MOUNT VERNON -- A couple years ago, I was with a group of friends visiting Gallia County, Ohio.
There's nothing better than poking around in small town museums.
ANKENYTOWN -- I had a great time Thursday night talking to folks at the Butler Historical Society. Their president, Lonnie Beveridge, invited me to come talk to them about Ankenytown, which I have written about here previously.
MOUNT VERNON -- What is it about humans that makes us gawk at anyone different? And if the difference is different enough, it can become fodder for not just a proverbial, but a literal freak show.
LOUDONVILLE -- In 1818, War of 1812 veteran Isaac Wolf came to Ashland County and settled on 160 acres in the northwest quarter of section 25 of Green Township.
Mount Vernon resident Frank B. Hanger went gray young. Aged only 42 at the time of his death, a photograph that appeared in local media showed him sporting white hair over brightly attentive eyes.
LOUDONVILLE -- By now many in the area are familiar with the story of Charles Follis, and north central Ohio's role in it.
MOUNT VERNON -- The phrase “cracking the whip” still registers in our language, though flogging as a corporal punishment was given up many years ago in most western countries.
If it weren't for the small metal sign on the gate that says “Bangs Cemetery,” you'd miss that the green lawn on Johnstown Road is anything other than a yard.
MILLWOOD -- Recent reports on the history of accidental drownings in the Kokosing River near Millwood have brought a lot of response from readers and a resolution from officials to increase the signage in the area to help warn people about the dangers of the river as it enters the hills of e…
MOUNT VERNON -- It was 100 years ago, just after the Independence Day celebrations, but Mount Vernon was not quite ready to settle down to the usual activities of summer.
MOUNT VERNON -- One year ago, this weekend, History Knox debuted on this site with a small, quiet column about a mail carrier's buggy from Danville.
MOUNT VERNON -- Even in an area rich in history, the Knox County Agricultural Museum, located at the Knox County Fairgrounds, is a standout gem.
The Kokosing River in Knox County has been the site of a drowning and a missing person in a pair of incidents over the past week. At least 10 victims in the last 100 years this powerful river, no matter how calm its surface may seem.
MOUNT VERNON – According to noted historian and author John Ellis, “On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote two letters to his beloved Abigail exuberantly reporting that history had been made: One day earlier, the Continental Congress had voted to declare American independence from the British Empire.
MOUNT VERNON -- Did you know that in the years preceding the Civil War there also many abolitionists in Knox County and the region served as a stop on the Underground Railroad, assisting many runaway slaves?
DANVILLE -- One rainy day in 1871, Jacob Ross annoyed the people of Danville one time too many.
The infamous Sternbaum murder case was — at that time — the longest murder trial in Ohio history. It took place during the weeks of February in 1954 in Mansfield, with a couple of shocking twists and a not-guilty verdict in the end.
JELLOWAY -- Other than its odd name, there's not much about Jelloway to slow down the traveler on US Route 3 in northern Knox County. The hamlet features a few old shop buildings, one of them a service station from decades long past.
MOUNT VERNON -- The husband and wife detective team of Jane and Dagobert Brown were followed for many years by fans of the novelist Delano Ames, who was based in England.
CENTERBURG -- The evening of Monday, Dec. 18, 1911, Hilliar Township constable Samuel Gould was upset about something at the Foster house in Centerburg, standing in front of the house making a scene.
MOUNT VERNON -- I love writing historical columns. I get to play detective, trying to piece together forgotten stories and bring them once again to life.
MOUNT VERNON -- The afternoon of Friday, April 15, 1955, was a typically busy one in downtown Mount Vernon, as people moved from store to store, some stopping to socialize along the way.
BLADENSBURG -- Digging recently into the history of the tiny southeastern Knox County town of Bladensburg, I came across an intriguing murder case, completely forgotten today.
MOUNT VERNON -- A recent spate of tornadoes in Ohio may serve to remind us that April is the most dangerous month for twisters in the United States.
Part of what I do as a historical storyteller is follow hunches. When I was studying the Milford Township area of southwestern Knox County, an odd surname caught my eye.
