Remarkable Ohio

Results for: natural-history
‘Ted Lewis Park, North Court Street
Circleville

, OH

One of the outstanding American showmen of the twentieth century, Ted Lewis was born Theodore Leopold Friedman in Circleville to a prominent business family. Stagestruck at an early age, Lewis began performing in cabarets, vaudeville shows, and nightclubs throughout Ohio at age 17, and moved to New York in 1915. Ted opened his own cabaret in 1918. With his animated stage persona, his clarinet, and his trademark cane and battered top hat, Lewis enjoyed a wide appeal with his jazz age audiences. His “Me and My Shadow” act exemplified his popularity during the 1920s, at which time he was the highest-paid entertainer in the business. His career spanned over six decades, from vaudeville to television. Lewis died in New York in 1971.

US 127
Fayette

, OH

After the War of 1812, the United States Congress proposed two million acres of military bounty land for the Michigan Territory. To survey the land, the meridian had to first be established. U.S. Surveyor General Edward Tiffin created the meridian based on the western line of the Treaty of Detroit (1807). He contracted with Deputy Surveyor Benjamin Hough in April 1815 to begin the survey for $3 per mile. Taking a reading from Polaris (the North Star), Hough, Alexander Holmes, and 11 crew members surveyed the line due north from Fort Defiance. The difficult terrain they encountered temporarily halted all surveys in the territory and ultimately led to the bounty land being transferred to the Illinois and Missouri Territories.

1312 Granville Pike
Lancaster

, OH

The design for the fifty star flag was born here at Lancaster High School in 1958 when student Robert Heft designed it for a history class project. Reasoning that since Alaska was seeking admission as a state and that Hawaii would soon follow, Heft constructed a fifty star flag from an old 48-star flag using blue cloth to replace the field and white adhesive for the stars. When Heft received a B- on his project, his teacher, Stanley Pratt, promised that he would raise the grade if he submitted the flag design to their congressman, Walter Moeller. Moeller in turn passed the flag design on to the chairman of the Congressional Flag Design Committee, who also liked it. President Dwight D. Eisenhower made the design the official American flag in 1960. It is the only flag in American history to have flown over the White House for more than five administrations.

Fostoria

, OH

Fostoria’s glass era began when natural gas was discovered in the mid 1880s at “Godsend,” five miles west of town. Aided by former governor Charles Foster, Fostoria attracted more than a dozen companies that manufactured utilitarian and decorative glassware from 1887 to 1920. These companies produced windows, bottles, tableware, lamps, shades, and electric incandescent lamps. The Fostoria Glass Company was the best-known manufacturer of glass in Fostoria. From 1887 to 1891, it made a wide variety of decorative glass including its famous “Victoria” pattern tableware. Even after the company relocated to Moundsville, West Virginia following the depletion of natural gas in the area, it retained the name “Fostoria, ” which is still synonymous with excellence in the glass-making art.

New Boston

, OH

A native of New Boston, Vernal G. Riffe Jr. served the 92nd House District in the Ohio General Assembly from 1959 to 1994. As Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1974 through 1994, he served longer than any other speaker in the state’s history. Widely regarded as Ohio’s most influential legislator of the late 20th century, Riffe, a Democrat, built effective political alliances across party lines. A powerful advocate for southern Ohio, he was instrumental in the growth and expansion of Shawnee State University.

90 North Street
Clifton

, OH

This historic village was a hub for early Ohio industry and travel. The natural geography of the area provided ideal conditions for the establishment of a variety of mills. Col. Robert Patterson, an ancestor of the founder of National Cash Register in Dayton, John Patterson, chose Clifton for the site of a woolen mill, which furnished material for the American army during the War of 1812. Davis Mill, established in 1802 and in operation today as Clifton Mill, produced meal and flour for Civil War troops. A major stop on the stagecoach trail, “The Accommodation Line,” which ran from Springfield to Cincinnati from 1827 to 1840, the village bustled with the commotion of travelers. The once flourishing industry of Clifton faded as railroad traffic bypassed the village and manufacturers left the area.

1050 Lafayette Road
Medina

, OH

In 1927, Henry Abell, a master plumber, purchased a 100-acre dairy farm. When the Great Depression struck the nation two years later, Abell could find little work as a plumber and decided to develop his dairy farm. In 1934, he and his family began the Dairy, growing the farm to 500 acres and producing enough milk, ice cream, and other dairy products to supply five counties. The dairy closed in 1979, but today houses America’s Ice Cream and Dairy Museum, dedicated to the cultural history of the ice cream and dairy industry in Ohio and the United States.

1 State Street/OH 550
Amesville

, OH

In the years leading to Ohio statehood in 1803, Ames Township citizens decided to establish a stock-owned circulating library. Since cash was scarce during Ohio’s frontier era, some citizens paid for their $2.50 shares by the sale of animal pelts, which were taken to Boston for sale in the spring of 1804 by merchant Samuel Brown. There he acquired fifty-one volumes, primarily books on history, religion, travel, and biography, as the first accessions for the Western Library Association. Senator Thomas Ewing later related that he paid his share with ten raccoon skins, thus suggesting the collection’s popular name “the Coonskin Library.” Judge Ephraim Cutler was the first of many librarians who kept the library until 1861.