Remarkable Ohio

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13 S. Mulberry Street
Mount Vernon

, OH

Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, the lone religious property within the Mt. Vernon Downtown Historic District, served what became only the second African American congregation in the city. The cornerstone for 13 South Mulberry Street was laid October 17, 1915, and a dedication service was celebrated in March 1916. Mt. Calvary grew out of the Black Baptist traditions brought by Southern refugees during the Great Migration. Although dwindling membership and resources closed the building, it provided Mt. Vernon’s African American community with a vital space of worship, communion, mutual assistance, asylum, social support, and community celebration for almost a century.

100 Walnut Street
East Liverpool

, OH

Fawcettstown, later to become East Liverpool, marked the first Ohio community to be encountered by early river travelers as they headed toward new challenges and new lives in the expanding nation. Indian canoes, flatboats, and steamboats carried increasing traffic, both passenger and freight, along these Ohio “Gateway” shores. Many of these early craft were built locally and local residents served as crewmen. Products from farms and ceramics from this city’s pioneer potteries were shipped from this site. The wharf area also served as a landing place for many of the early English potters who came here to ply their trades and, in the process, create a defining industry. The river continues to play an important role in industrial and recreational capacities.

325 Ohio Street
Huron

, OH

Ohio’s oldest continuing summer theatre, the Huron Playhouse has been housed at McCormick Middle School for its entire history. Dr. Frederick G. Walsh (1915-1999) of the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) Speech Department founded the theatre in 1949. Huron met Walsh’s expectations for an attractive site for the playhouse, and Huron Schools Superintendent R.L. McCormick (1904-1978) offered the use of this school. The curtain opened on the first Huron Playhouse production, Norman Krasna’s hit Broadway comedy John Loves Mary, on June 29, 1949. With persisting support from BGSU, actors and alumni, and the local community, the acclaimed Playhouse has provided theatrical experience for thousands of students and entertainment for generations of Huron residents.

1050 N. Aurora Road
Aurora

, OH

Geauga Lake, a scenic destination for visitors to northeast Ohio, was initially named “Giles Pond” after settler Sullivan Giles (1809-1880). In 1856, the predecessor of the Erie Railroad stopped at “Pond Station,” spurring the area’s growth. In the 1880s, locals established picnic grounds, a dance hall, and other facilities for those seeking a country getaway. Picnic Lake Park, later Geauga Lake Park, opened in 1887 and thereafter offered rides, a roller rink, photo gallery, billiard hall and bowling alley, among other attractions. In 1888, the Kent House hotel opened on the southeast side of the lake. In the century that followed, more attractions were added, including SeaWorld of Ohio, and the park expanded. In 2007, the melodic sounds of the carousel and the echoing screams from the “Big Dipper” roller coaster ceased when the park closed. (Continued on other side)

Across from 4750 Cincinnati Brookville Rd/OH 126
Shandon

, OH

The foundation for the first Welsh settlement in Ohio was laid on June 29, 1801, when William and Morgan Gwilym purchased land in what is now Morgan Township at the Cincinnati Land Office. The Welsh, who settled in Pennsylvania beginning in the late eighteenth century, moved westward and settled here in 1802. This area was also the major terminus for the 1818 migration from Montgomeryshire and Cardiganshire in Wales. In 1803 a Congregational Church was organized and services were held in members’ homes or outdoors. A brick Meetinghouse, complete with a Welsh death door leading to the cemetery, was constructed in 1824. The building now serves as the Community House. The present brick church was built in 1854. For many years, the library, formed in 1852, was housed in the New London Special School District building that stood on this site. (Continued on other side)

The Wilds, 14000 International Road
Cumberland

, OH

Near this location stood the settlement of African American families known as “The Lett Settlement.” The Lett Settlement was a self-sustaining community of mixed race families, including the Caliman, Guy, and Lett families. The families had formed ties through marriage and common background during the mid-1700s in Virginia and Maryland. These early African American pioneer families came to Ohio as “free people of color,” and began acquiring land in Meigs Township, Muskingum County, and surrounding townships in adjacent counties during the 1820s. They were soon joined by the Brown, Clifford, Earley, Simpson, Tate, and Pointer families. The families of the Lett Settlement were land owners and tax payers in Ohio before the Civil War and challenged the State of Ohio for the right to vote and for access to education during the 1840s, 1850s, and 1860s. (Continued on other side)

180 W Maple Street
Johnstown

, OH

In 1810, Dr. Oliver Bigelow from Lansing, New York purchased a 4,000 acre tract of land in Monroe Township for $10,000. Dr. Bigelow planned to build a town. After mapping out streets, the town square, and a cemetery, he named the village Johnstown. Dr. Bigelow was the town’s first medical doctor and the first mayor. He died on November 5, 1817 and was buried in Bigelow Cemetery. Located in the southwest corner of the village, the cemetery became the resting place for more than 275 early residents as well as veterans of three wars. Their grave markers, though weathered by the seasons, serve as a reminder of their great contributions to their community and the nation.

220 N. Third Street
Dennison

, OH

An October 23, 1927, ceremony was held for the laying of the cornerstone for the Dennison High School Building. It opened in the fall of 1928 and was called “Angel’s Castle” in honor of school superintendent William Hiram Angel. The building was designed by J.K. Griffin, an architect from Canton, Ohio, in a style that has the elements of Collegiate Gothic that was popular for school and college buildings during the early twentieth century. The distinguishing architectural features of the entrance towers enhance the school’s prominent location above the street level. Dennison High School is an important visual landmark in the community, as its towers are visible from the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods. It has retained its integrity of location, materials, design, and association and conveys the early twentieth century ideals of education that the original design of the building was intended to inspire. (Continued on other side)