Remarkable Ohio

Results for: black-history
8 Highland Avenue
Chillicothe

, OH

This classic Gothic Revival home built in the early 1850s, was one of Ohio’s early wineries with terraced hillside vineyards overlooking the city of Chillicothe. From 1919 until his death in 1966, it served as the home and working studio of noted American craftsman, artist, and historian Dard Hunter. A major artistic contributor to the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early twentieth century, Hunter gained international recognition when in 1916 he became the first individual in the history of printing to produce all aspects of a book by hand. Eight of the twenty books he wrote on the history of paper were printed at this site. Hunter is regarded as the world’s leading authority on the history of paper and his artistic achievements have had an enduring impact on American Graphic Arts.

3398 Old Weymouth Rd
Medina

, OH

On January 19, 1835, Reverend Steven Barnes led sixteen men and women to establish the Weymouth Congregational Church at the home of Lathrop Seymour. From its beginnings, the congregation opposed slavery. In 1848, it adopted resolutions condemning the “peculiar institution” and asserting that Black people are “our brother[s] ‘made one blood’ with us.” In 1853, the church hosted public meetings featuring the crusading abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. A notable example of Greek Revival architecture, the “meetinghouse” itself was built in 1835-’36 and has become the oldest extant church building in Medina County. The porch with Doric columns was added in 1854. The Historical American Building Survey documented the building in 1936. Struggling as a Congregational denomination, the sactuary became the home of the non-denominational Weymouth Community Church in 1920, remaining so until 2018.

6601 Lexington Avenue
Cleveland

, OH

League Park opened on May 1, 1891, with the legendary Cy Young pitching for the Cleveland Spiders in their win over the Cincinnati Redlegs. The park remained the home of Cleveland’s professional baseball and football teams until 1946. In 1920 the Cleveland Indians’ Elmer Smith hit the first grand slam home run, and Bill Wamby executed the only unassisted triple play, in World Series history. Babe Ruth hit his 500th home run over the park’s short right field wall in 1929. With the park as home field, the Cleveland Buckeyes won the Negro World Series in 1945.

N of the intersection of OH 73 and Retreat Lane
Oxford

, OH

Zachariah Price DeWitt was born of a Dutch family in New Jersey in 1768. With brothers Jacob and Peter, he migrated to Kentucky where, in 1790, he married Elizabeth Teets, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1774. By 1805 all three brothers had settled in Ohio near Four Mile (Talawanda) Creek. Here Zachariah and Elizabeth raised corn, hogs, and eventually, nine children. Zachariah became a prominent community leader, operating a sawmill, building houses in Oxford, serving as Masonic Lodge secretary, and commanding a rifle company during the War of 1812. Tradition has it that Elizabeth wore a black sunbonnet to cover a scar from having been scalped as a child in Kentucky. Elizabeth died in 1843, followed by Zachariah in 1851. Both are buried in Darrtown Cemetery.

727 Sandusky St
Perrysburg

, OH

Sandusky Street (U.S. Highway 20) is the former Maumee and Western Reserve Turnpike. Native American tribes northwest of the Ohio River ceded the right of way for this 46-mile road to the federal government in the Treaty of Brownstown in 1808. This narrow strip ran in a nearly straight line from the lower Maumee River rapids through the Black Swamp to the boundary of the Western Reserve, and included one mile of land on either side of the 120-foot wide road. In 1823 Congress gave the land to the state of Ohio, and a crude roadway was cleared by 1827. Land sales financed roadbuilding and maintenance. Notoriously impassible during the wet seasons, the “Mud Pike” was surfaced with gravel in 1838.

20 West Vine Street
Oberlin

, OH

Reverend John Jay Shipherd and Philo Penfield Stewart envisioned an educational institution and colony dedicated to the glory of God and named in honor of John Frederick Oberlin, a pastor in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. Early colonists signed a covenant pledging themselves to the plainest living and highest thinking. Oberlin (known as the Oberlin Collegiate Institute until 1850 when it was renamed Oberlin College) was the first coeducational institution to grant bachelor’s degrees to women and historically has been a leader in the education of African Americans. In fact, African American and white children studied together in the town’s one-room schoolhouse, in defiance of Ohio’s “Black laws” forbidding this practice. The schoolhouse, built 1836-1837, is part of the Oberlin Heritage Center.

417 Main Street
Huron

, OH

Lake Erie commerce has played a central role in the development of Huron. Important among Huron’s maritime industries were shipbuilding and commercial fishing. The city’s shipbuilding industry dates to the first decades of the nineteenth century. Shipyards were located on the Huron River’s west bank, slightly north of this marker, and also upstream at Fries Landing. Among the vessels built at Huron were the Great Western, constructed in 1838 and the first lake ship to have above-deck cabins, and the Golden Age, which, at 286 feet, was the largest craft on the Great Lakes when built in 1886. Huron shipbuilding declined as the nineteenth century drew to a close. Commercial fishing emerged thereafter, serving as Huron’s economic cornerstone for over fifty years. Huron’s fishing enterprises included the Huron, Kishman, Scott, and Zimmerman fish companies. By 1950, however, polluted lake waters ravished the once-lucrative industry. Although shipbuilding and commercial fishing are no longer a part of Huron’s daily life, they each had a profound effect upon the community’s growth for nearly two centuries.

Freedom Street and White Street
Garrettsville Village

, OH

“I thought of the great bandits of the old West [like] the James Brothers…They knocked over trains, and I was going to pull the same stunt,” exclaimed notorious gangster Alvin “Creepy” Karpis. On November 7, 1935, Karpis and his bandits held up Erie Train #626 at this former location of the Garrettsville Train Depot, escaping with over $46,000 in cash and securities. Because of this last great train heist in American history, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and his Government Men (G-Men) improved their surveillance methods to capture Karpis. Once labeled “Public Enemy Number One,” Alvin Karpis became Hoover’s first arrest on May 1, 1936. Local legend holds that FBI agents flooded this town searching for Karpis and his accomplices, and this led the James A. Garfield School District to adopt the G-Men as the mascot for its athletic teams.