Remarkable Ohio

Results for: swpmtx=f1ec47ba971ba6680240a258b5fc91e3&swpmtxnonce=44d0b5b827/23/&opera-house
1350 Brush Row Road
Wilberforce

, OH

In the early 1800s, William and Eleanor Kendall owned this land, known for its natural springs, beauty, and farmland. In 1850, Elias Drake, lawyer and former speaker in the Ohio General Assembly, purchased the property and named it Tawana or Xenia Springs. He developed a health resort hotel surrounded by summer cottages, all of which were completed the following year. “Tawana” is believed to be Shawnee for “clear or gold water,” alluding to the clear, mineral-rich springs. From its beginnings, the resort did not fare well as it was popular among southern planters who, much to the consternation of nearby antislavery sentiment, brought slave entourages whenever they came. In October 1855, negotiations for its sale opened with the Cincinnati Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which purchased Tawana Springs, including 54 acres and the hotel and cottages, for $13,000 to establish a university for African Americans. (Continued on other side)

Across from 11 Columbia Street
Jackson

, OH

William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States. Following McKinley’s assassination in 1901, the Village of Jackson dedicated this triangle of land as a park in his honor. Earlier in the nineteenth century, a small school had occupied the plot. In 1902, a local commission was appointed to oversee the development of a park. It was not, however, until 2012 that the Jackson Garden Lovers Club finished the commission’s long overdue work. The park was dedicated in 2013, 111 years after it began.

10095 Wadsworth Road (OH 57)
Marshallville

, OH

Zimmerman-Bury Octagon House. The Zimmerman-Bury Octagon House was built by Ezekiel B. Zimmerman (1843-1935) and Francis B. Hess Zimmerman (1848-1920) in 1883. Ezekiel graduated from Smithville Academy and was an avid reader. One of Ezekiel’s sons, Ernest Zimmerman (1888-1973), remembered that his father had encountered Orson Fowler’s manifesto A Home for All, or the Gravel Wall and Octagon Mode of Building (1853) and surmised that his father patterned the house after Section V of the book. The approximate 99,000 bricks comprising the house were made on the property, creating exterior walls and a center stairway which are three bricks or about 12 inches thick. Ernest noted the house’s “Russian Tin” roof, referring to its metal standing seam construction. The roof and architectural ornament make the house stand out compared to other octagon structures in Ohio. (Continued on other side)

315 E. College Street
Oberlin

, OH

Jabez Lyman Burrell (1806-1900), originally from Massachusetts, built this house in 1852. Burrell made his living as a cattleman and farmer, but devoted much of his time serving the cause of abolitionism, helping slaves, who had escaped the South, get to Sheffield and from there to Lorain and across Lake Erie to Canada. He was also devoted to equal education for all, providing funding to a freedmen’s school in Selma, Alabama, and serving as a trustee of the Oberlin Collegiate Institute, well known for educating African Americans and women. From 1884 to 1934, this was the home of Henry Churchill King (1858-1934), who was the president of Oberlin College from 1902-1927. The Kings added the porches and rear wing and made their home a social center for the college and community. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a City of Oberlin Historic Landmark.

Millikan Avenue, Eyman Park
Washington Court House

, OH

Granville T. Woods was a pivotal African American inventor during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Woods’ invention of the telegraph device that enabled railway companies to know the location of each of their trains. This new technology greatly enhanced train scheduling and reduced the frequency of fatal collisions throughout the railway industry. From 1878 through 1880 Woods was a railroad locomotive engineer employeed by the Springfield, Jackson and Pomeroy Railroad Company and later by the Dayton and Southeastern Railroad. With frequent stops in Washington Courthouse and extensive leisure time, Woods learned telegraphy from a local telegraph operator. (Continued on other side)

Central State University, Arnett Drive
Wilberforce

, OH

At the turn of the twentieth century, increased enrollment in the Combined Normal and Industrial Department at Wilberforce University (which later became Central State University) spurred construction of new teaching and dormitory facilities. Galloway Hall, which included an auditorium and a tower with chimes and a clock, was completed in 1906. Many famous personalities performed in Galloway Hall’s auditorium, including the renown opera singer Leontyne Price; Robert McFerrin, the first African American male lead with the New York Metropolitan Opera; actors Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis; comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory; and composer and conductor Duke Ellington. Noted authors and intellectuals addressed audiences there, including historian John Hope Franklin; writer, poet, actor, and playwright Maya Angelou; Lerone Bennett, author, historian, and editor of EBONY Magazine; and writer and essayist James Baldwin. (continued on other side)

601 W Benton St
Wapakoneta

, OH

Stephen and Viola Armstrong moved their family, including 13-year-old Neil and his younger siblings, June and Dean, to the house at 601 West Benton Street in 1944. Here, Neil explored his fascination with flying by reading aviation magazines and building model airplanes. Neil completed flying lessons at nearby Port Koneta airport and earned his pilot’s license on his sixteenth birthday, even before receiving a driver’s license. Neil graduated from Blume High School in 1947 and studied aeronautical engineering at Purdue University on a Navy scholarship. The Korean conflict interrupted his studies, but he left the Navy as a decorated combat pilot, flying 78 missions. After graduating from Purdue in 1955, Neil worked at what would become the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. Soon after he became a test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base in California. (Continued on other side)

Otterbein Cemetery, 123 S Grove Street entrance
Westerville

, OH

Song writer and minister of the United Brethren Church, Hanby was an Otterbein College graduate, class of 1858, known throughout the world for the inspiring songs, “Darling Nellie Gray,” “Up on the Housetop,” and “Who is He in Yonder Stall.” Hanby House in Westerville is maintained as a memorial honoring Benjamin and his father, Bishop William Hanby.