Remarkable Ohio

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SW corner of W Main Street and S Broadway Street (Public Square)
Greenville

, OH

Following General Anthony Wayne’s victory at Fallen Timbers, members of the western tribes assembled at Fort Greene Ville to settle on terms of peace. Representatives of the Wyandot, Delaware, Shawnee, Ottawas, Chippewa, Ottawa, Patawatimi, Miami, Eel River, Wea, Piankeshaw, Kickapoo, and Kaskaskia signed the treaty on August 3, and agreed to cede claims to lands east of the Cuyahoga River to Fort Laurens in Tuscarawas County and south of a line running west to Fort Recovery. In return, the United States offered payment and annuities in the form of goods and ceded claim to most land north and west of the treaty line. This treaty marked the end of the Indian Wars in the Ohio Country, forsaking boundary violations by both parties, and established the official western border of the United States, opening much of Ohio for settlement.

2488 OH 39
Perrysville

, OH

A migration of Indians throughout Ohio began due to unstable conditions created by the American Revolution. The massacre of Christian Indians at the Moravian mission of Gnadenhutten in 1782 and Colonel William Crawford’s expedition against Wyandot and Delaware towns along the Sandusky fueled insecurities. Delaware, including a small group of Mingo Indians, abandoned the village of Helltown, five miles southwest of this site, and settled Greentown as early as 1783. Greentown, situated on an elevation on the Black Fork beyond the clearing behind this site, was presumably named for British loyalist, Thomas Green. John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) had an amicable relationship with the Delaware, owned land throughout the Black Fork Valley, and was known to visit Greentown on his travels throughout Ohio. Other visitors to the village included the Shawnee Prophet; Munsee Delaware leader, Captain Pipe; and local preacher, James Copus.

300 N. Front Street
Ripley

, OH

Ripley was incorporated as the village of Staunton in 1812. Its name was changed in 1816 to honor General Eleazer Wheelock Ripley, a hero of the War of 1812. In the years before railroads, Ripley was a principal Ohio River shipping center. Also important were its extensive boat-building, tobacco, pork, and timber industries. Ripley too was the home of saw and planing mills, iron foundries, and a piano factory. Such varied commerce enabled Ripley to remain vibrant throughout the nineteenth century. Although noted as a port, Ripley is best remembered as an abolitionist stronghold. Many of its citizens, including Rev. John Rankin and John P. Parker, served as conductors on the famed “Underground Railroad.” The notoriety of Ripley’s anti-slavery network perhaps eclipsed that of nearby Cincinnati, earning the town a reputation as the “Black Hole of Abolitionism.” (Continued on side two)

SE Corner of Salem Road and Sutton Road
Cincinnati

, OH

Francis McCormick (1764-1836), who fought under Lafayette at the siege of Yorktown, founded Methodism in the Northwest Territory. His evangelical and pioneer spirit led him from his Virginia birthplace to establish churches in the wilderness, first at Milford, Ohio, then here, at his village of Salem. He rests with his family and followers in the nearby churchyard.

‘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.

Gist Settlement Cemetery, Gist Settlement Road
New Vienna

, OH

Through the terms of his will, British absentee landowner Samuel Gist (c.1723-1815) freed his 350 Virginia slaves and provided funds for their relocation, the purchase of land and homes, and the establishment of schools and churches. Gist’s executors acquired over 2,000 acres of land in Ohio, including two large tracts in Scott and Eagle townships in Brown County in 1819. In 1831 and 1835, an agent of the Gist estate purchased 207 acres in Fairfield Township (now Penn Township), Highland County, and divided the acreage into thirty-one lots. The Gist Settlement in Highland County was the last to be purchased and settled. In 1857, the Ohio Legislature granted the Highland County Court of Common Pleas control over the freedmen’s trust monies. In 2003 descendants of the freed Gist slaves still inhabited part of the original settlement.

RR Township Road 26
Archbold

, OH

Two Deputy U.S. General Land Office Surveyors traversed Goll Woods: Benjamin Hough in 1815 and Captain James Riley in 1821. Hough (1772-1819) established the Michigan Meridian in 1815 and was county and state office holder in Ohio. Riley’s life was more tumultuous. Riley (1777-1840) captained the merchant ship Commerce, which wrecked off the Saharan coast in 1815. Riley and crew were enslaved for four months until ransomed by British diplomat William Willshire. In 1817, Riley published a famous account of his time in North Africa, and, in 1819, was appointed a surveyor by Surveyor General Edward Tiffin. Moving to Northwest Ohio, Riley named the village he founded in 1822, Willshire, for his deliverer. Riley returned to New York in 1826 and to the sea, where he died. Riley’s book went through more than twenty editions by 1860 and Abraham Lincoln credited the account as one that influenced him deeply.

1096 Tarlton Road
Circleville

, OH

Across the road was the site of Camp Circleville, where members of the 90th and 114th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (O.V.I.) were mustered into service during the Civil War. Pickaway Township farmer Jacob Ludwig donated the land for the camp, which was then approximately two miles south of the Circleville at the southwest corner of Kingston Pike and the Circleville-Tarlton Road. The 90th O.V.I was mustered into service on August 29, 1862 to serve for three years. The unit saw action during some of the war’s well-known western battles, including those at Perryville, Kentucky in October 1862; Stones River, Tennesee on December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863, and Chickamauga, Georgia in September 1863. Later, the 90th joined in General William Tecumseh Sherman’s march through Georgia in the spring and summer of 1864 and later that year was part of the Union force that fought in the Battles of Franklin and Nashville, Tennesee. At war’s end, the unit was mustered out of service at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati in June 1865. During the regiment’s service, five officers and 247 enlisted men were killed, mortally wounded, or died from disease.