them.