Ohio history

Fort Meigs

29100 W River Rd, Perrysburg, OH 43551

https://www.fortmeigs.org

Following the Siege of Fort Meigs the fort was no longer needed.  A smaller fort was built but abandoned at the end of the war. As the years went on the site was left but not forgotten. 1864, during another American war, brothers Timothy and Thomas Hayes bought the land and decided to preserve it for all that had fallen. In 1907 their family decided to sell it to the state of Ohio. One year later a large monument was installed by veterans of the Civil War to honor those from the War of 1812. In the 1960’s the Ohio History Society decided to rebuilt the Fort. The new recreated Fort opened in 1974. After nearly 30 years the Fort was starting to show its age and in 2000 the Fort was rebuilt again. This new Fort now stands proudly along the Maumee.

The Fort is split into two main parts, the Fort and the Museum. Starting with the Fort is a good idea. The land has change overtime but the Fort itself was recreated to be as accurate as possible. Inside the its walls are the embankments, like those that protected the men during the battle, blockhouses, and the memorial erected by the Civil War veterans. At first this seems like any other recreation of a fort. Walking around the grounds one can get a feel for how big the Fort was. The land however does not really give much for the feel of the time, or the life of a soldier. One can go inside the blockhouse too.

The blockhouses, all seven of them, are the real treat to the Fort recreation. Unlike some recreations where it is a blank building, or just a few items, these are full museum rooms.  Inside are displays about the time of the Fort, the life of the soldiers, and the activities of the siege. They include maps, very detailed models, and interactive displays. All of the blockhouses are separated into one aspect each, but together make up a large museum. Each one must be entered to get the whole story of the Fort.

Outside the trails include the paths that the would have been used at the time. They follow along the outer edge along the wall going from house to house. At certain points the wall is lower and the river can be seen, or the field where the British and Tecumseh’s men were stationed. At these points are cannons ready to defend the Fort.

Inside the visitors center is a nice video, museum, and the gift shop. While the Fort is about the battle, the museum is more about times before the conflict, the times of the greater conflict, and how we know what we know than it is the siege itself. This is where the actual artifacts are housed. Along side the artifacts are stories of how they were found. Pictures of the archaeological digs, tales of the interpretation needed, and questions still left unanswered. The museum is a great companion to the Fort.

From the Fort to the fields to the Museum, Fort Meigs is a great place to learn about a piece of American history that helped to keep us free, the life and times of the men and women who fought, and we can keep their history alive.

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Repost: Ohio’s Great 8: A large collection of presidential sites in Ohio

In Honor of Washington-Lincoln Day, we remind you of some great places to learn about Ohio’s contribution to the office.

mother of presi

Ohio has given this great nation 8 of its 44 presidents. Because Ohio is “The Mother of Presidents” it has gained a large collection of presidential items and locations. From small nick knacks to house, planes, and even battlefields her is our list of places to see a bit of presidential history.

Presidential Memorabilia:
The National Museum of the United States Air Force – Planes from every president to fly
Golden Lamb – Historic Inn and restaurant that has been visited by every Ohio president and many more.
First Ladies National Historical Site – The home of First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley which celebrates the wives of all presidents
Ohio Statehouse – Houses artifacts from presidential visits
Ohio Historical Center – Houses many artifacts ( not many on display) from Ohio’s historical presidential campaigns
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – Tells the story of slavery and the struggle to end it. Talks about Lincoln, and many other presidents, struggle with the dreaded institution of slavery.
Cleveland History Center – Talks about the history of northwest Ohio and the area that made James Garfield. Right next door to Garfield Tomb.

William Henry Harrison:
Fallen Timber Battlefield
Fort Miegs
Adena Mansion and Garden – Visited many times as a Governor and General.
Tecumseh! Outdoor Drama – A loud Outdoor Drama telling the life and troubles of the great Tecumseh and his interaction with Harrison.
Tomb of William Henry Harrison

Ulysses S. Grant
Land of Grant – Birthplace, Boyhood home, and Schoolhouse

Rutherford B Hayes
The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center – Also house the Tomb of the late President

James A. Garfield
James Garfield Birthplace
James A. Garfield National Historic Site
James A Garfield Tomb

Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison Birthplace – A small plaque .3 miles from his grandfathers tomb denotes the site of his birth

William McKinley
The William McKinley Birthplace Museum 
William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum – Also house the Tomb of the late President

William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft National Historical Site

Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding Home
Warren G. Harding Tomb

 

