Remarkable Ohio

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13 S. Mulberry Street
Mt Vernon

, OH

Ellamae Simmons, born and raised in Mount Vernon, became the first African American woman physician to specialize in asthma, allergy, and immunology in the country. Graduating in the top of her high school class, she dreamed of attending Ohio State University to become a nurse but was rejected as that program “did not have the facilities for training” the young black girl. Whenever Simmons encountered a barrier in life she refused to accept rejection, tenaciously steered the course of her own life, and blazed new trails for others. She ultimately earned degrees in nursing (Hampton, 1940), pre-med biological sciences (OSU, 1948), social work (OSU, 1950), and medicine (Howard University, 1959). Dr. Simmons again broke gender and racial barriers when hired by Kaiser Permanente in 1965. She practiced there until retiring in 1989. Simmons died aged 101.

Toledo

, OH

East Toledo, early home of Ottawa Indians and originally part of Oregon Township, was annexed to the city in 1853. Peter Navarre, fur trader and War of 1812 scout, was a well-known pioneer resident. A post office named Utah was established in 1851 and located on Front Street near Oak Street, then the commercial center of the East Side.

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.

6181 Ross Avenue
Fairfield

, OH

Elisha Morgan purchased 48.6 acres in Fairfield Township, part of the Symmes Purchase, in 1817. The Farm Mansion was built shortly after he settled the land. The house incorporates two prevalent architectural styles in southwest Ohio in the nineteenth century. The original front portion is an example of Federal style architecture while the 1858 rear addition represents the Greek Revival style. Built earlier than most farmsteads in the township, the Mansion is a rare example of an early farmhouse that has survived despite suburban development. The Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Immediately N of 456 Edwards Street
Youngstown

, OH

Oscar D. Boggess (1832-1907) was born in Virginia, the son of a slave and her master. He and his family were granted freedom in the will of his father and master. The will was contested up to the United States Supreme Court, which upheld Boggess’ freedom. Boggess moved to Pennsylvania at age 20, and during the Civil War, joined the 43rd United States Colored Troops. He earned the Butler Medal of Honor for bravery at the Battle of the Crater near Petersburg, Virginia, in July 1864. Boggess moved to Youngstown after the war, and worked as a stonemason. He was a charter member of Tod Post 29, Grand Army of the Republic, in Youngstown, and a co-founder of the Oak Hill Avenue African Methodist Episcopal Church, the city’s first African American religious congregation. The Boggess home, formerly located near this site, hosted the church’s first meetings in 1870.

Seminary Street
Berea

, OH

For more than ninety years, this area was the heart and soul of Berea’s sandstone quarries. In the early 1830s, John Baldwin discovered that the area’s sandstone deposits made superb grindstones and building stones. In the 1840s, thriving sandstone quarries developed and became Berea’s lifeblood. Searching for the “American Dream,” German, Irish, Italian, Hungarian, and Polish immigrants, among others, came here to work. The quarries eventually encompassed nearly 250 acres and consumed the fashionable houses of Berea’s “South Side” and the buildings of Baldwin University. The Cuyahoga County Court House, Ohio’s Capitol, and Canada’s parliament buildings are among many structures in North America and Europe constructed of Berea sandstone. Decreasing demand for sandstone and the Great Depression closed the last of Berea’s quarries in the mid-1930s.

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)

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.