Annual Ohio Statehood Day celebration planned for March 2

February 21, 2019 GMT

The Lawrence Herald

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - You don’t have to travel all the way to Columbus to celebrate Ohio’s statehood. That’s because the first capital of Ohio is nestled right here in Southern Ohio - Chillicothe, to be exact.

The Ross County Historical Society has planned a day of celebration on Saturday, March 2, that will highlight important historic sites around the state’s first capital.

Five of Chillicothe’s historical sites, museums, and organizations will host open houses on Saturday, March 2, in commemoration of Ohio Statehood Day - the annual observance of the founding of the State of Ohio which took place on March 1, 1803. Among the highlights during this year’s observance will be special exhibits and programs focused on Ohio’s founding and its first capital, Chillicothe; local African-American history; military history; artistic and literary history; and many other aspects of local, state and U.S. history.

The Ross County Historical Society Heritage Center

Located at 45 West 5th St., Chillicothe, will be open from noon until 4 p.m. Featured will be a new exhibit on the area’s most notable artists and authors from the past showcasing rare examples of their art and literature found in the historical society’s museum and library collections. Also featured will be a special one-day exhibit of Ohio statehood documents from the society’s archives and an extensive display of early American military firearms from private collections. In addition, the event will offer an excellent, cost-free, opportunity to see all other exhibits on local and state history found within the Ross County Heritage Center museum complex. The traditional music ensemble, Dulcimer Dawn, will perform throughout the afternoon.

Adena Mansion & Gardens

At 847 Adena Road, Chillicothe, the mansion and gardens will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adena is the historic home of Thomas Worthington, Ohio’s first U.S. Senator, sixth governor, and “Father of Ohio Statehood.” Mansion tours start every 30 minutes beginning at 10:30 a.m. with the final tour beginning at 3 p.m. In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to step back in time to 1802 and join in a fiery political debate over whether Ohio should become a new state or remain a part of the Northwest Territory. Debates will take place hourly beginning at 11 a.m. through 3 p.m. in the museum located in the Adena Visitor Center.

The David Nickens Heritage Center

At 71 West 4th St., Chillicothe, will be open 1 to 4 p.m. Featured will be fascinating exhibits on local, regional, and national African American history and culture, including “Freedom’s Journey: The Underground Railroad,” “African American Women in the 19th Century,” and “The Black Church in America.” Visitors will also have the opportunity to see a recently acquired portrait of Reverend Nickens, view the acclaimed video production on the Underground Railroad titled “Flight to Freedom,” learn about the center’s African American genealogical resources, and engage in conversations about the current concerns of the community.

The Lucy Hayes Heritage Center

At 90 West 6th St., Chillicothe, birthplace of Lucy Webb Hayes, wife of 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Featured will be special exhibits of Hayes family memorabilia, early Ohio maps and statehood documents, and 19th century home furnishings and decorative arts representing the era when Lucy Webb lived in the house. New this year will be a special program on the Governor of the Northwest Territory Arthur St. Clair by David Tillis that will begin at 3 p.m.

The Ross County Genealogical Society

At 444 Douglas Ave., Chillicothe, the society will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The public is invited to stop in and learn about the large number of resources available for anyone interested in researching their family tree.

Chillicothe’s annual Statehood Day Open House is free and open to the public and provides an enjoyable opportunity to learn about the community’s many historical resources and treasures. For more information, call 740-772-1936.