Consider my book for your holiday shopping…

November 22nd, 2015

Do you have a parent or friend who lived or lives in Clintonville? Of course you do! My book Clintonville and Beechwold makes a great holiday gift or stocking stuffer. You can buy it from this web site or at Colonial Candy Shoppe (3519 N High St) or Walgreen’s (4890 N High St), or at most bookstores. If you buy it from this web site, I will be happy to inscribe it to the person you are giving it to.

Defense Center

November 11th, 2015

At a presentation I gave on the History of Clintonville, someone handed my husband this news item about the opening of the Defense Center in a former filling station at 4070 North High Street at the corner of Glenmont and North High Street in 1942.

The Clintonville Community Council, a group of members representing every organization in Clintonville, sponsored the center. It was to be a center for air raid services, a headquarters for Boy Scouts, a Red Cross distribution point, a center for salvage collection, a precinct station for auxiliary police and eventually a USO clubroom. It included a first aid corner, and a canteen offering coffee and cookies.

In this picture, Mrs. William McCoy, Marilyn Peters, and Joe Miller are getting the place ready.

There is another photo here.

Underground Railroad in Clintonville

October 15th, 2015

Debbie Shaw, retired CML librarian, recently provided some local resources about the Underground Railrooad in Clintonville and surrounding area. Thanks for agreeing to share this information, Debbie!

Here’s Debbie’s summary:

    This link has a short video as well as text below it from WOSU’s Columbus Neighborhood series on Clintonville; both discuss the Underground Railroad.

    and this video from the same series on Downtown/Franklinton shows another area involved in the Underground Railroad here in Columbus.

    This link is from the Clintonville History site by Shirley Hyatt. The October 2008 issue discusses Thomas Bull and his family and includes a brief section about the Underground Railroad. [Shirley adds: see my book Clintonville and Beechwold here (to buy it) or here (to borrow it) for a smidgen more information.]

    Article from the OSU Lantern Feb. 7, 1999.

    Historic Marker on OSU Campus.

    Another historical marker.

    Excerpt from the book The Underground Railroad: An Encyclopedia of People, Places and Operations by Mary Ellen Snodgrass.

    For a broader look at the Underground Railroad in Ohio, you can read the full text draft of The Mysteries of Ohio’s Underground Railroad by Wilbur H. Siebert here.

    And of course, the Columbus Metropolitan Library has a lot of this history. Right now during Main Library’s renovation, Local History & Genealogy services are available at a temporary location in the former Whitehall Branch at 4371 E. Broad Street. CML’s web site says to call (614) 645-2275 to learn more. You can still get to a lot online at the here.

Debbie also notes, “This material was easily Googled. As a former librarian, I know that there is a lot of info that is not online. By the way, if you do an advanced book search on and limit to full text only and content = books, there are quite a few. I put underground railroad in the ‘with the exact phrase’ field and Ohio underground railroad in the ‘with all of the words’ field. Laws, history, etc. come up, including Ohio Before 1850 and Ohio History Sketches. Of course, some of it is a very brief part of the book. If you add Ohio into the search’s ‘subject’ field, this narrows it a lot.”

The Grand Carousel-Request for Information

September 24th, 2015

Carousel expert and author Eric Pahlke recently emailed me with a question. The question is about the Grand Carousel that currently operates at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium.

Eric is trying to resolve some conflicting information about the history of the carousel. He writes,

The oft-repeated story is that the carousel came to Olentangy Park in 1914, and was moved to Scioto Ranch Park in 1937-38 after Olentangy closed. Scioto later became Zoo Park, which became Wyandot Lake Park, which is now a combination of Zoombezi Bay and Jungle Jack’s Landing. I have a source that says the city of Columbus bought the carousel in 1981. The carousel apparently operated at Wyandot Lake until 1999 and has been running at the Zoo since 2000.

The problem is that I have some photographic evidence that says the carousel started on Coney Island and didn’t come to Ohio until the mid-1920s. This alternative story doesn’t distinguish between the carousel then coming to Olentangy Park and then to Scioto, or directly to Scioto.

I’m hoping that someone has materials in their archives that would help solve this dilemma. The primary question is whether the carousel came to Olentangy Park in 1914 or sometime in the 1920s. After that is solved, the other issues probably follow.

Does anyone have any information that could shed light on the issue? Eric is the author of Treasures from the Golden Age: West Coast Carousels, and Treasures from the Golden Age: East Coast Carousels.

Bower & Co. General Store & Family

September 15th, 2015

Jim Drake recently contributed these wonderful photos and family histories of the Bower (Weber) family.

Eda Weber Bower and her spouse, Henry G. Bower owned and operated the Bower & Company General Store at 2643 North High St. The photo to the left shows the store’s delivery wagon and, at the right of the image, a section of the Bower family home at 26 East Duncan Street.

This photo is the 1901 wedding portrait of Eda Weber (1869-1951), of the historic Frederick Weber family, and Henry Bower (1856-1935). They were married on January 1, 1901.

This photo was taken of the Bowers in 1934. In addition to his civic activities, Henry Bower was a founder and principal stockholder in the Northern Savings Bank (which eventually became part of the Huntington Bank system).