50 facts about Ohio occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern

  1. Ohio was signed into statehood 150 years after becoming a state. (read about it here)
  2. The longest straight section of Lincoln Highway in U.S. is between Ord’s Corners and Township Hwy 54. It is exactly 40 miles long.
  3. During its heyday Dayton was second in the nation for interurban lines. Indianapolis was number 1.
  4. 4 of the 7 longest Interstate Highways run through Ohio. They are I-70, I-75, I-80, and I-90.
  5. Ohio has 21 Interstate routes in it for a total of 1,726.40 miles. Laid end to end they would stretch from Michigan to Florida.
  6. The Cincinnati Reds are the only team in the MLB to open every season at home.
  7.  1966 was the only year The Cincinnati Reds did not open the season at home. It was rained out.
  8. Shelby Blues of the American Professional Football Association signed the first black football player, the “Black Cyclone” Charles Follis
  9. Moses Fleetwood Walker was the first openly black professional baseball player. He started in 1883 for the Toledo Blue Stockings.
  10. Fritz Pollard was the first black coach in the NFL. He coached the Akron Pros in 1921.
  11. Wilberforce University was the first college to be owned and operated by African-Americans. It opened in 1856.
  12. Both Wilberforce, Ohio, and the college located inside it, are named for English abolitionist William Wilberforce.
  13. Scotts Miracle-Gro, a leader in lawn and garden sales, is based out of Marysville.
  14. Miamisburg once owned its own electric utility. It was sold to Dayton Power & Light in 1968.
  15. The oldest active High School Alumni Association in the nation is in Miamisburg.
  16. Dayton was once a major hub of transportation. A canal (Miami and Erie), train lines, interurban lines, major roads, and the Miami River all traveled side by side through it south to Cincinnati.
  17. The first Atomic Energy Commission Site constructed after WWII was Mound Laboratory in Miamisburg.
  18. Siebenthaler, of Dayton, was given Plant Patent #836 in 1949, the first patent for a tree granted in the United States, for The Moraine Honeylocust. It is named after the city it was grown in.
  19. The Little Miami River was the first State Scenic river, and the first National Wild and Scenic river in Ohio.
  20. The Social Library Society of Dayton started in 1805 was the first library in the state. It closed in 1821.
  21. The Cincinnati Public Library was the first one in the nation to open on Sundays.
  22. The oldest county library in the US is The Brumback Public Library in Van Wert, Ohio. It opened in 1901.
  23. In 1994 Westerville became the first library in Ohio to offer full Internet access.  
  24. Jim Lovell is the only man to orbit the moon twice without landing.
  25. James Hulse was the only Munchkin in the Wizard of Oz from Ohio.
  26. Ashville claims to have the worlds oldest traffic light.
  27. George Burns married Gracie Allen on January 7, 1926 in Cleveland, Ohio.
  28. The first college Bluegrass concert was held at Antioch University in Yellow Springs on March 5, 1960.
  29. James Brown’s first record was released by Federal Records, part of King Records, in Cincinnati.
  30. Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Earl Skruggs was recorded at E.T. Herzog Studio in Cincinnati.
  31. William McKinley was the first president to use a telephone in his campaign.
  32. The East Cell Block of the Mansfield Reformatory is the world’s largest free-standing prison cell.
  33. Duck Tape is made in Avon.
  34. Avon has the world’s largest Duck Tape festival ever year.
  35. WACO Aircraft Company of Troy manufactured the CG-4A, the most widely used glider during WW2
  36. Willys-Overland of Toledo designed and built the famous WW2 Jeep.
  37. The Jeep Car company is headquartered in Toledo.
  38. A majority of the world’s pressure deep fryers are made by Henny Penny of Eaton.
  39. Chef Boyardee was started by Ettore Boiardi in Cleveland.
  40. On September 21, 1970, the Cleveland Browns defeated the New York Jets 31 – 21 in Cleveland to win the first Monday Night Football game.
  41. The largest Privately owned single tenant office building in America is the McCoy Center in Columbus.
  42. Cleveland’s American Greetings created Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, and Madballs.
  43. Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame went to Antioch College in Yellow Springs.
  44. Rod Serling’s first paid writing job was for WLW in Cincinnati.
  45. Rod Serling taught at Antioch College during a break from writing the Twilight Zone.
  46. Mr. Lesile Irvin made the first succesful Army free-fall parachute jump n April 28th at McCook Field in Dayton.
  47. Charles Kettering and Thomas Midgley Jr. created both Leaded Gasoline and Freon Refrigeration systems. 
  48. There have been 63 people who have served as governors of the state of Ohio
  49. The longest serving governor of Ohio was Jim Rhodes who served nearly 16 years total
  50. The shortest time a governor has served is 11 days. John William Brown and Nancy Hollister, both held office in the period between the former governor leaving to become a senator and the newly elected governor taking office.

