Ohio history

Riding the Miller Ferry with Mitten Kitten was on Lindy Brown’s bucket list, as is evident in this ferry cool selfie.

Silver bullet

Wally Byam’s childhood was spent immersed in nature. He worked on a West Coast sheep farm, where he lived in a donkey-towed wagon that was outfitted with a stove, food, water, and just about everything else he could possibly need. 

Byam’s love of camping and the outdoors, combined with American ingenuity, resulted in a product that lasts for decades and is instantly recognizable around the world.

Perhaps best of all, it’s made in Ohio — Byam moved the production to Jackson Center in rural Shelby County right after World War II, and workers there build upward of 120 of the iconic silver bullets every week, all by hand.

A historic ship

HardTackers: A decade-long journey of seafaring lore

Ohio is the only state in the union with a burgee flag — a shape usually associated with a boating organization.

Shanties date to the mid-1400s era of tall ships, when sailors’ work was grueling and labor-intensive. The rhythms of the call-and-response style of shanty songs helped the crew push and pull, hoisting sails and hauling lines in a synchronized effort. Often adapted from familiar folk tunes and ballads of the day, shanty lyrics were flavored with nautical terms and names of places the sailors had been — or hoped to see. ]

The Signing of the Treaty of Green Ville

Ohio's American Indian History: Writ large

Of the many paintings hanging in the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, the largest by far measures 22 feet long by 16 feet high and is titled The Signing of the Treaty of Green Ville.

Setting the scene

At the end of the Revolutionary War, England ceded to the fledgling USA ownership of the Northwest Territory — an immense area north and west of the Ohio River that would one day become five states: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, as well as part of Minnesota. 

The major problem with the agreement was that it completely ignored tens of thousands of indigenous people who were already living on that land — from dozens of major tribes — who were not about to give up their claims on the land without a fight.

Cedar Point's Terrific Trio

'Round and 'Round

In the United States, the golden age of carousels lasted roughly from 1880 to 1925 and generated more than 3,000 of the enchantingly colorful and musical rides — of which only about 150 have survived.

Cedar Point’s Terrific Trio

Amusement parks often brag about possessing one classic carousel, so how special is it that Cedar Point owns three? Built in 1912, the Midway Carousel (shown at left) is Cedar Point’s oldest operating ride. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and offers 60 horses that are rare examples of master carver Daniel Muller’s handiwork.

Two offshoots growing from an old, decaying stump are all that’s left of the last living tree planted by Johnny Appleseed, which still occasionally produces fruit in Ashland County.

A slice of history

Tucked off County Road 658 in Ashland County, not far from the northward-flowing Vermillion River, a squat, knobby tree stump sits near a modest white farmhouse.

Folklore paints Johnny Appleseed as an eccentric nature lover, scattering apple seeds while wandering barefoot and wearing a tin pot as a hat. While he was a devout conservationist, he was also a calculating and successful orchardist whose passion sprang from a blend of religious devotion, humanitarianism, and strategic economic thought. 

Ohio accent map

Say what?

Do you say “crick” or “creek”? “Mom” or “mahm”? How about “wash” or “warsh”? Your answers can pinpoint which part of the state you’re from.

“Individual cities and areas develop their own ways of speaking,” Campbell-Kibler says. “Some small changes start locally and then spread, but other changes begin in, say, Toledo and do not happen anywhere else.”

Let’s take a closer look at how Ohioans speak. 

Ohio’s Midland accent

Read this sentence out loud: It will be a merry day when Mary agrees to marry John.

Renee Powell

Setting her own course

Work hard. Be twice as good. Don’t let anyone else define you. Find your way around obstacles.”

The life lessons that Bill Powell instilled in his daughter, Renee Powell, were sharpened with his boots on the ground … and his golf shoes on the course. 

Tenacity to get the job done

Working nights as a security guard, Bill would return home at dawn and get to work. Using hand tools and pulling a mower with an old Army Jeep, he transformed a former dairy farm near Canton into a nine-hole public course that he opened to all. It later expanded to 18 holes. Named a National Historic Site by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Clearview is still the only golf course in the country designed, built, owned, and operated by an African American.

OhioHealth Fore Hope

Volunteering: Good for the soul

Volunteering is not only good for the community — it’s good for you, too. In fact, studies show the act of volunteering boosts physical and mental health and may even help you live longer. 

Get golfers back onto the links

Golfers living with the effects of a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or other neurological conditions can get back into the game, thanks to OhioHealth Fore Hope. The golf therapy program provides physical, cognitive, and social benefits, but it requires a helping hand, since balance is often an issue. Volunteers tee up golf balls, position putters, and perform other simple tasks that make a big difference. 

Charles Hall

He who smelted it

Thompson, Ohio, native Charles Hall discovered by experimentation the process that reduces aluminum from its ore to the malleable metal that swaddles your candy or can be put to use in any of thousands of ways. It all started in Ohio in February 135 years ago.

In fact, a 6-pound, 9-inch pyramid of aluminum was set atop the Washington Monument in 1884 just for that purpose. The cost of that pyramid is unknown, but had it been constructed two years later, its cost would have been far less: Reducing aluminum’s ore to a metal was labor-intensive and expensive before a 23-year-old Hall — working in a shed in his parents’ Oberlin backyard — happened upon what is now called the Hall method for reducing globs of ore to metal by applying electric current.

Paula Schleis and Stephen Yoder

Streaming consciousness

A week after Paula Schleis retired from the Akron Beacon Journal, she received a text message from her nephew: 

"I know what you’re going to do in retirement — do a podcast with me."

Schleis texted back: "What’s a podcast?"

After several brainstorming sessions, Schleis and her nephew, Stephen Yoder, created Ohio Mysteries, a podcast that explores unsolved crimes, local legends, and interesting stories with an Ohio connection. They use Facebook and Instagram to interact with a growing community of armchair detectives — some of whom occasionally provide additional details or a family connection to that week’s episode.