Tag: History

Preserving Shenandoah’s History

Preserving Shenandoah’s History

Nestled in Noble County is a piece of United States history.   Back in 1925, the USS Shenandoah crashed in Ava. The crash’s history lives on at the Shenandoah Air Disaster Museum.   The museum is in a camper and is packed with artifacts detailing life aboard the airship. Theresa Rayner opened the museum with her […]

Marietta Makes History

Marietta Makes History

One studio is responsible for markings of history all across the nation. And nobody even knows it’s there.   Marietta is a treasure trove of history and off-beat facts. Taking the time to explore the small town will reveal ghost stories, museums and the last intact steam-powered sternwheel boat. But Marietta also harbors a bit […]

Traveling Through History on the Ancient Ohio Trail

Traveling Through History on the Ancient Ohio Trail

The Ancient Ohio Trail (AOT) is a comprehensive collection of travel routes and resources designed to help tourists discover “the distinguished Native American Culture in the Midwest,” according to the AOT website. AOT also offers virtual excursions to experience earthworks as they were believed to have been before they were damaged or destroyed.
John E. Hancock, a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Cincinnati, is the man behind AOT. Hancock started the project in 2007, and through funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and partnerships with the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University Newark, AOT has grown to include 12 scenic routes as of 2011.
The idea behind AOT came to Hancock during a project at the University of Cincinnati, during which he created digital renderings of various ancient earthen mounds, effigies and enclosures around the state. He and his colleagues traveled around Ohio for roughly 10 years studying the various sites.
“It was at that point that I was particularly inspired to create something which would highlight the cultural heritage tourism potential of this whole region,” Hancock says.
Southeast Ohio is prominently featured along the Ancient Ohio Trail, with routes near Lancaster, Marietta, Chillicothe and Athens.

Zaleski Mound

The Village of Zaleski is home to Zaleski State Forest. The forest is located approximately 30 minutes outside of Athens, primarily in Vinton County. On the grounds of the State Forest Headquarters is the Zaleski Mound. The grassy mound stands elegantly, ringed with a gravel path and surrounded by saplings.
“I love the Zaleski Mound,” Hancock says. “I think it’s probably the most beautiful mound in
Ohio.”
Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, located in Chillicothe, features the beautiful Mound City. Mound City is a 13-acre earth enclosure filled with roughly 23 dome-shaped mounds, although one is an elliptical. The walls of the enclosure sit between three and four feet tall, with entrances at the east and west ends.
Making Strides Toward UNESCO World Heritage Inscription
The unique and historic earthworks have caught the attention of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Through the work of World Heritage Ohio, four of the main earthwork sites featured on the Ancient Ohio Trail – Fort Ancient, Mound City, Serpent Mound and Newark – have been placed on the U.S. Tentative List for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List. If these sites are placed on the list, they will enjoy the benefits of increased tourism, awareness, control and sovereignty.
The Ancient Ohio Trail provides tourists with a high-quality travel experience perfect for a day trip or weekend excursion.This summer, rather than spending a fortune on cultural tourism abroad, travelers can hop in the car, channel their inner historian and get in touch with Ohio’s
roots on the Ancient Ohio Trail.
Preserving Shenandoah’s History

Preserving Shenandoah’s History

Nestled in Noble County is a piece of United States history.   Back in 1925, the USS Shenandoah crashed in Ava. The crash’s history lives on at the Shenandoah Air Disaster Museum.   The museum is in a camper and is packed with artifacts detailing life aboard the airship. Theresa Rayner opened the museum with her […]

Underground Railroad Bed-and-Breakfast

Underground Railroad Bed-and-Breakfast

The John T. Wilson Homestead – a bed-and-breakfast in rural Adams County – offers guests a quiet escape and a glimpse into untold history.  The 186-year old B&B is made up of two buildings built by John T. Wilson himself. There is a two-story brick building where guests can stay […]

Discover Benjamin Lundy and the Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing

Discover Benjamin Lundy and the Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing

Children’s books and old yoke worn by slaves during the Middle Passage can be found among other mementos of history inside a building on the corner of East High and Market streets in Flushing.

“There are still thousands and thousands of stories to be told about the system called the Underground Railroad,” says John S. Mattox, a lover of history and curator of the Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing.

The Underground Railroad Museum at 121 East High Street holds the story of Benjamin Lundy, an abolitionist who left a mark on Belmont County with his dedication to freedom for all people.

Who was Benjamin Lundy?

Lundy was born in Sussex, New Jersey. As a young man, he started an apprenticeship as a saddler in Wheeling, Virginia, which later became West Virginia. In Benjamin Lundy and the Struggle for Negro Freedom, author Merton L. Dillon writes that Lundy saw slaves being marched down the street from slave pens to be auctioned off. After he married his wife in 1815, he moved to St. Clairsville, and Lundy set forth to take action against the injustices he witnessed.

“I have long had [this cause] in contemplation,” Lundy wrote, according to Dillon’s book, “and have resolved, and fully determined, never to lay it down while I breathe, or until the end be attained.”

In 1816, the Union Humane Society began. The society, one of the first of its kind in the area, was an appeal to the public to eliminate slavery, Mattox says. The group started with five people and quickly grew to more than 500.

In Mount Pleasant, in 1821, the prospectus for Lundy’s Genius of Universal Emancipation, a newspaper dedicated to slavery, was published. On some occasions, Lundy resumed work as a saddler once again to pay for the expenses of printing the Genius. He walked from Mount Pleasant to Steubenville distributing the papers.

Lundy continued the fight until he died at the age of 50.

How Lundy’s story lives on

The Underground Railroad Museum started back in 1984. Mattox previously showcased different pieces of history in his insurance company office to draw people in the door.

The collection began with his wife, Rosalind, who died six years ago. Mattox says she still is his “journey director.” They stopped at historical sights while traveling. “When you turn off when you see those signs, you never know what you’re going to run into,” Mattox says.

When people stop in the museum for the first time, Mattox says some are surprised, especially if he can tell them something new about their culture.

“This is a different type museum,” Mattox says. “I let you feel. I let you touch. Because when you feel a yoke that’s been around someone’s neck 200 years ago, it gives you a different understanding of American history.”

Mattox’s Lundy presentation is one of his favorites to give. He added that it is admirable how Lundy kept moving forward with his fight despite pressure from outside groups—even when he was attacked by mobs, the abolitionist continued.

“He kept doing his thing because he realized [in] Quakerism, you follow God’s law,” Mattox says. “You don’t follow man’s law.”

Take our Morgan’s Raid driving tour

Take our Morgan’s Raid driving tour

by Sarah Weingarten Southern Ohio is the only region in the state to host a Civil War battle. In July 1863,General John Hunt Morgan and his Confederate army raided southern Ohio. And today you can drive along the path that the Confederate army took to […]

The Ohio Tattoo Museum Successfully Reopens

The Ohio Tattoo Museum Successfully Reopens

After a profitable Kickstarter campaign, owner Rich Thomas introduces the latest incarnation of his lifelong tattoo museum project to the Bidwell community. Just west of Gallipolis, a small, golden building sticks out among the neutral scenery. Were it not for its striking yellow exterior, the boxy […]