MOUNT VERNON -- Even the greatest talents of the world need a break to get started, and the American icon we know as Mark Twain got his first big break courtesy of a man born in Knox County.
MOUNT VERNON -- Science can tell us what we are. Religion or philosophy can tell us why we are. History can tell us who we were.
BLADENSBURG -- Washington Houck came to Knox County from Huntington County, Pennsylvania, when his family moved here in 1805.
ASHLAND -- The understand the arc of Ashland's Otter Hotel one should understand its roots.
MOUNT VERNON -- One inevitable side effect of heavy railroad traffic in the 20th century was train derailments.
MOUNT VERNON -- Vintage postcards are a hoot, once you get past the creepy feeling of reading other people's mail.
MOUNT VERNON -- Cavallo's glory days were intense but brief. Founded in the 1830s to serve as a port on the Walhonding Canal, Cavallo at its height boasted four large warehouses, and it was Knox County's main port of goods.
MOUNT VERNON -- Kathy Gamble was startled to recognize a name when she read an article by Chuck Martin in the Mount Vernon News in January about a tombstone discovered in the foundation when the old bar known as The Office was torn down last fall. The stone was for Rachel Chambers (1803-1883…
Not all crimes are created equal. Strange to say, some murders fade away into obscurity while others lodge in the collective memory of a community.
MOUNT VERNON -- If we've seen a little bit of everything in this year's winter, the story was a little different in the winter of 1910.
As settlers encroached further and further on Native American territory in what is now Ohio, hostilities kept breaking out. It finally flared up into an all-out war which ended with the Indian defeat at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August of 1794 along the Maumee River in northwest Ohio.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part II of a series that began last month in a story that can be found at this link.
MOUNT VERNON -- It's a never-ending marketing game to try and claim superlatives, but Mount Vernon's Woodward Opera House earns its tag of being the nation's “oldest authentic 19th century theater.”
MILLWOOD -- Charles A. Horton was only 23 years old. The World War II veteran was had recently married and had just a few months ago undertaken a new job driving a big rig for the R.E. Oesterling Company out of Butler, Pennsylvania, the nearest town to where Charles grew up in rural Donegal …
A postcard stamped in 1944 and sent from Mohican State Park, shows the trestle bridge that crossed the Mohican River in Hog Hollow. That same view today, photographed from river’s edge just west of the Park Road, has a familiar skyline of timbered hills but a different bridge. In 1968, the old iron span was removed and replaced by the landmark Mohican Covered Bridge.
DANVILLE -- Standing in the crumbling foundations of the long-gone St. Joseph mission church, one can almost imagine hymns being sung fervently, if a little out of tune, by the immigrant farmers gathered in the tiny church atop a steep hill just over the county line into Holmes County.
It's a surprise to pick up a book like A. Banning Norton's history of Knox County and find that, as far as that author was concerned, this place was created out of thin air in 1779.
Back in the 1980s I interviewed an old woman in Mansfield because I wanted to learn more about the 1930s, when she operated an Auto Park of tourist cabins on Route 430 east of town.
MOUNT VERNON -- Whatever the confusions and disconnects that modern technology may cause us, there's no denying that it has made some wonderful things possible for historians.
CENTERBURG -- Friday, July 10, 1931, didn't seem much different from any other end of the week at the Centerburg Savings Bank. There was always plenty of work to do.
This story came to me from the most unlikely source. Maybe that’s why I never forgot it, and why I feel compelled, all these years later, to pass it on down the line to generations who will doubtless find it even more amazing than I did as a young man.
MOUNT VERNON -- The day dawned cold and rainy on Sunday, March 21, 1913. The rain was heavy, and it came as winter snows had melted and left Ohio rivers full.
MOUNT VERNON -- “Arriving at Mount Vernon, what a sense of relief and thrill of pleasure you experience in leaving the warm, upholstered and heavily-curtained car of the steam railway, to find awaiting you at the depot elegant electric summer cars of finest design and finish.
MOUNT VERNON -- The story of Westerville’s historic Bishop Hanby family and the Hanby House Museum will be presented at the Dec. 5 meeting of the Knox County Historical Society.