CRYPTOZOHIO: Most Haunted in Ohio II

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

This a continuing list of places that claim to be “The Most Haunted” in Ohio. The location itself might not make the claim, but the claim is made by many people. In our last post (click here) we covered The most haunted City, House, Government Building, Prison, and Cemetery. Today we cover a few more of Ohio’s “Most Haunted”

Most Haunted Museum:

National Museum of the United States Air Force

In our post about the Ohio’s haunted museums we touched on the stories from the museum. Dedicated to the History of a branch of the Armed Service and housing weapons of destruction, the museum is the perfect recipe for ghosts stories and urban legends. The NMUSAF is bound to have a few things that remain long after the battles are fought.

… In the WWII exhibit ghost are said to haunt the planes they once flew. The Lady B Good’s entire crew is said to haunt the area surrounding its memorial stain glass window. Near by the plane is also said to be haunted, but it could just be the crew from the Lady mistaking it , the same model of plane, as their own.  One or two planes have even been said to be “piloted” by ghost who are trying to finish their last mission. Additionally almost all of the Prisoner of War sections of the museum seem to have an eerie feel about them. Almost as if those who never returned have found away back.

This museum is more than just ghost stories though. On July 8th, 1947 something crashed outside of a farm in Roswell, New Mexico. Was it a spy balloon or something else? Some stories say that what ever was found was transferred to the base and stored in Hangar 18. The Base also has stories surround it and the technology it houses. It is said that it has reverse engineered alien tech and that the owners are coming back to claim it.

Most Haunted Island:

Johnson’s Island

Some people say that the “Most Haunted Island in Ohio” is South Bass Island, but with the size of land mass it is more of a haunted town than a haunted Island. Per acre Johnson’s Island is considered the “Most Haunted.” The island maybe small but it played a big role in the Civil War.

Johnson’s Island is located off the coast of lake Erie near Marblehead Lighthouse. The proximity to shore, about 1/2 mile away, made it a suitable location for a Civil War Prison and later Fort. The island is close enough to bring supplies, but far enough to discourage escape attempts. Despite the distance to shore making swimming a challenge in the warmer months, it was not much of a deterrent during the colder months when the lake would freeze over. The frozen lake would also make resupplying the prison a challenge. The harsh winter months were hardest on the prisoners from the south who were use to more mild winters. Disease and weather took a toll. Despite the problems, few prisoners escaped and only 200 men died, making it one of the lowest mortality rates of any prison during the war. But from that 200 men many may have not had easy deaths.

After the war the island was abandoned by the Army. Eventually it was used as a resort, farm land and a rock quarry. From the time the first civilians started to come to the island legends of the former inhabitants had started to be told. In the rock quarry a group of Italian immigrants, many who did not speak english, started singing a strange song one day. It was later found out that this song was Dixie. At the Confederate Cemetery voices can be heard. It is also said the Monument to the fallen soldiers has been seen to move around. The strange sightings are not just confined to the cemetery. While most were buried in the cemetery proper, graves have been found all over the small island. Most of the properties on the now inhabited island are said to be on top of a grave or two.

Most Haunted Inn:

Golden Lamb

Opened shortly after Ohio became a state The Golden Lamb is one of the oldest continually operating Inns in the nation. Over the years many famous people have spent the night there. While it was more famous during the 19th century, with every one from Mark Twain to every Ohio President stopping by, it still sees a good number of visitors each year.

With so many years of operation it is expected that tragedies and strange occurrences will happen.  Probably the weirdest accident to happen was that of lawyer Clement Vallandigham. While in his room trying to show fellow lawyers how his client’s “victim” could have shot himself accidentally, he accidentally shot himself. His client was found not guilty.  Vallandigham was not the only member of court to die in the inn. Charles Sherman, a Supreme Court Justice for the state of Ohio, while doing his required rounds of his district became ill. He was transferred to the Golden Lamb, which is across the street from the courthouse. He died a few days later. His death left his wife and children in dire straights, including future Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman. The ghost that haunts the middle floors is said to be one of these two men.

