The line began in the mid 1860's and was operated by the Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad Company. Over the years it became the Sandusky, Dayton & Cincinnati Railroad Company. In 1866, the railroad sold and became the Sandusky & Cincinnati Railroad Company. Then in 1868, the name of the company was changed to the Cincinnati, Sandusky & Cleveland Railroad. In 1881, the line was leased to the Indianapolis, Bloomington & Western Railroad Company and eventually became the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad.
The railroad's western terminus was at Findlay somewhere near where Crawford Street dead-ends into East Street near downtown Findlay. From Findlay the line ran east for a short distance crossing Blanchard Street before turning in a southeast direction through the fairgrounds and passing immediately south of the existing Findlay Reservoirs to Vanlue and then to Carey. The total length of rail line from Findlay to Carey was roughly fifteen miles. The Findlay-to-Vanlue portion of the line was abandoned in 1931. The Vanlue-to-Carey portion was eventually abandoned sometime during the 1960's.
Most all traces of the ROW through Findlay have been consumed by urban and residential development. Up until the early 2000's the old steel rail bridge could still be seen just west of Blanchard Street over Eagle Creek. It has since been removed. The old ROW can still be seen southeast of CR 180 and CR 205 as well as in the town of Vanlue where most of the old ROW has been turned into village green space. Portions of the ROW can still be seen from Vanlue into the town of Carey.