Historical Markers in
Athens County, Ohio

Albany / Enterprise Academy Ames Academy Bell Athens County Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Athens County Infirmary Athens County Revolutionary Soldiers Memorial Athens County Vietnam War Memorial Athens First Settlement - 1797 Athens National Guard Armory Athens Veterans Memorial Bicentennial of the Northwest Ordinance Booker T. Washington Camp Site of Lord Dunmore Cutler Botanic Gardens Daniel Nelson Donald R. Johnson Memorial Channel Dow Finsterwald Day E. M. Poston Eliza Davidson Memorial First Presbyterian Church First Settlers in Athens County Fort Street Cemetery Frank Henry Gifford Glouster Korea-Vietnam War Memorial Hartman (George Connett Mounds) Mound Historic Amesville Hisylvania Coal Company Mine No. 22 Hocking Canal Site Hocking Valley Railway Japanese Cherry Trees John Pancoast Gordy, Ph.D., LL.D. Konneker Alumni Center Lynching in America / Lynching of Christopher Davis Manasseh Cutler Hall Margaret Snowden Memorial Auditorium Millfield Coal Mine Disaster Millfield Mine No. 6 - 1205 Disaster Milton M. Holland Nelsonville Normandy Park Ohio University Ohio University Ohio University 1915 Alumni Gateway Ohio University Sundial Ohio University's Distinguished Visitors Ohio's Cherry Trees Snake Ridge Lookout Tower Student Voices Susannah Arnold Anthony The Coolville Bridge The Elms The Hocking Valley Coal Strike The Kissing Circle The Ordinance of 1787 The Plains Veterans Memorial The Silas Bingham House Todd and Tony Carr Memorial Trimble Township War Memorial Tupper Hall Unknown Soldier Monument Veterans' Memorial Walter International Education Center Western Library Association Wolfe Plains Adena Mound Group World War I Memorial 'Input', 2004 "The Berry"
The Ohio State Reformatory, located in Mansfield, Ohio, is a famous prison that has been featured in several movies, including "The Shawshank Redemption." It was built in 1886 and operated until 1990.
Athens County, located in southeastern Ohio, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Shawnee, Delaware, and Wyandot. In the late 18th century, European settlers began to move into the area, attracted by the fertile land and natural resources. The first permanent settlement, called Athens, was established in 1797, and the town quickly grew into an important regional center.

During the 19th century, Athens County experienced significant growth and development. It became the home of Ohio University, founded in 1804 as the first institution of higher education in the Northwest Territory. The presence of the university brought intellectual and cultural enrichment, and Athens became known as the "Athens of the West," a nickname that remains to this day. The county was also a center of industry, with coal mining becoming a major economic driver, and the Hocking Canal providing a vital transportation link.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Athens County faced challenges and changes. The decline of the coal industry and the rise of mechanization led to economic hardships for many residents. However, the county also saw important social and political movements, such as the labor movement and the women's suffrage movement. Activism and progressive ideas thrived in Athens County, leading to important social and political changes that would impact the entire region.

In modern times, Athens County continues to be a vibrant community, with a diverse economy that includes education, healthcare, and tourism. The county remains an important center for education, as Ohio University continues to grow and attract students from around the world. The natural beauty of the region, including the Hocking Hills State Park, draws visitors who come to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and boating. Today, Athens County is known for its unique blend of history, natural beauty, and vibrant community spirit.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Athens County, Ohio.

  • 1797 - Athens County is established
  • 1804 - The town of Athens is laid out and becomes the county seat
  • 1809 - Ohio University is founded in Athens
  • 1815 - Steamboats begin to navigate the Hocking River, boosting transportation and trade in the area
  • 1833 - The Ohio and Erie Canal reaches Athens County, further enhancing transportation and economic development
  • 1861-1865 - Athens County contributes soldiers to the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • 1870s - The coal mining industry becomes a major economic driver in Athens County
  • 1913 - A devastating flood hits Athens County, causing significant damage to the area
  • 1964 - Ohio University experiences student protests and demonstrations as part of the larger Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements
  • 1993 - The Athens County Historical Society and Museum is established to preserve and showcase the county's history