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Scioto Historical

All Stories: 94

Portsmouth has long been a center for medical care, beginning with the city’s first professionally trained physician, Dr. Thomas Waller, who also served as President of the first City Council in 1815. Nursing in Portsmouth, one can then argue,…

The foundry workers pictured here in January of 1942 worked for the Ohio Stove Company, which was first organized in 1872. Perhaps the oldest manufacturer still operating in Portsmouth, they originally cast heating and cooking stoves, their most…

The two men precariously working atop the cupola of First Presbyterian Church caught the attention of Denny Hamilton, who took this photograph back in 1986. The congregation dates back to May 1817, just two years after the incorporation of the city.…

In 1936, Nicholas Sainopulos purchased the “White Lunch Car,” a diner that was housed in an old Portsmouth street car. Sainopulos “walled in the structure" and rechristened it the “White Front Restaurant.” His son, Charles, joined his…

“Buy your furniture at Glick’s on Second Street,” so sang Zeke Mullins on WPAY. Glick’s Furniture opened its doors in 1936 and closed in 1976, having made the Damarin Block at Court and Second Streets its home for some forty years. Named…

WPAY pioneered Portsmouth radio, beginning its broadcasts on April 15th, 1933. By the early 1950s the station’s offices and studios were to be found on the north side of Gallia Street, next door to the Selby Shoe factory outlet store. The old…

In 1895, Lodge No. 154 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks laid the cornerstone of Portsmouth’s Grand Opera House in the name of “Charity, Justice, and Brotherly Love.” Before the rise of the moving picture show and a devastating…

Built in 1891 for the Tracy Shoe Company, this structure has recently been restored and repurposed by the YEI Corporation, a locally owned firm specializing in software solutions and other digital technologies. YEI’s success and the Tracy…

Before there was the Washington Hotel at Second and Market Streets, the residents of Portsmouth knew this as Micklethwaite Corner. It was on this block, in a special room on the ground floor of the remodeled Washington Hotel, that Carl Ackerman…

Coming soon! The story of the Portsmouth Post Office (built, 1935) and its Depression Era murals by Clarence Holbrook Carter and Richard Zoellner. Find the highwater marker near the front entrance, step into the lobby, and see Portsmouth's first…

Visit the Scioto County Welcome Center and view Robert Dafford's large canvas portrait of Ava and Louis Chaboudy. Dr. Louis Chaboudy is remembered as "the person who originated the idea of having murals painted on the Portsmouth floodwall." Bob…

Ross County's Concord Presbyterian Church was home to a number of influential abolitionist activists and conductors on the Underground Railroad. Concord's congregation has its roots in nearby South Salem's Buckskin Presbyterian Church. In 1804, the…

Coming soon! The history of logging in Shawnee State Forest and the story of Save Our Shawnee Forest, a local grassroots organization working to document the effects of the state’s logging practices. Visit the site of a recent logging operation…

Coming soon! The story of Highlands Nature Sanctuary and the Appalachian Forest Museum. "The Highlands Nature Sanctuary is 2100-acre hiking and nature education destination in southern Ohio, in the heart of the scenic Rocky Fork Gorge. "The…

Coming soon! The story of Friendly Grove, the pioneer home of Robert Lucas, Ohio Governor and one of the founders of the national Democratic Party. Located on the outskirts of Piketon, the former seat of Pike County, where Lucas settled after…

Coming soon! The story of Adena, the mansion and gardens of Thomas Worthington, Ohio’s sixth governor. Here one can look out across the Scioto Valley to Mt. Logan and see the Great Seal of the State of Ohio come alive. One morning in 1803,…

Coming soon! The story of Shawnee State University's Clark Memorial Library, the home of SSU's Digital History Lab. Learn about the history of the library and the lab, where Scioto Historical was first developed and launched in the summer of 2013.

