After finally calling it quits and getting home, it took a few hours for me to defrost and even think about my finds. I dug out the tag and knocked off the dirt and then rinsed it off. Wow! A baggage check, and a super interesting early Ohio one at that.
Railroad baggage checks were typically brass and came in pairs. Tags like these were first used by railroads in the 1850s. These metal checks were replaced by paper tags starting in the 1880s and by World War I the metal checks were generally out of use. One tag would be affixed to a passenger's luggage with a leather strap and the other tag was retained by the passenger. The star on this tag indicates it was the check the passenger retained.
Railroad history is a confusing business, between mergers and leases, it's hard to figure out who ran what and when. Sometimes lines went by their "old" names, even after a merger. Fortunately there aren't many cities in Ohio that start with X, so tracking down the cities the initials stood for wasn't too challenging. The initials on the tag, C&X&D&X&BRR, stand for the Columbus and Xenia Railroad and the Dayton, Xenia and Belpre Railroad. The C&X opened in 1850, the DX&B opened in 1858 and was leased by the C&X starting in January 1859. The C&X purchased the DX&B in February 1865. The C&X became part of the Little Miami Railroad in 1868. In 1869 it was leased to the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis Railroad, and finally through that lease the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Knowing this particular site, and with the railroad information, I'm sure the tag dates to probably the earlier half of 1860-1870. A really cool relic and piece of railroad history.