Columbus OH celebrates bicentennial in 2012

downtown columbus ohioColumbus will kick-off a year-long 200th birthday bash starting in February. The city charter was signed Feb 14, 1812. Various celebration events have already been scheduled with The Columbus Historical Society and more will probably be added as the year goes on.

I’m not one of those people who is a great fan of studying history. When I was at the end of my 6½ years of night school at Franklin University, I only needed 2 more hours to graduate. The college offered one course that was only 2 hours credit. It was the “History of Columbus” and was taught by Ed Lentz, who at that time (1985) worked with the Columbus Historical Society. Our textbook was a book titled Columbus: America’s Crossroads that Mr Lentz had co-authored with Betty Garrett.

My expectations for the course were low and after going to night school for so many years, while working full-time and being a single Mom, I just wanted to ‘be done’! I’m sure many of you can relate.

As it turned out, this course was extremely interesting as was the “textbook”. Sized like a coffee table book with LOTS of photos, it’s not like a regular history book. It was fascinating to read about some of the early leaders and to realize how many of the streets are named after them. It covers the early development of areas such as Clintonville, Victorian Village, Italian Village and of course, German Village. Companies, like Lazarus, Big Bear, Bank One, Borden, that played an important part in developing Columbus are also portrayed. Unfortunately many of the companies featured are no longer in existence. Columbus served a key role in the Civil War and the Underground Railroad.

As Columbus gears up for its celebration, I highly recommend securing a copy of this book. If you’ve lived around Columbus most of your life, I’ll bet you’ll be surprised at how little you really know about the city. Trust me … it’s easy reading.

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