Coming soon! The story of Dr. John Simon's farm and his Old Fashioned Sorghum-Making Festival in Scioto County. See a little-known mural painted by famed floodwall muralist Robert Dafford. Learn about Dr. Simon's famous festival, which celebrates…

Coming soon! The story of the Shawnee Nature Club and the Harry Knighton Trail in the Shawnee State Park. Harry Knighton, internationally known for his study of fungi, helped found the North American Mycological Association in 1959 and the…

Coming soon! Learn about the founding of the Abolition Society of Paint Valley, one of Ohio's and the nations earliest abolition societies. In 1833, Rev. Samuel Crothers and the Greenfield Presbyterian Church hosted the first meeting of the…

Coming soon! The story of the Rev. Dyer Burgess, a radical abolitionist and operator on the Underground Railroad, who made this humble house his home, while serving the West Union Presbyterian Church.

Coming soon! The story of the West Union Presbyterian Church, which is considered the oldest church building in Ohio that ... is still used as a house of worship. The church is often called the 'Church of the Governors,' as Ohio's second governor,…

Coming soon! The story of Gov. Thomas Kirker, whose stone house on the Old Zane's Trace served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

"HOW!" rang the greeting. "It is indeed a pleasure for me, as a representative of the people who once inhabited this very spot, to come before you, our White Brothers, who are now sitting about our Council Fire. The Council Fire of the Red Man is…

On a Friday afternoon, November 27th, 1829, with the Ohio River and the hills of the northern shore as backdrop, four rebel slaves were executed near the Greenup County, Kentucky, courthouse. This is a story from the days of the interstate slave…

Coming soon! The story of Red Oak Presbyterian Church and the Rev. James Gilliland, who helped establish the Underground Railroad in southern Ohio. Gilliland moved to southern Ohio when church authorities in South Carolina banned him from preaching…

Coming Soon! The story of the Rev. John Rankin, abolitionism, and the Underground Railroad.

Coming soon! The story of John Parker and the Underground Railroad in Ripley, Ohio.

Coming soon! The story of the Treber Cemetery in Adams County, Ohio.

Coming soon! The story of Abandoned Washington, Ohio, one of the two completely abandoned former seats of justice in Adams County.

Coming soon! The story of Abandoned Adamsville, Ohio, one of the two completely abandoned former seats of justice in Adams County.

The confluence of the Scioto and Ohio Rivers has long been the site of human habitation, from the ancient Adena and Hopewell to the Shawnee and, lastly, to the Americans of today. The mouth of the Scioto has seen the rise and fall of many villages,…

The lives of David Gharky and Dr. Thomas Waller are forever intertwined. These two pioneer settlers first made their home at Alexandria, on the West Side of the Scioto's Old Mouth, but when that village's fate became clear, these two men and their…

Billed as "the world's most authentic, museum-quality representation of Christopher Columbus' flagship," the Santa Maria Ship/Museum has been anchored to the banks of the Scioto River in the heart of Ohio's state capital since 1992. Built to…

Coming soon! The story of the Scioto Mile, a section of the Scioto Greenway Trail, which runs along the banks of the Scioto River in downtown Columbus. From April through October, check out the Scioto Mile Fountain in Bicentennial Park. Designed by…

The Shawnee State Park Nature Center on State Route 125 in Scioto County was originally built (circa 1969) for a privately owned cabin rental complex, known as the High Meadow, which was briefly located on the current site of the Shawnee Park…

While the Underground Railroad in Ohio is often associated with members of the Quaker faith, in Adams County, the Presbyterians stood at the forefront. Among the earliest and most influential of antislavery activists in the region was the Rev.…

In 1924, after purchasing the first lands for the creation of the Shawnee State Forest, the Division of Forestry constructed three fire towers in the region to help protect the state's newly acquired resources. Today, at the metal structure's…

The headquarters for Roosevelt Game Preserve, established in 1922, ought to be considered the first "nature center" in what is now Shawnee State Forest. Located up Harbor Fork of Turkey Creek in what is commonly known as Hobey Hollow, the…

