“Historical and Cultural Foundations of the Nation”: 50 Years of the NHPA

The John Parker House in Ripley, Ohio, was the home of a former slave from around 1853 until his death in 1900. Parker established a successful foundry behind the home, and was one of the few African Americans to received patents for his inventions during the 19th century. Parker was also an active conductor on the Underground Railroad in southern Ohio. The house has been designated a National Historic Landmark under the National Historic Preservation Act. Via Ohio Memory.
The John Parker House in Ripley, Ohio, via Ohio Memory. Parker, a former slave and activist on the Underground Railroad, established a successful foundry behind the home. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark under the National Historic Preservation Act.

Fifty years ago this week — on October 15, 1966 — President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the National Historic Preservation Act. This important piece of legislation has now allowed half a century of incredibly important work recognizing and preserving historical elements of our built environment through programs and procedures including the National Register of Historic Places, state historic preservation offices like Ohio’s own, Section 106 reviews, a Historic Preservation Fund, and more. In Ohio alone, there are nearly 4,000 listings in the National Register of Historic Places, including:

  • 533 historic districts
  • 252 schools and libraries
  • 204 archaeological sites
  • 167 religious properties
  • 106 bridges
  • 73 National Historic Landmarks
  • 4 roadways or parts of roadways
  • 1submarine, 1 river-based lock system, and 1 dirigible crash site!

You can learn more about 50 years of historic preservation in Ohio through the State Historic Preservation Office and at preservation50.org. In the meantime, let’s explore just a few National Register locations that show up on Ohio Memory!

This round brick barn in Urbana is part of a former farm known as Nutwood Place. The barn, built in 1861, has a cupola with a horse weathervane on top. Nutwood Place is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This round brick barn in Urbana is part of a former farm known as Nutwood Place. The barn, built in 1861, has a cupola with a horse weathervane on top. Nutwood Place was listed on the National Register in 1976 in recognition of its important architectural history. Via the Ohio Guide Collection.
 Before Orville and Wilbur Wright began working on solving the problem of flight, they ran a newspaper and a bicycle shop. This is the fourth of five locations of the Wright Cycle Company in Dayton. Wilbur and Orville occupied the building, located at 22 South Williams Street, from the spring of 1895 to the fall of 1897. The building represents the first time the Wrights' printing and bicycle businesses were together under the same roof. The Wright brothers began their business repairing bicycles in 1893. By 1896 they were manufacturing their own Van Cleve and St. Clair bicycles. While working at the bicycle shop, Wilbur read of the death of a German glider pilot and became interested in flying. After extensive research and testing, the Wright brothers became the first to fly a heavier-than-air craft on December 17, 1903. The Wright Cycle Shop is the center of the neighborhood in which the Wright Brothers lived and worked, and it is the only one of the Wright brothers' bicycle shops that remains intact on its original location. It was designated a national historical landmark in 1992 as one unit of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Courtesy of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park via Ohio Memory.
Before Orville and Wilbur Wright began working on solving the problem of flight, they ran a newspaper and a bicycle shop. This location of the Wright Cycle Company in Dayton was occupied from the spring of 1895 to fall 1897, and represents the first time the Wrights’ printing and bicycle businesses were together under the same roof. It is the only one of the brothers’ bicycle shops intact on its original location, and was listed on the National Register in 1986. Courtesy of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park via Ohio Memory.
The Harshaville covered bridge in Adams County, Ohio, was built around 1855. Confederate General John Hunt Morgan crossed the bridge on July 15, 1863, when he and his 2,000 raiders passed through Adams County. The bridge was listed on the National Register on March 16, 1976.
The Harshaville Covered Bridge in Adams County was built around 1855. Confederate General John Hunt Morgan crossed the bridge on July 15, 1863, when he and his 2,000 raiders passed through Adams County. The bridge was listed on the National Register in 1976. Courtesy of the Adams County Historical Society via Ohio Memory.
Vesuvius Iron Furnace near Ironton, Ohio were taken around 1965. Named after the Mt. Vesuvius volcano in Italy, the furnace was built in 1833 to supply iron to steel manufacturers in northern Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other parts of the nation. It produced 3,000 tons of pig iron, made from iron ore and limestone, per year. The supply of iron ore diminished by the end of the nineteenth century and the furnace was abandoned. The furnace was one 46 charcoal iron furnaces located in the Hanging Rock Iron Region of southern Ohio. Vesuvius Iron Furnace is located north of Ironton, Ohio in the Wayne National Forest. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The slides measure 2.75" x 2.75" (6.99 x 6.99 cm).
The Vesuvius Iron Furnace near Ironton, Ohio, was built in 1833 to supply iron to steel manufacturers in northern Ohio, Pennsylvania, and beyond. It produced 3,000 tons of pig iron, made from iron ore and limestone, per year, until the supply of iron ore diminished by the end of the 19th century and the furnace was abandoned. The Vesuvius Furnace was one 46 charcoal iron furnaces located in the Hanging Rock Iron Region of southern Ohio, and was listed on the National Register in 1990.
The Civil War Memorial Chapel at the Akron Rural Cemetery (also known as Glendale Cemetery) was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1876 to honor Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. The Gothic-style chapel was designed by prominent architect Frank O. Weary, and was built with funds raised by the Buckley Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans' organization. Inside the chapel are fourteen marble tablets engraved with the names of 852 Akron soldiers who died during the war. The chapel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, features stained glass windows from Scotland, floor tiles imported from England, and ceiling timbers of butternut. This 6" x 8.5" (15.24 x 21.59 cm) photograph is from a collection of original photos that were taken in 1891 to provide a reference for the drawings that appear in Fifty Years and Over of Akron and Summit County by Samuel A. Lane, published in 1892. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Courtesy of the Akron-Summit County Public Library via Ohio Memory.
This Memorial Chapel at Akron Rural Cemetery (also known as Glendale Cemetery) was dedicated on Memorial Day 1876 to honor Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. The Gothic chapel. designed by prominent architect Frank O. Weary, was listed on the National Register in 1980 and features stained glass windows from Scotland, floor tiles imported from England, and ceiling timbers of butternut. Courtesy of the Akron-Summit County Public Library via Ohio Memory.

We hope you’ll continue to explore Ohio Memory, browse Ohio’s National Register sites, and consider how to help preserve and promote your local historical places as we celebrate 50 years of historic preservation!

Leave a Reply