Probably the most famous Ghost of the Inn is that of Sarah. She was the daughter of a former innkeeper and grew upon there.  Her room has been turned into a museum on the fourth floor. Some say this is to appease her, other say it is just a tourist attraction. It is said that late at night a young girl can be seen wandering around the halls near the room. Some say that the ghost is not that of Sarah however. Having lived to adulthood it is strange that she would come back as a child. The tricks the ghost play are not that of an adult but of childish youth. Many think it could be the spirit of Eliza Clay, daughter of famous senator Henry Clay, who died in the inn of a fever.

The Golden Lamb is open year round as a restaurant and working Inn. The Inn does not shy away from its history but celebrates it. This is one place that can be stayed in at night and one might get to experience the strange happenings. One can also visit during the day and see the historic rooms with a chance at a close encounter. For more stories of the Golden Lamb check out https://www.citybeat.com/home/article/13016077/golden-lamb-inn-ghost-hunt 

Most Haunted Park:

Wayne National Forest – Athens Unit

Wayne National Forest may not be a single park, but the parks within it can run together so much that it is hard to distinguish one from the other at times. The area of the forest that has been most cited in stories and legends is the portion surrounding Athens. This area includes Hocking Hills State Park and Lake hope State Park.

Moonville tunnel ror

As we wrote in our post on haunted state parks of Ohio, Lake Hope State Park  is home to Moonville Tunnel. This tunnel is an old abandoned rail tunnel that has seen it share of tragedies. Tales of former rail workers, citizens who fell from the bridges connecting the tunnel. Even without the stories the modern location is creepy all by itself.

… The tunnel is located off the Moonville rail trail. There is a high water trail down the road. This path will lead around the creek that runs high most of the warmer months. The tunnel itself is a run down popular area. The walls are lined with graffiti and trash. Even in the light of day the area is creepy and scary. The idea that the ghost of a lost railroad worker, or a local citizen, becomes almost a guarantee once one has visited the area. Well worth the hike.

Also located in this portion of Wayne National Forest is the ever popular Hocking Hills. This place is so popular that it draws citizens from across the state every weekend. Some stories are from first time campers who see or hear things that are natural in the deep forest of the region and attribute it to the legends of the park. While this may explain some of the tales told, so many more are told that there must be something lurking in the park.  From the natives who first inhabited the land to the Early explorers who are the name sake of the region, many a visitor has come to the place never to leave.

(These parks only contain a portion of the legends from the region see our post here for more)

Most Haunted Subway:

Cincinnati’s Abandoned Subway

Okay this is Ohio’s only Subway. The creepiness and the abandoned nature of it got it on our list. It is also one of, if not the, largest abandoned subways systems in the nation. The size of the thing has attracted many urban explorers ( We do not encourage trespassing), homeless citizens, and wild animals to visit the tunnels.

The subway system was very well-built and is in good order almost 100 years later. This in part due to the workmanship of the people who built it and in part to it supporting a busy road above. Like most projects of the time, a few workers deaths was not unheard of. But did the workers ever leave, or do they continue to stay and work on a system with little hope of becoming active. Explorers who have gone into the tunnels have said to hear creepy noises and even moaning. Many have also said to have found the camps of the homeless who have made the tunnels home. Most visitors come away from the Cincinnati Subway with an uneasy felling.

A documentary on the System has been produced and airs on PBS from time to time. It is available on Amazon. If you would like to visit the Tunnels of Ohio’s Subway, tours are offered on occasion. We recommend a tour due to the nature of the location and the legality of exploration. Visit https://www.cincymuseum.org/heritage-programs#subway-talk-and-walk for more information.

 

 

CRYPTOZOHIO: Most Haunted

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

Some place seem to have residents that love the place. Really love it to death. Some places even have a lot of residents that seem to love the place beyond death. In Ohio a number of locations have decided to give themselves the title of “Most haunted…” Are they “The most Haunted”? Can anything really be the “Most.” We will let you decide. Here is a look in to some of them.

Most Haunted City:

Athens

The most haunted city in Ohio, or even one of the most haunted in the nation. Athens is located in the middle of the foothills of southeast Ohio. It is the hub of the area and most of the regions major services are located there. If people needed health care, higher education, or other things, they had to travel in to town. The Athens Lunatic Asylum was a mental health facility for over 100 years that served this purpose. It was known for performing lobotomies, electroshock therapy, hydrotherapy, and the use of psychotropic drugs. The hospital also had a cemetery on site. Around 1930 residents are buried in there. Many without names and just numbers. The facility is now The Ridges and houses the Kennedy Art Museum. As expected from a former mental facility, the location is said to be forever inhabited by many former patients.