Buckeye Station, the one-time home of Nathaniel Massie and his brother-in-law, Charles Willing Byrd, lays in ruins, marked now by a cell phone tower on what was once known as Hurricane Hill. An inescapable reference to what local historian Stephen…

Here at the Logan Elm State Memorial, visitors can read the frontier history of the Scioto Valley written in bronze and stone. First conceived in the fall of 1841 by the Logan Historical Society, the Elm and its grounds have become the location of…

All the public schools in Portsmouth, Ohio, closed at the end of the school day on January 21, which, as luck would have it, was the last day of the semester anyway. Schools located in the flood zone were opened up for storing furniture (on the upper…

Explore the history of the sole-surviving remnant of Portsmouth, Ohio's once mighty shoe industry, Mitchellace, Inc. This "narrow fabrics" company emerged from the Panic and Great Recession of 2008 with new ownership and a new name - Sole Choice,…

The City of Portsmouth, located at the confluence of the Scioto and Ohio Rivers, has a history of public murals, from those painted in the 1930s by Clarence Carter in the lobby of the Post Office on Gay Street to those in the Law Library at the…

The Olde Wayside Inn in West Union, Adams County, has gone by many names over its two-hundred plus years of existence. Originally known as Bradford's Tavern, for a while in the 1870s and 80s, area residents and visitors would have called it the…

Zane's Trace, the first Federally funded road through frontier Ohio, ran from Wheeling, in modern-day West Virginia, across the Hocking, Muskingum, and Scioto Valleys, to Limestone, (now Maysville), Kentucky on the Ohio River. Authorized by Congress…

According to Harry Knighton, noted mycologist and founder of the Shawnee Nature Club, a crew of CCC Boys in the mid-1930s found the bones of a murdered pedlar when they were constructing Forest Road 2 in the Shawnee State Forest. The remains had been…

Today, the largest Yellow Buckeye in the State of Ohio stands near the Mouth of Turkey Creek, next to the United Methodist Church in Friendship, Ohio. How old the tree is is hard to determine, but it could date to pioneer times. Captain Larkin…

With its dramatic overlook, Raven Rock has long been an attraction for area residents and visitors. It's history is legendary, with some stories placing, at various moments in time, Daniel Boone and Tecumseh at its edge, 500 feet above the Ohio…

Beginning in the late 1730s, the Shawnee Indians established one of their principal villages here. Some sixty years earlier, in the 1670s and 80s, the Shawnee had been expelled from the Scioto and Ohio valleys by the Iroquois in what historians…

Wolfden Lake, located on Forest Road 25, is in the headwaters of Turkey Creek, which flows through the heart of Shawnee State Forest. Built in 1935, Wolfden Lake is one of six reservoirs constructed by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees…

In the 1930s, Snake Hollow in Shawnee Forest became the location of a wildlife and forestry research station, which received its funding through state and federal conservation programs. One of the station's major cooperative projects involved the…

Floyd Chapman was a Field Ecologist with the Ohio Division of Conservation and spent much of the later part of the 1930s researching his dissertation on the “Development and Utilization of Wildlife Resources,” here, in what is now Shawnee State…

With the completion of the Roosevelt Lake Dam in 1934, the Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees of Company 1545 from nearby Camp Roosevelt, built two shelter houses for visitors to the new Roosevelt Lake Park (what is now known as Shawnee State…

Camp Bear Creek was one of the seven Civilian Conservation Corps camps located in the Shawnee State Forest, beginning in 1933. The camp, with its barracks, officers quarters, and out buildings is now the grounds of the popular Horse Camp, where horse…

Bear Lake is situated deep in the heart of Shawnee State Forest and only adds to the scenic beauty of what is now known as the Horse Camp. Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees from Camp Bear Creek built the reservoir in 1934 and ever since it has…

In the mid-1930s, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees from nearby Camp Scioto built McBride Lake in Shawnee State Forest, in the headwaters of Pond Run, a small tributary of the Ohio River. One of six lakes originally built with CCC labor,…

