Ohio History Connection invites the public to discover Ohio’s amazing heritage as historic buildings and landmarks across the state open their doors for special tours and events during Ohio Open Doors, Sept. 7-16.
More than 200 partnering organizations are hosting events in communities all across the Buckeye State. From a 214-year-old log house in Hamilton to Columbus’ 1920s-era Ohio Theatre and Canton’s imposing McKinley Memorial, visitors can explore fascinating places that reflect Ohio’s rich heritage — some opening especially for Ohio Open Doors events or offering behind-the-scenes looks that aren’t ordinarily available. All Ohio Open Doors events are free, and most are special one-day-only opportunities.
Delaware County stops are planned for Sept. 9. They include:
• Cook Farmstead Tour: The Cook Farmstead is on the National Register of Historic Places. A historical marker designates the location of the Cook Sawmill, which was part of the original Cook Farmstead. The marker recognizes Benajah & Cassandra Cook as the first permanent English settlers in Harlem Township. The historical marker is located just across the road from the one remaining barn, built in 1839 on Gorsuch Road. The event will include a walk through of the barn, a tour of the home built by John Cook, Benajah’s son, in 1863, and a look at the surrounding gardens.
• Benajah Cook Sawmill Archaeological Site: Early 19th Century Pioneer Life in Delaware County storytelling. Benajah and Cassandra Cook obtained 500 acres in Harlem Township in 1807, where they built a cabin and began clearing the land for farming. From the Historic Marker located where Gorsuch Road crosses Duncan Run, event organizers will point out archaeological manifestations of the early 19th century sawmill and provide historical accounts of pioneer life.
Both Delaware County sites will be open from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 9 and are located next to each other near Duncan Run at 12040 Gorsuch Road in Harlem Township.
The Ohio History Connection created Ohio Open Doors in 2016 to promote and inspire pride in Ohio’s heritage and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. Signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on Oct. 15, 1966, the act has proven instrumental in transforming the face of communities from coast to coast, establishing the legal framework and incentives to preserve historic buildings, landscapes and archaeological sites. It drives economic revitalization by attracting investment, supporting small business, stabilizing neighborhoods and creating jobs.
The Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office administers the National Historic Preservation Act in Ohio. Many of the landmarks featured in Ohio Open Doors events are in the National Register of Historic Places, which the National Historic Preservation Act created.
“Ohio Open Doors shares stories of important landmarks right in our backyard, highlighting the history and unique nature of some of Ohio’s most treasured historic places,” says Burt Logan, executive director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection.
For a list of all participants across the state and for more information about Ohio Open Doors, visit ohiohistory.org/opendoors.
Submitted by the Ohio History Connection.