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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Who Was This Delaware Man? Solving A 160 Year Old Mystery

3 Sep , 2020  

By 1808Delaware

Today we begin a two part series here on 1808Delaware, one which will set out to solve a question that arose recently but which involves a question over a century and a half old – who was this man?

The figure of a soldier peers out of a photograph which recently came into our possession. As with many portraits of that era, there is no writing on the photo’s front or reverse that reveals the identity of the sitter. There are clues, however — clues that, as we did research for this story, brought us face-to-face with two intriguing figures in Delaware County history whose very interesting stories you likely do not know. More…

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Everything You Always Wanted To Know About: The First OWU-OSU Football Game

30 Aug , 2020  

By 1808Delaware

Football, or the lack of it, is on sports fans’ minds these days, and so we thought we would share a gridiron-related post on this last weekend of August.

The storied football history of The Ohio State University started right here in Delaware County. Here are details about the school’s first football contest, hosted by the Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan University.

Date: May 3, 1890

Final Score: OSU 20, OWU 14 More…

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Hey, I Saw Your House In A Catalog: Sears Houses In Delaware

20 Aug , 2020  

Publisher’s Note: This story has been updated with additional information.

By 1808Delaware

If you live in Delaware, there’s a good chance that you might live near a residence that was bought out of a book.

A Sears catalog, to be exact.

According to Wikipedia, Sears Catalog Homes (sold under the Sears Modern Homes name) were catalog and kit houses sold primarily through mail order by Sears, Roebuck and Company, an American retailer. More…



Delaware County Roots: The War Governor

19 Aug , 2020  

By 1808Delaware

Over the last two centuries, Delaware County has produced a remarkable set of individuals who have led lives of discovery. This series will reveal short insights into the lives of the well-known and less commonly known people born here, or who lived here, and then went on to make significant contributions to state, regional, or national history.

The second Governor of the State of Kansas was a native Delaware Countian.

He was also someone so respected by his constituents that he earned the nickname, “The War Governor.”

His name was Thomas Carney, and he was born in 1824 near Berkshire. More…

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Landmarks Of Delaware County: The Edward E. Neff House

15 Aug , 2020  

By 1808Delaware

We continue our ongoing look at the historic resources of Delaware County with a stop in the Northwest Neighborhood, home of an extraordinary collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century residences and churches.

Today, we look at a house which might best be known as the childhood home of a prolific and prominent architect.

The house at 123 North Franklin Street is a magnificent Queen Anne style structure. It was built by prominent local merchant Edward Erford Neff, who was born in 1830 in Dover, Ohio. Neff was married to Mary Ann Glover in 1862, and the couple went on to have three children — John, Addella, and Clarence. More…

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Landmarks Of Delaware County: Williams’ Opera House

21 Jul , 2020  

By 1808Delaware

Lovers of the arts in 19th century Delaware knew the venue on East Winter Street very well. Williams’ Opera House was s staple of the city’s cultural scene, with its four storefronts on the street level and the large auditorium/opera house on the second floor.

The building originally featured a large mansard roof, giving the appearance of a third story. The 1885 Sanborn Map of Delaware, shown here, called it a “French roof.” More…

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The Day That Main Street Came To Delaware: Part One

26 Jun , 2020  

By: Owner/Publisher Thomas Palmer, 1808Delaware

Fans of downtown Delaware are well aware of the organization known as Main Street Delaware.

That organization’s first baby step took place with a phone call. I know this, as I am the person who made that call over two decades ago.

Locally, Main Street Delaware spearheads the revitalization of Delaware’s central business district using a model which has been successfully used across the country for 40 years. More…

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Landmarks Of Delaware County: The Hotel Blee

21 Jun , 2020  

By: 1808Delaware Staff

The three story building sits prominently on the southwest corner of Union and Winter Streets, just as it has since 1890.

The Hotel Blee may have had a troubled beginning, but it continues to provide residential space 130 years later — albeit of a more long-term variety.

The sturdy brick structure at 42-46 East Winter Street was built as a hotel to replace a frame structure on the site, but that purpose didn’t last long. While it is not known who built the building, it is known that a railroad conductor was either involved or purchased the property very shortly after construction. More…

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When Delaware County Welcomed: Mark Twain

19 Jun , 2020  

By: 1808Delaware Staff

The date was February 10, 1885. That afternoon, three visitors to Delaware exited the train and secured transportation downtown. Making their way to the new City Hall and Opera House, they made their way to the second floor.

One of the men was a well-known novelist of the day, a man known for his written and vocal representations of life in the southern United States. One of the others was an American icon of the first order, an author, raconteur, and humorist.

The two, who were in the midst of their “Twins of Genius” Tour, were George Washington Cable and Samuel L. Clemens, better known as “Mark Twain.” More…

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Delaware, History/Tourism

Landmarks Of Delaware County: The Delaware Post Office Building

7 Jun , 2020  

By: 1808Delaware

The early decades of the 20th century saw public buildings built across the country, each making a statement about the importance of institutions housed inside their walls.

And, as a bustling city with a population nearing 9,000 inhabitants, a county seat as well as the location for a prominent liberal arts college, Delaware was exactly the kind of place where those investments were being made.

Over 100 years later, the city and the college are both benefiting from the erection of a classically-designed building that has stood the test of time. More…

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Landmarks Of Delaware County: Templar Hall

25 May , 2020  

By: 1808Delaware Staff

To celebrate Memorial Day here at 1808Delaware, we’re sharing another post in our Landmarks of Delaware County series. Our first two posts can be accessed here.

There are few buildings in central Ohio as connected with regional and national history as that at 17-19 North Sandusky Street in downtown Delaware. This spring and summer, the structure is reconnecting with its past in a very visual manner.

It is believed that the three story Templar Hall was constructed about 1853 or shortly thereafter. It was certainly standing on June 6, 1856, when it was the scene for the first visit and speech of noted national political and social leader Frederick Douglass in Delaware (see more about that visit here). More…

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