Remarkable Ohio

Results for: black-history
507 N Cherry Street
West Union

, OH

John Graham (1798-1849), pastor of the West Union Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church from 1841-1849, erected the house he called Pleasant Hill in 1842. An outspoken abolitionist who preached against the evils of slavery, Graham used his house as a station on the Underground Railroad. “Black Joe” Logan, an escaped slave who lived nearby, conducted runaways from Pleasant Hill to stations north. Reverend Graham died of Asiatic cholera in 1849 and is buried in the old West Union South Cemetery.

NE corner of Bellpoint Road & OH 257
Bellpoint

, OH

In the early part of the twentieth century, most small villages in Ohio focused community pride on the accomplishments of their high school’s athletic teams. The Bellpoint basketball teams of the 1920s were a great example. In 1922-1925, the Bellpoint Buccaneers participated in the Ohio State Invitational Tournament to determine the state basketball champion. In 1922, they participated, and then, in 1923 the team lost by a single point to Plattsburg. The Bellpoint teams of 1924 and 1925 were victorious, earning the title of the State Basketball Champions. It was a much slower game in those days with a “center jump” after each score and forty points scored was quite a feat. The Bellpoint High School no longer stands but the accomplishments of these “Cinderella” teams remain an important source of pride for the Bellpoint community. These events are an integral part of the history of Delaware County.

218 East Avenue
Elyria

, OH

Monteith Hall was built in 1835 as the residence of Reverend John Monteith (1788-1868) and family. Before coming to Elyria as the first superintendent of the new high school, Rev. Monteith was an educator and minister in Detroit, Michigan. He was instrumental in founding the University of Michigan, originally located in Detroit, and became its first president. William Gates, Rev. Monteith’s grandson, enlarged Monteith Hall in 1897. Monteith Hall was a station on the Underground Railroad on the route that extended from Oberlin. A tunnel, which ran from the basement of the home to the Black River, was used to help slaves escape to the shore of Lake Erie. Rev. Monteith managed the network on the southern shore of Lake Erie, and aided fugitive slaves in boarding ships to cross the lake to Canada.

103 West Ohio Avenue
Mt. Vernon

, OH

Wayman Chapel was dedicated in 1874 as part of Ohio’s Third District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The first Black church in Knox County, it began in 1870 under the guidance of Rev. James A. Ralls. The congregation met in local homes and church basements until completing their red brick church at 102 West Ohio Avenue in 1876. Additions made 1947-1948 included an upgraded facade. For more than a century, Wayman Chapel provided an educational, cultural, and spiritual hub for its members as well as the wider Black community of Mt. Vernon.

N Howard Street and OH 59
Akron

, OH

The center of African-American culture in Akron during the mid-20th century, Howard Street was home to many of the city’s black-owned business and entertainment establishments, and provided an atmosphere in which minority-owned businesses could thrive. Attracted to the vitality of the neighborhood, entrepreneur George Mathews (1887-1982) established a barbershop here in 1920 and in 1925 opened the adjoining Mathews Hotel. The hotel quickly became the anchor of the Howard Street district. Mathews’ success allowed him to endow a scholarship fund at the University of Akron in 1964.

Belpre

, OH

The history of Belpre and the Ohio River are inextricably linked. Settlers from New England, including farmers and Revolutionary War veterans, arrived via flatboats at “Belle-Prairie” (beautiful prairie) in 1789. Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery paid a visit in keelboats in 1803 as they began their epic journey to the Pacific. Belpre’s farmers raised fruits, vegetables, and grain. Packet boats carried flour, livestock, vinegar, and passengers down river, some all the way to New Orleans and thence throughout the world. (Continued on other side)

1827 Erie Street S
Massillon

, OH

During the Civil War in 1863, twenty-year-old Massillon farmer Robert Pinn enlisted in the 5th Regiment, Company I, United States Colored Troops (USCT) at his first opportunity, saying, “I was very eager to become a soldier, in order to prove by my feeble efforts the black man’s rights to untrammeled manhood.” At the battle for New Market Heights in the 1864 Richmond campaign, he assumed command of his company after his unit’s officers were all killed or wounded – and was himself wounded three times. For his meritorious conduct Pinn received the Congressional Medal of Honor, one of four African Americans so honored from the 5th USCT. Following the war he attended Oberlin College and became a successful Massillon attorney. He died in 1911 and is interred here.

7669 Stagers Loop
Delaware

, OH

Known as the “Halfway House,” the Gooding House and Tavern was built by George B. Gooding halfway between the towns of Worthington and Delaware in 1827. Its location was influenced by construction of the Columbus and Sandusky Turnpike that was chartered by the State of Ohio the year before. Also known as the “Mud Pike,” the turnpike was slow and difficult for travelers and could take nearly a day to travel 10 miles. The Gooding House was the perfect place for stagecoach drivers to change teams of horses and for travelers to rest and have refreshments. George Gooding also prospered as a farmer with over 1,000 acres of land. This stately brick farmstead remained in the Gooding family for 175 years with each succeeding generation adding its imprint on the property. The Gooding House and Tavern was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 and restored in 2007.