Remarkable Ohio

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Intersection of Mt. Vernon Avenue and LWR Gamiber Road.
Mount Vernon

, OH

Named for the Native Americans who first dwelled here along both sides of the Kokosing River, the Little Indian Fields is adjacent to the site of the first white settlement of Knox County. Early white inhabitants of this land were Andrew and Catherine Craig and Benjamin and John Butler. John “Appleseed” Chapman planted an apple orchard near here at the confluence of the Kokosing River and Centre Run and in 1809 bought two lots in Mount Vernon. In 1808 the Ohio Legislature created Knox County and later designated Mount Vernon as the county seat.

50037 German Ridge Road
Beallsville

, OH

These structures stand as an exception to the usual wood frame or brick construction of farm buildings in this region in the late nineteenth century. The house and barn, built circa 1871 and 1883-1885 respectively, reflect Frederick Kindelberger’s (1835-1911) creativity and vision to instill a responsibility to the land. The Kindelberger family purchased the farm in 1846, after they had emigrated from Alsace-Lorraine. The walls of the barn were created using a distinct architectural design, whereas they taper from 25 inches thick at the base to 12 inches thick at the top. Stonemasons and family members labored using sandstone, which was quarried on the eighty-acre farm, to construct the buildings. Due to their stone construction, the house and barn were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

225 S. Columbus Street
Somerset

, OH

In April 1830 four Dominican sisters from St. Catherine’s, Kentucky, founded St. Mary’s Academy, the first Catholic school in Perry County. Bishop Edward Fenwick, first Bishop of Ohio, donated a small brick house and attached building situated on an acre of land for the school’s use. Classes began with forty students. The following year the sisters built a three-story structure with a dormitory for boarders; by the end of the Civil War, enrollment had increased to 134 students, and St. Mary’s gained recognition as one of the finest schools in Ohio. An 1866 fire destroyed the academy, and in 1885 the Dominican sisters reestablished the academy as a parish school. The present Holy Trinity School building dates to 1968.

Williamsport

, OH

In 1772-73 missionary David Jones visited Blue Jacket’s Town, a settlement of 12 cabins downstream on the east bank and Pickaweekee, a Shawnee town, on the west bank. Deercreek Methodist Circuit Deacon, Dr. Edward Tiffin, met settlers after 1798. Dr. Tiffin was later elected first governor of Ohio. A station of Virginia bounty-land settlers, “Williams Town,” assembled here around 1797. Mill sites, established before Pickaway County, flourished in the dense oak forest of Deercreek Township. Frontier hotels in Williamsport prospered due to the “healthful” sulphur springs.

On Allen Street between Lower and Upper Market Streets
Lebanon

, OH

Union Village, the first and largest Shaker (United Society of Believers) community west of the Allegheny Mountains, was established in 1805. Nearly 4,000 Shakers lived in Union Village, the last living here until 1920. They owned 4,500 acres of land with more than 100 buildings. Union Village was parent to other communities in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Georgia. Shakers were among the most successful religious communal societies in the United States. Believe in equality of men and women, separation of sexes, confession, communal ownership of property, and celibacy helped define their society. The name “Shaker” was derived from the shaking and dancing that were part of their worship. Union Village Shakers were successful entrepreneurs selling herbal medicines, garden seeds, and brooms. They also raised and bred Poland China hogs, Durham cattle, and Merino sheep.

2291 St. Johns Road
Maria Stein

, OH

The Sisters of the Precious Blood, founded in Switzerland by Maria Anna Brunner in 1834, began their ministry of prayer and education in Mercer County here at Maria Stein (Our Lady of the Rock). Father Francis de Sales Brunner, a Missionary of the Precious Blood, brought the Sisters to America in 1844, and in 1846 established the foundation at Maria Stein, named after a Benedictine Abbey in Switzerland. The convent was the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Precious Blood until 1923. Relics of the saints were brought to this site from Italy in 1875. The present convent and relic chapel (National Marian Shrine of the Holy Relics), built during 1890-1902, were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

4520 County Hwy 229
Fredericksburg

, OH

This area, known as Calmoutier, was an early French Catholic farming community founded in 1832 by Claude Druhot, who came from Calmoutier, Hte-Saône, France. Its first native, the four-month-old Claude Joseph Druhot, was baptized on 9 June 1833 by Fr. John Henni, who resided at St. John’s in Canton (and in 1854 became Milwaukee’s first bishop). In 1836 Fr. John Alleman, O.P., established St. Genevieve’s Mission (when it began to keep its own records) on land donated by the Pierson and Roussel families. The log chapel that was built (the first of four churches here) predated any Catholic church building in Cleveland, Akron, and Toledo.

1250 Middle Bellville Road
Mansfield

, OH

General Hedges was born in Ohio County, Virginia, and taught school in that state before coming to Ohio in 1803. As a Deputy Surveyor, he worked in Ashland, Holmes, Knox, Medina and Wayne Counties, and purchased 19,000 acres in future Richland County. Hedges was one of three founders of Mansfield in 1808. He served in the War of 1812. This unselfish Mason gave land for the Methodist Church, and Hedges School and Park. In February, 1818, he obtained the Deposition for Mansfield Lodge #35, Free and Accepted Masons. [Masonic Emblem]