2017 Scenic Ohio Awards

In 2017, Scenic Ohio joined forces with Heritage Ohio* to jointly present their annual awards.

The Scenic Ohio Award honors communities and other entities working to improve and protect their visual qualities, distinctive culture, or historical character. It recognizes community and government agencies, organizations, institutions and individuals who have taken positive measures to protect and enhance Ohio’s scenic resources.

On October 17, 2017 the Scenic Ohio Awards were presented in conjunction with the Heritage Ohio Annual Preservation and Revitalization Conference in Columbus.

Recipients were selected for being on a Scenic Byway, having a viable functioning town center, and having a rich historic background celebrated in the fabric of its town center and surrounding areas.

For outstanding contribution to enhancing the visual quality of Scenic Byways in the State of Ohio, the 2017 Scenic Ohio Award was presented to:

Scenic Ohio also presented a Special Award to Heritage Ohio for fostering the revitalization and preservation of Ohio’s Main Streets, Historic Districts and Downtowns.

Award Recipients & Pictures

Village of Granville

History: Unlike many settlements in the early 1800s, Granville was a planned community, founded in 1805 by people from the town of Granville, Massachusetts. These New Englanders faced an economic crisis, since their population was booming but the soil in their area was exhausted. They looked west to the then-new state of Ohio for their prosperity.

Granville is located in what was known as the “Military Lands,” territory that the U.S. government had seized in the Northwest Indian War in the 1790s. Having forcibly moved most of the Native Americans to the north and west, the U.S. then parceled up the land and gave it to veterans of the Revolutionary War.

But in the 1830s, both the National Road and the Ohio & Erie Canal passed Granville by, and most of the industry moved elsewhere. This potentially devastating blow, however, paved the way for a different kind of growth, and the village became an educational center with the founding of schools in the 1830s from which Denison University grew.

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Historic Zoar Village

History: Zoar Village was founded in 1817 by a group of over 200 German Separatists seeking escape from religious persecution in their homeland. These Separatists thrived as a unique society for more than 80 years, making Zoar Village one of the most successful communal settlements in American history.

Today, Zoar Village is made up of approximately 75 families living in homes built from 1817 to the present. Visit us to tour the museum buildings, see early American architecture, and enjoy the quaint village scenery. Start planning your visit today!

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City of Chillicothe

History: It was after the American Revolution that most European settlement came to this area. Migrants from Virginia and Kentucky moved west along the Ohio River in search of land. Chillicothe served as the capital of Ohio from the beginning of statehood in 1803 until 1810 when Zanesville became the capital for two years. The capital was moved to Zanesville as part of a state legislative compromise to get a bill passed. In 1812 the legislature moved the capital back to Chillicothe. In 1816 the state legislature voted to move the capital again, to Columbus to have it near the geographic center of the state, where it would be more accessible to most citizens.

Modern Chillicothe was the center of the ancient Hopewell tradition, which flourished from 200 BCE until 500 CE. This Amerindian culture had trade routes extending to the Rocky Mountains. They built earthen mounds for ceremonial and burial purposes throughout the Scioto and Ohio River valleys. Later, Native Americans who inhabited the area through the time of European contact included the Shawnees. Present-day Chillicothe is the most recent of seven locations that bore the name, because it was applied to the main town wherever the Chalakatha settled.

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City of Marietta

History: On April 7, 1788, an unusual river craft, the “Adventure Galley,” coasted through the early morning mist and landed at a point slightly below the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers. Due to the foggy conditions and the huge sycamore trees that obscured the mouth of the Muskingum, the party had inadvertently passed their intended debarkation point (the present site of Marietta) and landed below Fort Harmar. With the aid of the garrison from the fort, the flotilla was towed back up to the Muskingum, making possible the second historic landing of the day. The landing culminated the 1,000-mile journey of a vanguard of 48 hardy pioneers. The party, led by General Rufus Putnam, had trekked from Massachusetts in the depth of winter to establish Ohio’s first city, Marietta.

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City of Oxford

History: In 1803, a college township was set aside in the almost uninhabited woodlands of northwestern Butler County. In 1810, a year after Miami University was chartered, the Village of Oxford was laid out and the first lots were sold. In the following year the first school was built, and by 1830, with a population of over 700, the Village of Oxford was incorporated. A charter form of government was adopted in 1960 and a decade later population growth had turned the village into a full-fledged city.

The original boundaries of the city consisted of the Mile Square. A number of annexations during recent decades increased the size, resulting in the city currently consisting of approximately seven square miles.

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