Sunday, February 23, 2003

Bicentennial Notebook

Markers to show journey to statehood

By Randy McNutt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Nine bicentennial historical markers are being unveiled this weekend through April 30 to celebrate Ohio's journey to statehood.

A marker with a Cincinnati connection was dedicated Saturday. The marker is at 1 Fort St., in Fort Recovery. It commemorates two battles at the same location: St. Clair's Defeat of 1791 - called the worst military defeat on U.S. soil-and Gen. Anthony Wayne's victory in 1794.

At President Washington's order Wayne and Gen. Arthur St. Clair marched from Cincinnati against Indian tribes. Despite different outcomes, the battles were preludes to settlement and statehood.

The Ohio Bicentennial Commission's themed marker program, called "Ohio's Path to Statehood," will involve sites across the state that were instrumental in Ohio's formation.

Markers will commemorate subjects such as the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Among the bronze markers:

Zane's Trace, Ohio's First Road, 2 p.m. today at South Bridge Park, U.S. 40, New Concord.

Treaty of Green Ville, 1795, 10 a.m. March 8, downtown City Circle, Greenville.


Billy Yank's Diary, Stories of Butler County People will open 7:30 p.m. Friday at Miami University Hamilton's Parrish Auditorium.

The play features historical scenes from Butler County and performances by county singers. Jim Ward will play Billy Yank.

The script is based on historical research by Dr. Phillip Shriver, retired Miami University president and history professor, and James Blount, a county historian, author and former newspaper editor.

Scenes include the building of the Miami and Erie Canal; the founding of Armco, Fort Hamilton, Miami University and Oxford; the Underground Railroad, the start of the Civil War, and the flood of 1913.

Tickets--$6, $3 for students--may be purchased from the Hamilton Convention and Visitors Bureau in the Hamiltonian Hotel and the cashier's office at the Hamilton campus. Information: 868-6037.

When Springboro hosts its annual Freedom Festival May 17-18, the event will take on special meaning.

Although the festival celebrates the town's role in helping slaves escape through the Underground Railroad, this year it will also celebrate Warren County's bicentennial.

The county's bicentennial bell, to be cast by Verdin Co. of Cincinnati May 2-3 at the Bicentennial Commons in Lebanon, will be rung, said Anne Stremanos, executive director of the Springboro Chamber of Commerce.

"Our historic district is home to 14 existing buildings with documented Underground Railroad connections, and a further three where research is ongoing," she said.

Information: 937-748-0074.

Bicentennial Notebook appears periodically. Send news to Randy McNutt, Cincinnati Enquirer, 7700 Service Center Drive, West Chester OH 45069. Telephone: 755-4158. Fax: 755-4150. E-mail

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