What we now know as the present-day village of Stratford, near U.S. 23 and state Route 315 south of Delaware, was settled in 1807 by John Beard and was the site of early pioneer mills in Delaware County.
The exhibit “Stratford a Mill Town” explains how the town grew from 1807 through 1902 along the banks of the Whetstone (Olentangy) River, which provided power for these mills that produced grain, wool and paper. Today, Stratford “on the Whetstone” is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places for the historic preservation of a milling community.
Within this exhibit, there is a special display showing the results of a recent archaeology dig of an area of prehistoric interest within the original Meeker property. The former dining room of the Meeker House has been converted into a media theater, where visitors can view an informational video which includes a segment on papermaking.
On the second floor there are two additional exhibits. The Delaware Chair Company was nationally known for its designs and workmanship; several examples of its products are on display. The “Early Spinning” exhibit explains the process of making thread on antique devices and how that thread is woven to make fabric, which is sewn together to make garments.
The Meeker Homestead Museum is located at 2690 Stratford Road, Delaware. Volunteer docents are available to guide and assist visitors, and to answer questions. The museum and all exhibits are free and open to the public, however there is an opportunity to make a donation, which will help defray expenses. For more information, visit the DCHS website (https://delawareohiohistory.org), email Info@DelawareOhioHistory.org, or call 740-369-3831, ext. 3.
The Delaware County Historical Society is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote, preserve, and sustain interest in the history of Delaware County. The Barn at Stratford is operated by DCHS as an event venue for weddings, corporate meetings and other special occasions. To learn more, visit the venue and society web sites at barnatstratford.org and delawareohiohistory.org.
This story was submitted by the Delaware County Historical Society.