Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower



Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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May 01

Get Your Kicks On.... The Roads of Greene County

Posted on May 1, 2015 at 4:24 PM by Elise Kelly

Rpadtrip
            Photo courtesy of Dee Ashley via Flickr
As we break out of winter hibernation and begin to enjoy this nice, warm spring weather, we start to daydream about adventurous road trips.
There is something about our vast country that compels us to get in our cars, roll down the windows and travel along  state routes and back-country roads.

The rolling hills and farmlands of Greene County are wonderful to take in while behind the wheel. I encourage you to take a drive along U.S. 68 through the Village of Yellow Springs or U.S. 72 which passes through the historic towns of Jamestown and Cedarville. Discover or rediscover the charms of Greene County.
                                   Part of Greene County's Road Mapmap
Before you grab your car keys and hit the open road, let me share with you the story about the first State Route that intersected and cut through Greene County. 

When the County was founded in 1803, the Commissioners faced an immense task of planning, surveying and constructing roads. At the time, the land in Greene County was heavily forested and had numerous rivers, streams and creeks running through it. This made it difficult to construct wide paths and thus, roads were simply trails that went through forests, across prairies and over hills.

Below, is a petition for a road alteration - notice how the road ran along the Little Miami River and rose up a hill by Roger's Mill. Many early roads led to and from the mills in the county, which made it convenient to transport goods. (More than half of the County Commissioners' Journals contain petitions and surveys concerning early road construction).
     raod

The first state route in the County was Pinkney Road. This thoroughfare originated in Cincinnati and pushed north through Hamilton and Warren Counties. It entered the southwest corner of Greene County (Sugarcreek Township), snaked through the village of Bellbrook and stopped in the village of Alpha (Beavercreek Township).

To the Right is an 1817 Plat Map of Bellbrook. The state route would have traveled along Main Street.

Pinkney Road acquired its name because Pinkney Pond, a favorite watering hole for wild animals, was located very close to the road.The pond rested in Beavercreek Township at what is now the intersection of U.S. 35 and Valley Road. 

Pinkney Road opened the way for travel from Cincinnati to Greene County. As the settlements in Greene County expanded and the population grew, supplies including flour, iron and salt were hauled in wagons up from the Queen City to meet the demanding needs of these settlers.
bellbrook

Traveling along Pinkney Road would have been the equivalent to today's off-road excursions. There were thick stumps and murky swamps to navigate around and across. 
 alpha
         bellbrook
Pinkney's Route might have looked something like this (see above) - traveling north from the corner of Sugarcreek and into Beavercreek Township. (1855 Map of Townships in Greene County)
    aerial
We do know that Pinkney Road intersected with what is now U.S. 35. It followed the path that is now Valley Road in Beavercreek Township. (1993 Orthophoto of Greene County)

As we journey along today's modern Greene County roads, we can visualize the early settlers struggling across the rutted pathways of yesteryear. Happy Travels!

Until Next Time!

Last Week's Trivia Answer: Martha McCLellan Brown
This Week's Trivia Question: Name the states that U.S. 35 passes through.

Sources:
- Beavercreek Historical Society. Beavercreek Chronicles: Preserving the Past for the Future Volumes I and II.
-
Kilner, Arthur R. Greene County, Ohio - Past and Present. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, INC., 1997.
- Dills, R.S. History of Greene County. Dayton, OH: Odell & Mayer, 1881.
- Broadstone, M.A. History of Greene County Ohio: Its People, Industries and Institutions, Vol I. B.F. Bowen & Company: Indianapolis, IN, 1918.
Copies of these books are located here at the archives.



Comments

Virginia Kay
May 8, 2015 at 1:33 PM
Pinkney Rd. has always interested me. Have done some research on the road, but this is much more than I have. Keep up the good work at the Archives.
Elise Kelly
May 12, 2015 at 12:40 PM
Thanks Virginia!

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