The area that is Ohio University has more stories than rooms it seems. We have already mentioned the many stories and legends that the university holds. Some of these stories just don’t add up when looked into. This could be a case of students, wanting to believe in the strange, passing on legends to the newer crowd. Halloween is a big deal at OU with the Halloween block party being one of the largest in Ohio. Despite this large number of story that are made up, many more exist that are based in fact. This could be the former mental facility on campus, the area’s history as an American Indian village, or the fact that the school started almost 15 years before Ohio even became a state.  A place does not get the title of one of the “Most Haunted Universities in America” with a few things happening.

Most Haunted House:

Franklin Castle

Slightly outside of the heart of Cleveland is what some say is the most haunted house in Ohio. Built around 1883 this house was the former residence of Hannes Tiedemann and his family. About ten years after the house was built it saw its first death, the Tiedemann’s 15-year-old daughter. Soon after the family’s grandmother passed away. Within 3 years 3 more children had died. A year later Louise, the family mother, passed away.

Soon the house was sold and used as a German social club for many years. In 1968 the Romano family bought the castle. After a while the family complained of ghost. They performed exorcisms and had ghost hunting groups investigate, all to no avail. After years of hauntings they sold the property to Sam Muscatello. Muscatello had plans for the place but needed cash. To make money he offered haunted tours. Many say that the stories of the location seemed to increase during this time. Muscatello was known for inviting the media to the house and promoting its haunted nature. In one of the towers he even found human bones, which some wonder if he placed there himself. Despite

Over the years many rumors have been attached to the location. Stories of bootlegging, murders, and eerie happenings. Even if the stories are the work of an overactive promoter, many people say they have felt things in the house.

Most Haunted Prison:

Ohio Reformatory

Of course the most famous prison in Ohio is the considered the most haunted.  The Ohio Reformatory, Ohio’s official State Penal Museum. Opened to prisoners in 1896, the prison lasted almost 100 years. The Reformatory saw a large share of prisoners and was closed due to overcrowding.

With such a large population in a small area disease, accidents, and violence were bound to happen. During its time over 200 people died within the prisons walls. the East Cell block, the world’s largest free-standing cell block, was where most of the inmates were housed, but not the location of the most deaths. The 8 most haunted spots seem to be spread out all over the place. The most haunted being the location where men were left to themselves, Solitary Confinement.

Over the years many TV shows and movies have been filmed in the prison. The most famous being The Shawshank Redemption. The most popular thing to film however, besides music videos, is Ghost Hunting shows. Almost every paranormal show has taken time to visit.

Tours are given of the overall prison, the Hollywood history of the location, and the popular haunted areas. Tours can be booked from the Reformatory’s website: https://www.mrps.org/explore/paranormal-programs/ghost-walks

Most Haunted Government Building:

Ohio Statehouse

The cornerstone of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus was laid in 1839 and the building first opened for business in 1857. During that time many workers were from the nearby prison. Some even died during the construction. Throughout the lower levels and parking garage it is said that sounds of construction can still be heard. During the 1990’s restoration graffiti was found from the workers.

While many government building had been opened before it, the Statehouse is the most famous in the state. With all the people who have worked in the building, and the many famous visitors, it is also considered the most haunted. The most famous visitor said to revisit from time to time is Abraham Lincoln. He first visited in 1859. He returned in 1861 on his way to DC to be sworn in as president. It was inside the statehouse that he learned he had officially won the presidency. His final visit was in 1865 when he laid in memorial after his assassination. Some say that he can be seen wandering the rotunda. Sometimes he is seen with the daughter of Governor Samuel Chase. He is also said to dance with the lady in grey from the nearby Camp Chase cemetery. Along with the 4 working cannons the grounds of the Statehouse are guarded by Civil War veterans who never left their post. Some even say they are even guarding Lincoln to this day.

The most famous worker to have stayed is that of Thomas Bateman. Bateman was a clerk of the senate for over 50 years. Very studious and rule bound, it is said that at exactly 5 o’clock he can be felt moving from the senate floor to the hall way outside and the lights can be seen flickering to indicate the end of the work day.  Along with Bateman many other workers have been heard late at night. Some say it is just the echoing of the stone floors, others say it is lawmakers forever trying to get one last bit of work done long after they should have left.

The State house offers haunted tours yearly along with its daily tours. Ohio Statehouse event page has information on this popular tours and many more things to do at the Statehouse..

