Remarkable Ohio

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Fremont

, OH

The twenty-five acre estate Spiegel Grove was the home of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, the 19th president of the United States. Spiegel Grove received its name from the German word “spiegel,” meaning mirror, describing pools that collect beneath the trees after a rainstorm. Hayes’s uncle, Sardis Birchard, a Fremont merchant, built the home on this site in 1863. The Hayeses moved to Spiegel Grove after Hayes’s second term as Ohio governor ended in 1873. They inherited the estate in 1874. The family left Fremont after Hayes’s election as Ohio governor in 1875, and U.S. president in 1876. They returned to Spiegel Grove in 1881. The Hayeses expanded the home in 1880 and 1889. Lucy and Rutherford Hayes died at Spiegel Grove in 1889 and 1893 respectively. They were reburied at Spiegel Grove in 1915. Their children donated the property to the state of Ohio in 1909 in order to establish the nation’s first presidential library.

Across from 878 Bayview Avenue
Put-in-Bay

, OH

This 6.5 acre island, named for the resemblance of its dolomite ledges to the Rock of Gibraltar, was the likely observation site for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s naval forces during the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813. Stone Laboratory, located on both Gibraltar and South Bass islands, is the oldest freshwater biological field station and research laboratory in the United States. Founded in 1895 as the Lake Laboratory, it was named for Franz Stone, whose son Julius purchased the island from the Jay Cooke family and presented it to Ohio State University in 1925. It continues as the research and teaching laboratory for the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. The Jay Cooke Castle on the island is a National Historic Landmark.

W side of intersection of Riverside Drive and Busenbark Road
Trenton

, OH

In 1833, Robert Busenbark deeded land to the directors of School District No. 6 for Busenbark School. Twenty years later, Robert and son David granted a right-of-way on their property for a station on the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad (CH&D). One of eleven depots in Butler County, Busenbark station attracted the Kinsinger-Augspurger Warehouse and the Kennel Grain Elevator to the area in the 1860s. The railroad also enabled the cross-roads settlement to host an American championship prize fight in 1867. Fighting with bare knuckles in an outdoor ring, Mike McCoole bested Aaron Jones in a match seen by thousands. The Busenbark generating station supplied power to interurban lines until 1912 and later furnished electricity to local residents. Farmers and the Miami Poultry Yards depended on the trains and interurban to ship produce. The railroad depot disappeared between 1914 and 1916; the school closed after 1937; interurban service ended in 1939. All that remains of Busenbark is Busenbark Road, which was established in 1858.

1562 Clemontville Laurel Road
New Richmond

, OH

The Mount Zion Chapel of the Christian Church was built in 1872 on this hill adjacent to the members’ cemetery outside of Clermontville. The site was part of a two-acre parcel that had been secured from the farm of William R. Clark, Sr. for church and cemetery purposes. The Mount Zion Chapel replaced the Boat Run Christian Church that was organized in 1842 by a sect called the Christians, or the New Lights. Their first meeting house in Clermontville was dedicated on June 4, 1843 and damaged by floods in 1871. Worship was first held in the new frame church with the new name on October 6, 1872 and the church remains active today.

2012 Washington Boulevard
Belpre

, OH

As a shareholder of the United Library Association in Pomfret, Connecticut, General Israel Putnam amassed a large collection of books, which was called the Putnam Family Library. The collection was divided among his heirs after his death in 1790. His son, Colonel Israel Putnam brought part of that collection with him to Washington County, Ohio, in 1795. Education was a foremost concern to settlers in the Ohio Country and was reinforced in article three of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Accordingly, the Putnam family’s collection circulated among neighbors and provided the means of education for the people of Belpre and surrounding communities. By 1796, a group of subscribers, paying ten dollars a share, fully organized a public library. Later known as the Belpre Farmers’ Library, it was the first library established in the Northwest Territory. The library operated under the management of the shareholders until 1815.

3201-3537 Burlington-Macedonia Road, Lawrence County Road 120
South Point

, OH

Macedonia Cemetery (circa 1840) belongs to Macedonia Church, Ohio’s first Black Church. Those buried include settlers of the Macedonia Free Black Settlement, built by free people who assisted freedom seekers along the Underground Railroad. Also interred are soldiers of the Civil War’s United States Colored Troops (USCT), most of whom served in the 5th Regiment, Ohio’s first Black Regiment (1863). The Polley family also rest here. Emancipated slaves, the family continued their freedom struggle when their children were kidnapped from Ohio and unlawfully sold into slavery. Macedonia’s extant burial grounds include this sacred site and another 1/2 mile north.

1634 OH 232
New Richmond

, OH

Henry Clark Corbin was born September 15, 1842 and reared here on the family farm along Colclazer Run near Laurel. He attended public school and the private Parker Academy in nearby Clermontville. After teaching school and studying law, he enlisted in the Union Army in 1862 and military service became his career. Corbin served as the armed forces adjutant-general under President William McKinley during the Spanish-American War in 1898 and promoted to Lieutenant General on April 15, 1906. He died on September 8, 1909 in Washington, D.C. and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

North Olmsted Fire Station #2, Lorain Road
North Olmsted

, OH

David Stearns, the first permanent settler, built a log cabin near this site on the “ridge” (Lorain Road) in 1816. Stearns was given this land by his father, Elijah, who had bought 1,002 acres from the Olmsted family. This area of North Olmsted was first called Kingston, renamed Lennox in 1823, and Olmsted in 1829. In 1827, Stearns donated his cabin to the community to be used as the first schoolhouse. In 1852 the cabin was moved to Butternut and Dover Center and continued to serve as a school.