History abounds in and around the Chillicothe area. There, you can explore the works of prehistoric Hopewell tribes see evidence of the 1800’s expansion including the Civil War and the Underground Railroad. Take in canal travel from the 1900’s, and more. Immerse yourself in Ohio’s First Capital and the history surrounding it. Whether you stay for a week or more, you will still not have exhausted all there is to do and see. For a unique look at many historical periods in miniature, check out The History Store in the First Capital District. (Note: the stores and museums may not keep regular hours, so call before visiting.) Pamphlets are available at Wren Eagle Retreat for walking tours and other ways to experience the area. Personalized tours are available from Kevin Coleman of Intrepid Historical Services. Call him at 740-775-4036. And if you want to learn more before you arrive, the Ancient Ohio Trail is the place to go.
Witness the life story (based on a novel) of the Shawnee leader, Tecumseh, as he struggles to defend his homelands in Ohio during the late 18th Century. The outdoor amphitheatre at Sugarloaf Mountain provides an immersive perspective with galloping horses and live military cannon and guns. Adjacent to Great Seal State Park. Please be advised that the guns and cannon are real and extremely loud. (866) 775-0700
Civil War life in Ohio. See how iron was made and how towns rose up around the furnaces. This is the best example of a furnace remaining in Ohio. Buckeye Furnace is 10 miles east of Jackson, two miles south of State Route 124 on Buckeye Furnace Road in Jackson County. 740-384-3537
Ross County Historical Society:
Many historic items and homes. You should stop here first to find out about the historic places and visit the museum. 740-772-1936
Lucy Hayes House and Heritage Center:
The home of the first First Lady to be called so by the press and the wife of the 19th President, Rutherford B. Hayes 90 W. 6th Street, Chillicothe. 740-775-5829
Leo Petroglyph State Memorial
Unusual ancient drawings and a very short but interesting trail among Ohio’s sandstone cliffs. Located in Jackson County, about 35 minutes away. Click here for a map. 357 Township Highway 224, Ray, OH
Bainbridge Dental Museum:
This is a tiny museum and something to visit on the way to Fort Hill. 209 W Main St. Bainbridge, OH 45612. Call for hours. (740) 634-2228
Adena Mansion, the 2000-acre estate of Thomas Worthington (1773-1827), sixth governor of Ohio and one of the state’s first United States Senators, was completed in 1807, and has been restored to look much as it did when the Worthington family lived there, including many original Worthington family furnishings. Designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the mansion sits on the 300 remaining acres along with outbuildings, and formal gardens. Visitors may stroll through terraces of flowers and vegetables and across the grassy lawn to the grove. East of the estate, across the Scioto River, the Logan Range gives the view that inspired the Great Seal of the State of Ohio. (740) 772-1500
Hopewell Culture National Historic Park:
Far more interesting than the website suggests. An in-depth look into Hopewell culture, archaeology, and Ohio history. Easy to locate at 16062 State Route 104, Chillicothe, OH 45601. (740) 774-1126 A good place to start or finish the Paint Creek Recreational Trail.
For a day trip by car, follow a visit to the Hopewell culture park with a stop at Seip Mound State Memorial, located 14 mi. W of Chillicothe on the S side of US 50, then walk in the paths of the Hopewell at Fort Hill State Memorial. It’s located at 13614 Fort Hill Rd. Hillsboro, OH 45133 Here is a link to Fort Hill info and map.
Ohio Erie Canal Historic Trail:
An easy walk on a flat trail that runs along the former canal way in Bristol Village in Waverly. Historical signs guide you through the history of the canal ending at a replica canal boat and a beautiful view. For more canal history in photos check out this site. 740-947-965
James M. Thomas Telephone Museum:
Telephone items dating back to 1895, incuding a working section of electro-mechanical switching equipment. And don’t miss the Horizon Telephone historic mural. 68 E. Main Street, Chillicothe, OH. 740-772-8200. Open weekdays during normal business hours.
Pike County Museum:
Celebrating history from ancient times. 110 S. Market St., Waverly OH. 740-947-5281.