Camp Gordon was one of seven Civilian Conservation Corps camps that were established in the Shawnee State Forest, beginning in 1933. Located in the Headwaters of Turkey Creek on State Route 125, Camp Gordon would be home to first, an all-white…

Coming Soon! The story of Co. 1520 and CCC Camp Shawnee No. 2. Visit the site of one Shawnee Forest's better documented CCC camps. Study the original camp blue prints and learn more about this segregated, all black unit of CCC enrollees who…

With a spectacular view of the Ohio River, the hills of Kentucky, and the City of Portsmouth, Picnic Point in the Shawnee State Forest offers visitors a memorable experience. While there are a number of dramatic overlooks of the Ohio River found…

On May 20th, 1935, T. J. McVey walked the grounds of CCC Camp Roosevelt on the banks of Turkey Creek in Ohio's Shawnee State Forest. McVey worked for the Inspections Division of the CCC and his "Camp Report," can be found in the National Archives in…

In 1934, a special and extremely rare, segregated, all-black Civilian Conservation Corps unit of enrollees (Co. 1545) dammed the waters of Mackletree Run and Turkey Creek, creating Roosevelt Lake, the centerpiece of the new Roosevelt State Park (what…

Coming Soon! The story of George Rivers and his trial for the murder of Jonas "Am" Cooper. Back in the winter of 1930, when Prohibition had made big business out of moonshining, George Rivers wore two hats, one as a special deputy for Sheriff…

Coming Soon! In 1859, William Flagg oversaw the construction of a stone wine cellar for the vinting and storage of Catawba wine, produced from grapes, grown on nearby ridges. Flagg had married Eliza Longworth, the daughter of Nicholas Longworth,…

During the second-half of the nineteenth century, Vastine and other hollows of Lower Twin Creek were the center of a major stone quarry industry. Here workers for various firms, including John Mueller's Buena Vista Freestone Company, quarried the…

The Twin Creek Fire Tower no longer stands, but the history of the Shawnee State Forest is still marked here. In 1922, after purchasing the first lands for the creation of the Forest, the State of Ohio constructed three fire towers in the region to…

At the McKendree Methodist Chapel, near the mouth of Upper Twin Creek, one finds the graves of key players in the Shawnee Wilderness Area's history of moonshine and murder. Of particular note is the grave of Jonas Cooper. After being shot to…

Coming Soon! The story of the Buena Vista Freestone Company and John M. Mueller, its sole proprietor. Learn about Mueller's operation, which included quarries up nearby Vastine Hollow, a saw mill and stone office building on the banks of the…

In 1938, during the North-West Territory sesquicentennial celebration, Portsmouth residents put on a "gigantic parade" through the city, carrying a large stone at the "head of the procession." The City Recreation Department placed the stone "in…

Coming Soon! The story of John Crouse and the beginnings of Methodism in the Scioto Valley is currently under development.

Coming Soon! The stories of Morgan's Civil War Raid through the Scioto Valley are currently under development.

One need not refer to well-known bestseller lists to appreciate that more Americans are familiar with Allan Eckert’s telling of frontier history than with the writings of any dead or living, academic historian. Every generation has its own popular…

In 1935, the state of Ohio, working with the Civilian Conservation Corps, a federal Depression-Era jobs program, built what has become known as Churn Creek Lake. This small reservoir was built to provide a continuous supply of water for CCC Camp…

In the 1930s, seven different camps of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees operated within the bounds of the Shawnee State Forest. This cabin was originally located at CCC Camp Shawnee No. 1 on Pond Lick. In 2007, Shawnee State Park…

Hike or ride along historic Buckhorn Ridge Bridal Trail, which runs through the heart of the Shawnee Wilderness Area, dividing the waters of Upper and Lower Twin Creeks. In the 1850s, William Flagg, a New York City businessman-turned novel…

Hike or ride the Mackletree Bridal Trail, which runs up Rocky Hollow and contemplate the life's work of Dr. E. Lucy Braun, the pioneering female naturalist who first comprehended the significance of Shawnee's "mixed mesophytic forest." The…

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