Most Haunted Cemetery:

Woodland Cemetery – Dayton

While most cemeteries have a story or two about something “living” among the non-living, this location has a few more than most in the state. We have talked about the many hauntings at this picturesque location before. The most famous is of a dog who is said to return to visit his young owner. The statue of the dog has been said to breath and move the many tributes left beside it. Victims of Jack the Strangler , The Cincinnati Ripper, and many who made their own victims all rest uneasily throughout the grounds. The electric chair is responsible for quite a few of the graves, even as the story goes, one who helped to build it.

Haunted lantern tours and most of the scenic fall tours fill up early in September. To book checkout their website. Many other tours are available throughout the year.  Even without the haunted aspect this is worth a visit.
http://www.woodlandcemetery.org/tours-and-events

 

Mound Cold War Discovery Center

1075 Mound Rd, Miamisburg, OH 45342

https://www.daytonhistory.org/visit/dayton-history-sites/mound-cold-war-discovery-center/

Dayton Ohio and the surrounding area has a long history with inventions, technology, and war. The National Museum of the United States Air Force tells the story of the war. Dayton History at Carillon Park tells the story of the technology. Now Dayton History has helped to preserve the history of a major component of technology in war. The Mound Cold war Discovery Center tells the story of the part Dayton played in creating some of the most destructive weapons ever used.

On August 6, 1945 the United States, while at war with Japan, dropped the most destructive weapon ever used. The Atomic Bomb was again used on August 9th. These two bombs ended the war and changed the world forever. The bombs were so powerful that they were developed under the most secret project of the early 20th century. The Manhattan Project, while most known for being at the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico, had sites across the country. One such site was in Dayton, Ohio.

The Mound Cold War Discovery Center tells the story of what Dayton did for the Project, why they it continued its work, and what finally happed to it in the end. From being the first post war site built by the Atomic Energy Commission to the beginning of the 21st century, the role the site played was both militaristic and peaceful. The Museum is one large room with displays along the walls that tell the story of the Mound. Using videos, pictures and artifacts the museum unfolds the work from the early days of the Dayton Project to the cleanup and closure. Many of the displays are just text and pictures, or artifacts and text. Some however are larger interactive items, such as a working Geiger counter and a glove box. Upstairs is the archives with information on almost every worker at the mounds, and photos of the workers experience.

Overall the story gets across without bogging down too much in the details. With the price of admission being free, it is well worth the price. Adding in a trip to the Miamisburg Mound across the street, also free,  and a stop downtown for lunch, one can easily fill a morning.

Miamisburg Bicentennial

Miamisburg Bicentennial Featured Week of Celebration  (JUNE 16-23)
Other events through out year

miamisburg200.com

One and Only, Star City, Miamisburg, the city south of Dayton along the Great Miami River has gone by many names. This year it celebrates its 200 birthday. For the past few years they have gone to work to make sure the it is ready. Ready not just for a one day ceremony, but a week long event to remember for the next 200 years.

The area was settled before 1818, long before. Some of the earliest inhabitants of the region were the Adena Culture. These Mound builders created great works of earth to honor their dead. In the state of Ohio they built many mounds, the largest being the one in Miamisburg. The Miamisburg Mound is 65 feet tall and sits on a 100 foot tall hill. This allows the it to be seen for miles. The impact from this hilltop mound is still felt to this day.

About 1700 years later the first American settlers, Zachariah Hole and family, created Hole’s Station, a rest area for travelers from Dayton to Cincinnati. Over the years many heading west had stopped and settled along the banks of the Miami. It was not until February 20, 1818 that four men from out of state decided to sell 90 small plots in the newly organized town. As with the river and many other things in the area the village was named after the local Miami Tribe that had once inhabited the region.

Over the years the fact that Miamisburg was a stop along the route between the Ohio river port of Cincinnati and the expanding city of Dayton allowed it to grow. In 1832 the area officially gained village status. At one point (pictured above) The Miami Erie canal, train lines, interurban lines, major roads, and the Miami River all flowed through town. As transportation grew faster, and less stops were needed, the growth of the village slowed a little. It took almost another 100 years for it to become a city.

Later, as the world entered war for the second time, secret projects were conducted in the city. The Manhattan project was working to build a weapon to end the war. Dayton was a major producer of the triggers for these atomic weapons. After the war the Atomic Energy Commission built Mound Laboratories to continue this work.  The labs work and the impact it has had on the region is now on display at Mound Cold War Discovery Center (review coming soon). This lab, along with the newly constructed highway brought many new people to the city and expansion happened. While the bulk of the businesses moved east to the Dayton Mall area, and people stopped coming downtown after the Mound closed, some stayed in the Downtown area of the city. Over the past few years The Plaza theater, Grandpa Joe’s candy shop, T.J. Chumps, and many other stores and restaurants have revitalized the Downtown area and brought back a touch of the history of the city.

