Society Looking At Pioneers And Early Native Population

13 Mar , 2021  

Special to 1808Delaware

Later this month, the Delaware County Historical Society will host a free virtual program titled “Cultural Communities: Early Settlers and American Indians.”

Covering the years between 1770 and 1850, the program will take place on Thursday, March 25 at 7:00 PM. Attendees will see eleven local reenactors who will bring Delaware County history to life as they tell their stories gathered from primary resources.

Hear the recollections of William Little, Laura Carpenter, Rev. James Finley, Mrs. Moses Byxbe, and Benjamin Franklin Thomas. You will also hear the story of Africa Ohio, Drake’s Defeat, and see some examples of American Indian games.  Viewers will also see a dance inspired by the traditions of the Lenni Lenape, as well as see artifacts from the period. More…

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Delaware On The Map: County Boundaries Take Shape, Change

25 Feb , 2021  

By 1808Delaware

Through our “Delaware On The Map” series, we share posts looking at the history of Delaware County as that history is revealed on maps – maps of the area, county, and nation.

The initial post in the series can be read here.

The first fifty years of Ohio statehood saw the creation of counties and establishment of county boundaries – and then a re-shuffling of those boundaries, often by taking property from one and adding it to another or to an entirely new county. All of the above happened here. More…

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Life in Delaware County

The Strange Case Of The Disappearing Radnor Pastor

22 Feb , 2021  

By: 1808Delaware

Updated with newly-found information

Newspaper accounts from yesteryear can sometimes reveal the most unusual stories, providing that — if the reporter got the facts right — that truth can indeed be stranger than fiction.

We’re looking into a bit of Delaware County history today on 1808Delaware which we doubt you have heard before.

On a weekday morning in 1919, the pastor of a church in Radnor set off for a trip to Delaware for some car repair. More…



The Kilbourne Revival Continues

15 Feb , 2021  

By 1808Delaware

It has been a year and a half since we paid an online visit to the village of Kilbourne, which nestles on the intersection of State Route 521 and the Old State Road in north and east of Delaware.

As we shared then, “Kilbourne, a hamlet with a population of 139 according to the 2010 census, sits squarely on the “Old State Road,” Ohio’s first federally funded highway. Constructed about 1820, it was envisioned as a route from Worthington to New Haven in Huron County. The project surveyor was the charismatic Col. James Kilbourn, for whom the town was named.”

At the time, we referenced a recently published Columbus Underground article about an effort to bring new life to the community. More…

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Society Program Looks At Evolution Of Military Gear

10 Dec , 2020  

Military Equipment Connections Between Wars,” is the topic for Big Walnut Area Historical Society’s December Program. Richard Doritty will present the evolution of the infantryman’s equipment from WWI to the present.

The program is available for free public viewing at this location online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isJsUI_Q0cQ

Doritty was born in Erie, Pa in 1941, graduated from Erie Technical High School in 1959, entered the Air Force in 1960 where he served with the 60th Fighter Interceptor Squadron as an electrician until January 1964. He came to Columbus to work for Western Electric. He attended Ohio Technical Institute where he earned an Associate Degree in Electronic Technology. In 1967 Dick married Sharon and moved to Sunbury. More…



Landmarks Of Delaware County: John Cook House, Harlem Township

27 Nov , 2020  

By 1808Delaware

The house on Gorsuch Road is very much part of Delaware County history, as the location on which it sits has a 210 year-plus history.

The John Cook House was the home of John and Helen Tompkins Cook; John was a farmer who also dabbled in raising livestock. When he constructed the house in 1863, doing much of the carpentry himself, he was doing so on land owned by his family since the first decade of the 19th century.

John’s parents, Benajah and Cassandra Cook, came to Ohio after buying 4,000 acres of farmland for the princely sum of $1,700 (something tells us Harlem Township land goes for a bit more today). They were the first settlers from the east to settle here. More…



Oral History Project Celebrates 75th Running Of Little Brown Jug

12 Sep , 2020  

Over the last year, volunteers at the Delaware County Historical Society have been working on an Oral History Project to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the running of the Little Brown Jug Harness Race.

Hundreds of hours were spent interviewing people associated with the race and compiling a series of videos available on our website – www.DelawareOhioHistory.org. Excerpts from these interviews will be broadcast on WDLR Radio during morning and afternoon segments on the five days of racing at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. The Ohio Harness Horseman’s Association will also be broadcasting the race and using portions of the interviews during their broadcast. Leading this effort for the Society is Dr. Richard Leavy and Karen Cowan. More…

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Solving A 160 Year Old Mystery: Two Remarkable Delaware Countians

6 Sep , 2020  

By 1808Delaware

On Thursday, we shared a photo of a unidentified Civil War officer taken in Delaware over a century and a half ago, and told of our quest to identify the sitter for this portrait. That post can be read, and the photo can be seen, here.

As we stated in that story, the reverse of vintage photos can also provide clues to identification. As a reminder, the reverse of the photograph has the following information:

Over Lindsay’s Bookstore,
Delaware, Ohio

In this case, those details do help to pinpoint the date that the portrait was taken. What was unexpected, however, was that it also led us to the stories of two men who had remarkable life stories, and who, at least for a time, called Delaware home. More…

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Delaware County Historical Society Offers Virtual Learning Experiences for Kids

28 Jul , 2020  

Designed to be fun and entertaining, the Delaware County Historical Society has created a series of history-related activities for children in grades K-8. These include topics such as “What is an Artifact?”, Early Delaware County Pioneers, the 1913 Flood, Oak Grove Cemetery Scavenger Hunt, as well as “History Reading at Home.”

The Society also offers historic self-guided walking tours of the City of Delaware as well as a Delaware County Underground Railroad driving tour. More…

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Historical Society Venues Reopening By Appointment

5 Jul , 2020  

The Delaware County Historical Society will reopen on Wednesday, July 8, after nearly four months of temporary closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Opening will be the Cryder Historical Center including the Research Library and the Nash House Museum as well as the Meeker Homestead Museum.

In April, the Society formed a Safety Committee to develop protocols ensuring the protection of our volunteers, staff and visitors, and will follow all guidelines including frequent sanitizing of surfaces and restrooms, social distancing, and wearing facial coverings. There will be hand sanitizing stations throughout the museums and library. More…

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Ohio Wesleyan University

OWU Announces $4 Million Renovation Project For Branch Rickey Arena

14 Apr , 2020  

On Monday, Ohio Wesleyan University announced a $4 million project to fully renovate Branch Rickey Arena, home of the Battling Bishop wrestling, volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The six-month project, beginning this week, will improve the 44-year-old arena with new flooring, bleachers, scoreboards with statistics panels, lights, sound system, air conditioning, and more. The project is fully funded with contributions from alumni, parents, and friends, including lead gifts from 1955 OWU graduate and life trustee Douglas H. Dittrick, a pioneer in the cable television industry, and from First Commonwealth Bank. More…

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History In Your Own Backyard Features Last Covered Bridge In Delaware County: Video

12 Apr , 2020  

A regional video database of historic attractions in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana recently had Delaware County in its sights.

According to its website, History in Your Own Backyard has as its mission a quest to, after locating interest pieces of history, “…document these structures and sites via digital video for the world to see first hand. I know that we can’t save every site but if enough people are aware of what we could possibly save, we can have a world rich in history for our great grandchildren to explore and enjoy.” More…