Remarkable Ohio

Results for: african-american-community-activism
100 N Seltzer St
Crestline

, OH

From 1942 until 1946, members of local churches and two railroad auxiliaries operated a community-based free canteen for passing troops on the platform of the Pennsylvania Railroad station. A grateful region honored approximately 1.2 million of the nation’s sons and daughters with welcoming words, sandwiches, pies, cakes, cookies, fruits, drinks, and other sundries. Staffed and funded entirely by volunteers, donations came from many communities in eight counties. Crestline’s children donated their pennies to pay for construction of a larger canteen in 1943. Volunteers met as many as 25 trains daily. They served troops on passenger trains, troop trains, and hospital trains and new recruits and returning veterans as well as troops from allied countries on their trips to and from Europe or the Pacific. Throughout World War II, many other canteens were created across the nation, including many in Ohio. The Crestline region’s reputation was enhanced immeasurably by the volunteer’s service.

Niner Hill Road
Oak Hill

, OH

Union Baptist Church, established in 1819, is one of Ohio’s early Black churches. Its pastor and members were active on the Underground Railroad from that early date. Between the 1840s-1860s Black churches along the route to and from nearby Poke Patch assisted over 200 escaped slaves. Members met in their homes until able to obtain a log cabin (circa 1879) on a Blackfork farm. In 1919, a larger church was built on land given by The Cambria Clay Products Company. The adjacent cemetery has over fifty veterans from the Civil, Spanish American, both World, Korean, and Vietnam wars. Donald Russell Long, laid to rest in 1966, received a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor. Union Baptist Church, the historic foundation of the Poke Patch-Blackfork community, celebrates an annual Church Anniversary to honor its legacy.

Across from 372 Main Street
Rutland

, OH

Surgeon and songwriter Brewster Higley VI was born in Rutland in 1823, the grandson of Brewster Higley IV, a veteran of the American Revolution and founder of Rutland. Higley began studying medicine at age 18 and opened his first practice in Pomeroy, moving to Indiana and then to Kansas in 1871. The following year he penned the words to the famous Western song, “Home on the Range.” This perennial favorite became the state song of Kansas in 1947. Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam, And the deer and the antelope play, Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, And the skies are not cloudy all day.

Zoarville

, OH

The Zoarville Station Bridge is a rare survivor of the earliest period of iron bridge construction in the United States, an era when unprecedented railroad expansion gave American bridge builders an international reputation for innovation. German immigrant Albert Fink first developed this truss design for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the early 1850s. Charles Shaler Smith, a prominent civil engineer and Fink’s former assistant, designed the bridge with patented features that improved on Fink’s original design. His firm, Smith, Latrobe & Company of Baltimore, Maryland, built this example in 1868 as a highway bridge over the Tuscarawas River in Dover. It was moved to this site in 1905 and abandoned in 1940. The Lebold family donated the bridge to the Camp Tuscazoar Foundation in 1997 for preservation and restoration. Of the hundreds of Fink Truss bridges built in the mid-1800s, the Zoarville Station Bridge is the last of its kind known to exist.

NE corner of Lake Avenue & 27th Street
Ashtabula

, OH

Near this site, an iron truss bridge collapsed into the Ashtabula River during a blizzard, plunging a passenger train with 160 on board into the gulf below. Nearly 100 people were killed in this, one of the worst train disasters in American history. The most well known passengers were Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876) and his wife, Lucy. A leading gospel songwriter, Bliss wrote more than 100 hymns including the music to “It Is Well With My Soul.” The unidentified were buried in a mass grave at Chestnut Grove Cemetery that is marked by a tall granite monument listing the names of those who died. The local hospital was founded as a result of this disaster and features an audio history in the James Lewis Smith Memorial Courtyard in front. The incident also led to reforms in bridge design and railroad safety.

NE corner of Gallia Pike and Hillcrest Road
Wheelsburg

, OH

The Hillcrest Children’s Home stood near this site in Wheelersburg and opened in 1921 to the first 57 of many children who would come to live there. A 50-room building intended for 100 children, Hillcrest often housed double to triple that number. The extended community supported Hillcrest, providing entertainment, sponsoring activities, and donating presents for the children whose times there left indelible memories. The home closed in 1970 and was razed the following year.

74 W. Church Street
Xenia

, OH

James Sr. and Rebecca (Junkin) Galloway moved with their family to Greene County from Kentucky in 1798, constructing their first home, a small log cabin. Galloway built the present structure around 1799 near the bend in the Little Miami River near what is now Goes Station on U.S. 68. In 1936, the Greene County Historical Society moved the home to the corner of Second and Monroe streets and then to the present site in 1965. The 1974 Xenia Tornado caused serious damage to the building, which has been restored and maintained by the historical society. James Sr. served as a hunter during the American Revolution, procuring game for the army, and while in Ohio, was the first treasurer of Greene County. His son James Jr. served as the first County Surveyor.

102 N. Marion Street
Waldo

, OH

The first road through Marion County followed the Scioto Trail of the Native Americans. This 120-foot wide strip through Wyandot territory led from Lower Sandusky (Fremont) to the Greenville Treaty Line. A confederation of Ohio tribes ceded it to the United States at the Treaty of Brownsville, Michigan, in 1808. During the War of 1812, the troops of General William Henry Harrison’s Army of the Northwest traveled this road en route to Fort Meigs and the British fort at Detroit, using it to transport supplies to the army and to the chain of forts and blockhouses that protected the road. After the American victory, this area was opened for settlement by the 1817 Treaty of the Maumee Rapids, and soldiers who discovered the area while traveling the Military Road were among the first settlers. (continued on other side)