This 200 year journey is what the Miamisburg Historical Society is celebrating with its week long party. The festivals with begin with a parade and have a parade on the last day too. in between each day will be themed and offer a different look into Miamisburg. Everyday will have some form of entertainment on the main stage of Riverfront Park, with more activities around it. Some days have different activities at other locations through out the city. By the end of the event every aspect of life in the Star City will have been explored. The final night will end with a free concert from the Dayton Philharmonic and fireworks.

Downtown Miamisburg is a great place to visit any time of year. From what the city has been planning and the craziness going around town expect June 16th -23rd to be a rocking good time in the Star City.

CRYPTOZOHIO: Horror movies from Ohio

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.

Three, four, Better lock your door

Five, six, grab a crucifix.

Seven, eight, Gonna stay up late.

Nine, ten, Never sleep again….

With these lines we know that something Bad is coming. That is the song used in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise. The films are about a man who comes back to haunt the dreams of the children of Springwood, Ohio. He is not the first and won’t be the last monster to live in this state. A lot of horror movies use Ohio as setting. Is it that most of the Midwest looks like Ohio and many people could see it happening in their own town, no matter where it is filmed? Is it because during most of the 19th century Ohio was the population center of America and had a lot of residents, many who never left? Almost every major structure in Ohio has a ghost story or two. Some towns like Athens and Waynesville even claim to be some of the most haunted places in the country.  Sometimes they don’t set the film in Ohio but simply film here. Like setting it here, Ohio can stand in for most of America. With our hilly southeast, our suburb filled southwest, our city filled industrial northeast, and all the farm land in between, Ohio is almost anywhere America. With a state that can stand in for almost anywhere and ghosts everywhere, Ohio is the perfect place for a horror film.
Here is our non-complete list of Horror films set in / filmed in Ohio:

Babysitter Massacare
Deadly Blessings
Finale
The Faculty
Heathers
Howard the Duck
The Manson Family
Meet the Applegates
My Friend Dahmer
Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise
Pi Day Die Day
Salvage
Scream 2
Sella Turcia
The Sleeper
Super 8
Take Shelter
ThanksKilling
Trick ‘r Treat
The Watch
Wednesday Children

CRYPTOZOHIO: State Parks

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

Ohio citizens and visitors to our state have gone to the local parks for almost 150 years. They enjoyed the waters and the trails. They have hiked through the forest, or strolled through the meadows. Some loved them so much they remained long after they should have. These are a few tales of haunts from around the state. Some are from the parks themselves, most are from the history the parks are trying to preserve. (links to locations in orange titles)

Punderson Manor
The land was originally owned by Lemeul Punderson. After he and his wife’s deaths it changed hands, eventually being owned by Karl Long. On the site he decided to build a 29 room mansion for his wife. This was in 1929. The great depression soon followed and wiped out his fortune. He died before the mansion was finished. In 1956 the state took over the site and has run it as a lodge and conference center since.

In 1976 a band of gypsies told what is considered the first ghost story about the place. They reported seeing a dark seaweed covered shape emerge from the lake. This happened only a year after a teenage girl drown in the lake. Guest and Workers have been telling strange tells of the location ever since. Footsteps echo and pounding on doors can be heard when no one is around. Lights flicker and chills can be felt throughout the old section. The grand spiral staircase is said to be haunted by a civil war veteran. The tower was the location of a many a story of a man who is said to be looking for a lost rocking chair. The Windsor suite is probably the most haunted section of the grounds with multiple figures inhabiting the room.

Beaver Creek State Park
Beaver Creek park is one of the parks that was preserved for its history along with its natural beauty. At the site is the remains of the old Hambleton mill. It’s grain was shipped via the canals that crossed Ohio. At the mill an old lady is said to keep vigil. Her name is Ester Hale. She is said to be seen on many night. Also along the canals is “Gretchen’s Lock.” Named after the daughter of the man who built the lock. His daughter caught malaria, came down with a fever and chills and rambled on about returning to their home land of Holland. Eventually she passed away and the family decided to return to Holland after the lock was built. They stored Gretchen’s coffin in the lock until they left. On the way back across the ocean a violent storm took their lives and they along with the coffin were lost at sea. It is said that the ghost of Gretchen returned to the last place she was at rest, inside the lock. Gretchen’s is not the only haunted lock in the area. A former keeper who died from a lightning strike while on duty is said to haunt “Jake’s Lock.” At the right time one can see him with his lantern bobbing a long on duty.