John J. Bower, one of Henry Bower’s brothers, was initially a partner in the general store, but eventually opened a hardware store on the southeast corner of Duncan and High streets. The Bower brothers are shown in this photo (left to right): Ernest E. Bower, Henry G. Bower, Owen Bower (son of Ernest E.), John J. Bower, his son Everett Bower, and Charles Bower.

Although Henry Bower had hoped to have at least one son to inherit the general store, he fathered five daughters instead. After his first daughter, Anna, was born, he pre-selected a male name for each successive child, but in every instance he had to opt for a female form of the name.

Consequently, “Albert Bower” became “Alice Bower,” “George” became “Georgia” Bower, “Henry” became “Henrietta,” and “Wilbur” became “Wilda” Bower. In this 1960 snapshot, the five daughters are arranged in their birth order from left to right: Anna Bower Mylander, Alice Bower Jesson, Georgia Bower O’Brien, Henrietta Bower Kuntz, and Wilda Bower Drake.

Of the five Bower daughters, Alice (Mrs. Frederick) Jesson had a long and successful career as Director of Restaurants and Cafeterias of the F. & R. Lazarus Company.

(Photos and write-up courtesy of Jim Drake) Note: there is one more image of the Bowers’ cart here.

Algy Strayer McBride, 1932-2015

August 23rd, 2015

There is no doubt that my book Clintonville & Beechwold, and this web site, would not exist if it had not been for the support and encouragement of Algy McBride.

I first met Algy in 2007, when I thought I “might” write a history of Clintonville. He was the long-standing president of the Clintonville Historical Society at the time, and enthusiastic about getting the book written. We were strangers, but he opened his house and the wealth of his library and history collection to me. He was an indefatigable source of information about people I should call and stories I should look into.

Algy was intellectually rich and curious, and so active and involved…with the local genealogical society, with the local senior center, with civil war discussion groups, even with the annual Clintonville Fourth of July flag raising ceremony. It takes my breath away even now, thinking back on Algy, his support of his community, his support of me.

Algy’s obituary can be found here
and Southwick-Good’s video tribute can be found here

Algy, we’ll all miss you.

Notable Clintonvillites

August 15th, 2015

I enjoy the attached article by Don Hollenback originally published in a 1997 Booster. It enumerates some of the residents who made their mark on the community–Doc Rymer, Bill Taylor, Cookie Stevens, Ted Barclay and many others who formed Clintonville Boy Association, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, and more.

Stop 18

July 15th, 2015

Stop 18In my book, I have a wonderful photo of the inside of Stop 18, an interurban stop containing a mom-and-pop grocery store. Located at approximately 5534 North High Street, it reopened in 1934 as the Stop 18 Inn, owned by Jacque Criticos. The tavern continued to operate until it was sold to Hudson Oil in 1968.

According to the Dispatch‘s Johnny Jones, canoeists from the Olentangy Canoe Club (presumably the one located in Olentangy Park) used to row their canoes from their clubhouse up the river to Stop 18. That location on the river also served as a popular skinny-dipping location.

Three fun articles are attached:

An announcement of its opening, in the Columbus Star June 10 1934, p.28
An article about its closing in the Columbus Dispatch January 28, 1968, p.21a
An article about its naming and history
in the Columbus Dispatch, January 29, 1968 p.3b

Have a Bash

June 15th, 2015

From Unforgettable Columbus, volume 2: “Although Herb Bash is not considered a pro, he did give lessons and was considered a pretty fair golfer. [Early on, he leased Indian Springs Golf Course.] In 1948 he opened a unique golfing complex on W. Dodridge St. between Olentangy River and the Olentangy River Rd. These 60 acres consisted of an 18-hole golf course and a large driving range. He sold the land in 1962 to Chemical Abstracts and moved his entire operation to just beyond Rte 161 on Dublin Road…The driving range on Dodridge was a place where many a Columbus duffer sharpened his game. Bash died in 1979 at the age of 86.”

According to Bill Case’s web site, “former South High coach Herb Bash … made his living in the golf industry. Herb and his wife owned the Berwick Golf Course, a public facility located on the city’s southeast side. Herb helped grow the game at Berwick by conducting numerous golf clinics for the city’s youths. Shortly after joining The Elks’ in 1928, Bash, in partnership with Bugs Raymond, opened another golf course- Indian Springs, opposite Henderson Road on the east side of High Street. Herb later added the “Bash Driving Range” in Dublin to his collection of entrepreneurial golf activities. Like many of his compatriots at Elks’-Wyandot, Herb Bash could golf his ball. Prior to joining The Elks’, he won Dublin Road’s club championship. Herb was also a mainstay of the 1932 Wyandot golf team which won the inter-club championship.” [Image courtesy of Bill Case.]

Olentangy Park Redux

May 15th, 2015

I never tire of seeing old images of Clinton- ville. Collector Galen Gonser shared these 1920 images with us. Admittedly they are taken with a simple box camera, but still, what’s not to like? (Photos courtesy of Galen Gonser.)

The first image below is Chute the Chutes at Olentangy Park.

We don’t know who these gentlemen are.

These images are taken looking north from Dodridge Bridge up the Olentangy River toward Olentangy Park–the second of the pair is a close-up.

For additional photos, search “Olentangy Park” on this web site.

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