22 Butler County historical sites you can explore during the coronavirus slowdown

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Stunning aerial view of downtown Hamilton

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Like many organizations, the Butler County Historical Society closed its doors in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

To help the public continue to learn about history, it has posted online tour guides, showing where people can drive to see important historical sites, called markers, in Butler County.

”People tell us they had no idea this much history happened in Butler County,” said said Kathy Creighton, executive director of the historical society.

The tour guides can or will be found in the “Events and Blog” section at www.bchistoricalsociety.com, split into regions. Here’s a look at what they include:

Hamilton

The Children's Home: An orphanage for Civil War orphans that opened in 1869.

Fort Hamilton: Built in 1791, this four-sided garrison with two cannons was a supply depot for American settlers and soldiers.

Hamilton Municipal Building: Abraham Lincoln spoke at this spot in 1859 to a crowd of 1,000 people before he was an official candidate, 14 months before he was elected President. Lincoln was still without his legendary beard at the time, and so local historians made sure the historical marker commemorated only the "beardless Lincoln."

Warren Gard: This anti-Prohibition congressman introduced and helped pass the bill that would give the Boy Scouts of America its national charter. His grave is located inside Hamilton's Greenwood Cemetery.

Central and Northeast

Miami Erie Canal: This canal that began construction in 1825 and closed in 1929 was a waterway link that joined Cincinnati to Toledo. There's a separate historical marker for the canal's groundbreaking in Middletown.

Woodsdale and Chrisholm Farmstead: The Chrisholm Farmstead was founded by Christian Augsberger, founder of an Amish Mennonite settlement, in 1830.

Miltonville: Miltownville was known for the Eagle Tavern, a three-story inn that served as a stagecoach line stopover, a Native American burial ground, and the Elk Creek Baptist Church and Cemetery.

Charles Busenbark and Charles Richter: Charles Busenbark deeded the land that would eventually host a school, a railroad depot, a warehouse and grain elevator, and the site of a famous bare-knuckles boxing match. Charles Richter, creator of the Richter scale, was born one mile away.

Southeast

Fair Play and Miami Chapel Cemetery: Site of water-powered mills and the graves of Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans.

Elisha Morgan House: A farm mansion built using both Federal and Greek Revival architectural styles shortly after Elisha Morgan purchased the land in 1817.

Voice of America and Bethany Relay Station: Site of shortwave transmitters ordered by President Franklin Roosevelt, aimed at Europe. The broadcasts of World War II from the U.S. perspective prompted Adolph Hitler to rail against "those Cincinnati liars."

Jain Center of Cincinnati and Dayton: The first temple in Ohio devoted to Jainism, an ancient Indian religion that believes in living ethical lives through a series of deaths and rebirths until karma is conquered. However, unlike Hinduism and Buddhism, there are no gods or central holy figure.

Butler County Airport and the Hogan Family: Site containing information about the Hogan Family, a family of siblings, brothers and sisters, all expert pilots. They co-founded the butler County Airport.

West

Birthplace of William Bebb: The Bebb family cabin was purchased in 1801 and was eventually the site of a farm and boarding school. It was also the birthplace of William Bebb, Ohio governor from 1846-49.

Morgan Township House: This house was used variously as a place for Morgan Township trustee meetings, concerts, a voting precinct, singing school, public school, bank and township garage from 1858-1972.

Paddy's Run & Shandon: Ohio's first Welsh settlement includes a brick church built in 1854 and a meeting house, complete with a Welsh "death door" leading to the cemetery, built in 1824.

Bunker Hill: This 19th-century hamlet was partially populated by Peace Democrats known as the Copperheads, Northern activists who opposed the Civil War. Part of Bunker Hill was also known as "Dogtown," because it was the site of a major dogfight. That factoid, Creighton said, "is not one of our favorites."

Lewis-Sample Farm and Miami Valley Native Americans: This farm, purchased from the Lewis family by the Sample family in 1871 and owned by the Samples until 2007, still has earthworks from the Adena and Hopewell Native American cultures.

Oxford and Israel Township

Dewitt Log Homestead: Built in 1805 and located just east of the Miami University campus, this log cabin is the oldest building in Oxford.

Langstroth Cottage: Built in 1856, this was the home of Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth, the father of modern beekeeping. Langstroth invented the moveable bee frame, which allowed beekeepers to remove honeycombs from a beehive without destroying them.

Lewis Place: Built in 1839, this white-columned abode has housed Miami University presidents past and present, including Robert L. Stanton, brother-in-law of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who stayed at the house when she spoke at Miami in 1870.

Oxford Female Institute: This college for women was established in 1849. Its first president's daughter, Caroline Scott, married Benjamin Harrison and became First Lady after he was elected president in 1888. Miami University assimilated the Institute's students in 1928.

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