John Bryan State Park / Glen Helen / Clifton George
Located by village of Yellow Springs the gorge makes up one of the best preserved, and prettiest, areas of central western Ohio. The area traces its roots back to the original Adena Mound Builders and later the Shawnee. Nearby was Old Chillicothe one of the important sites of the Shawnee, with famed leader Tecumseh visiting often. In the late 19th century, when residents feared that the growing amusement park industry would take over the land, they decided to preserve it. Now it is 3 interconnected sites that showcase the beauty of the glacial carved region.

With such long history the sites are bound to have some never leaving visitors. In John Bryan an old hermit visits the area around the west gate. Willie the hermit drown when he and his horse tried to cross the overflowing river at the bottom of the gorge. He is still heard whistling his happy tune. In Glen Helen it is said that the girl who the preserve is named after can be seen playing after hours. She loved the area so much that her father donated the land to the local college to keep it as she remembered it. Some say she loved it so much she may never leave. Clifton George and the connected John Bryan have large cliffs that lead to the Little Miami river below. From the top one can see the danger of a fall. Many a person have gone out for a walk without ever coming back. Some on purpose, some by accident, and some for unknown reasons. It is said that the woods are best visited in groups at night.

Lake Hope State Park 
Located in the south-east, considered one of the most haunted parts of the state, and the nation, is this amazing park. While not as popular as the nearby Hocking Hills and Old Mans Cave, this park has one of the most famous eerie places in any state park, Moonville Tunnel.

Moonville tunnel ror

 The story goes that during the heyday of the old mining town of Moonville supplies were delivered daily by train. One night a brakeman fell from the train and was crushed under the wheels. He was taken to a nearby doctor but his injuries were too severe. It is said that if one looks out at night they can see the red signal lamp swinging in the wind to warn of the on coming train. Or is it to warn the many other people who have been killed by trains in the area? A man was killed coming home from buying groceries when he fell from the bridge he was attempting to cross. Another man died attempting to jump from the train early. A man, with the help of liquor, decided to sleep on the tracks. A search of the McArthur Democrat newspaper, the newspaper of the area at the time the train and town were bustling, will bring up many more stories.

The tunnel is located off the Moonville rail trail. There is a high water trail down the road. This path will lead around the creek that runs high most of the warmer months. The tunnel itself is a run down popular area. The walls are lined with graffiti and trash. Even in the light of day the area is creepy and scary. The idea that the ghost of a lost railroad worker, or a local citizen, becomes almost a guarantee once one has visited the area. Well worth the hike.

Hocking Hills
Hocking Hills is one of the most visited parks in Ohio. Every weekend when the weather is good the parking lot is full. But how many people know of the strange happenings in the area. The early Adena Indians, who built the Mounds in Ohio to bury their dead, some in the park. The inhabitants forever protecting that which they were buried with. The area was also inhabited by local American Indian tribes, including the Wyandot, Delaware and Shawnee, following the Adena. It is said that on a still night one can still see them roaming the area. One of the most noted areas for this is Conkle’s Hollow. This is where, as legend goes, many an American Indian was hung for robbing the settlers passing through.

The most famous and most visited area of the park is Old Mans Cave, with a good portion of visitors not even knowing that there is more to the park than this one gorge. The Hocking Hills section of the Buckeye trail, and North country national trail, winds through the gorge and passes by many a haunted spot. Old man’s cave was named after Richard Roe, a hermit who lived in the cave with his hunting dogs. He was not the first settler at the site. Nathaniel and Pat Rayon, two brothers, built a cabin on top of the ridge and lived out their days there. All 3 are buried in the cave area of the park. Late at night campers have said to have heard Roe’s dogs hunting, with some saying you can even see him walking the area looking for them. Further down at Rose Lake a woman searching for her son fell of a cliff and died. Hikers and fisherman say they can still hear her calling out to her lost boy. Along the trail around Ash cave a shy lady from the 1920’s has been known to creep around following groups of hikers.

By the nearby Logan Lake State Park is Scotts Creek Death Hole. Named for the underground cavern that draws water, and anyone caught in its current, in from above. In 1887 a newlywed couple was pulled under while trying to cross. Their horses can still be heard and the young women seen trying to find her husband.

The whole southern region is well forested and a good place for anything to hide. Almost any boy scout, hiker, or camper that has spent a night there will have a story about some strange noise they heard. Some claim to know what the noise came from. They say it was the most famous cryptid, the ape-man known as Bigfoot. But that is for another post.