Summer’s Here, and the Time Is Right… For Visiting Ohio’s Historic Sites

Visitors at Serpent Mound, ca. 1910. Via Ohio Memory.

Maybe it’s the warm weather, or maybe it’s our memories of months off from school but, when summer arrives, we often find ourselves struck by the urge to have an adventure or two. This year, why not add an Ohio historic site to your list of things to do? With pictures of items you might see on your visits, and with background information on some of Ohio’s best historic sites, Ohio Memory can help jump-start your planning. Here are just a few ideas:

The home of Rufus Putnam in Marietta, Ohio. Via Ohio Memory.
  • If you would like to see the oldest building in Ohio, you’ll want to visit Campus Martius in Marietta. There you’ll find the Ohio Company Land Office, which was built in 1788 (as was the entire settlement) and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. While there, you’ll also want to see the Rufus Putnam house, which is on the same campus. Visit the Campus Martius information page to learn more.
  • If you are interested in Ohio’s indigenous cultures, you have several sites from which to choose. The Hopewell Culture Earthworks, seven Hopewell mound sites in Ohio, are shortlisted for induction onto the UNESCO World Heritage list; you can learn more about UNESCO World Heritage sites here, and click here to learn how you can get involved in having Ohio sites added to this prestigious list. If you would like to see some of the extraordinary artifacts that have been found during excavation of the Hopewell culture mounds, click here. Another remarkable Ohio mound created by indigenous cultures is the Serpent Mound which, at 1,348 feet, is the largest surviving effigy mound in the world and is also shortlisted for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List; for pictures of items excavated from the Serpent Mound, click here. Any of these sites would be perfect for visits.
Members of the “Fighting McCooks,” via Ohio Memory.


  • For those interested in the Civil War, Ohio is rich with historical sites. The home of Harriet Beecher Stowe, well-known abolitionist and author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is located in Cincinnati. To see the location that inspired Stowe’s well-known novel, travel an hour along the Ohio River to Ripley, Ohio, and visit Rankin House, a site on the Underground Railroad and home of abolitionist John Rankin. To view Ohio Memory’s collection of Harriet Beecher Stowe materials, click here. Meanwhile, clicking here will take you to materials related to John Rankin. Other sites you might enjoy include McCook House, home of the Fighting McCooks; and Ulysses S. Grant’s birthplace, and his boyhood home and schoolhouse.

While you’re touring Ohio this summer, we hope you’ll also consider visiting contributors to Ohio Memory: The Ohio History Center, the State Library of Ohio, and more than 365 others, representing all 88 of Ohio’s counties. There’s sure to be a location near you, so come by and say “hello”!

Thank you to Shannon Kupfer-Trausch, Digital Initiatives Librarian at theState Library of Ohio, for this week’s post!

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