History of frontier Ohio, a tourist destination

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, August 22, 2009

The early history of Ohio when it was considered frontier country is often overlooked.

This Labor Day weekend you can step back 200 years into the past of early Ohio at the 27th Annual Living History Fair being held Sept. 5 and 6 in New Boston. Located just west of Springfield, this nationally recognized event promises Colonial Era fun for the entire family.

It’s already on my calendar so I’ll give you an accounting after the fact. According to the people that I’ve spoken with everything about this event recreates the time period of 1790 – 1810.

Email newsletter signup

The music, entertainment, clothing, methods of cooking, foods served, merchandise booths, and equipment used by the artisans are juried (or judged) to assure authenticity to the period.

I’m told that I’ll meet some heroes of the Ohio country frontier. At various times of the day Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton and Gen. George Rogers Clark will stop to share their stories and experiences.

I plan to join the audience and share in the hearty laughter at Cheapside. Next I’ll browse the marketplace, unique shops and visit a recreated Woodlands Indian Village reflecting the time period.

There will be a chance to relax and refresh in a colonial tavern while listening to music of the colonial era. A Continental Army gun crew will service and fire a full-sized Revolutionary War cannon.

At the end of each day I’ll be able to view the energy and excitement of a battle reenactment!

The fair is held in historic George Rogers Clark Park, just west of Springfield on State Route 4. Gates will open at 10 am and close at 6 pm rain or shine.

Admission is $8 for adults; $3 for children aged 6-11, and ages 5 and under are admitted free. Admission for military active duty is $5 with ID. Parking is free and plentiful. For further information see their website at www.fairatnewboston.org or call 937-882-9216. Tourism information on the greater Springfield area can be obtained at 800-803-1553 and/or www.visitspringfieldohio.com.

On a more local note, plan to stop by the Lawrence County Historical Society on Saturday afternoon and meet some of Ironton’s founders and historical characters.

Ironton’s founder John Campbell may be there to chat with you. Many of these same re-enactors will also be present for the Historical Society’s Sept. 19 Cemetery Walk through Woodland Cemetery. The Museum is located at 506 S. 6th St. Ironton and on weekends you can contact them at 740-532-1222 for schedules and information.

The Iron Furnace Festival is being held at Lake Vesuvius the following weekend of Sept. 25 and 26. Here one will discover history, music, food, arts and crafts plus much more. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, Mark Twain and female ironmaster Nanny Kelly Wright will be here sharing their thoughts and views with you.

I’m sure you will be seeing much more information and details about Lawrence County’s upcoming “History Alive” events. In the meantime feel free to contact me at 740-533-4559 or call@ohio.edu.

Happy travels!