A self-guided auto tour


By Lenny C. Lepola - newsguy@ee.net



By Lenny C. Lepola

newsguy@ee.net

When the early settlers came to Sunbury, they followed Zane’s Trace and the well-worn Indian trails throughout Ohio. Many trails were not wide enough for wagons and ran around obstacles that the Indians had not bothered to move.

Moses Byxbe, who brought early settlers to Berkshire Corners and eventually to Delaware, knew the value of roads and sent Azariah Root to survey the route to what is now Granville on State Route 37.

When moving to a new area, one asked one’s neighbors for the best place to shop, worship, find a doctor, or sell goods, and over time new folks tended to follow the same routes. In those pioneer days Delaware may have been closer than Columbus, but the lack of a bridge over the Alum Creek waterway led early settlers east or south, but not west.

Before road maps, an itinerarium was a listing of towns, the distance between them, and little else to aid the traveler. People began adding geographic notes, with suggestions such as “… cross two streams then turn at the red barn.” While looking at a page of these early written instructions may have been daunting, a traveler eventually reached the right destination.

In 2003, for the Ohio Bicentennial, a team of Big Walnut Area Historical Society members made up of Maxine Longshore, Joyce Hall, Janet MacKenzie, and Polly Horn created an Auto Tour booklet to use as a guide to see some of the little known historic sites in the Big Walnut Community.

The trip is based on using eyes and a car odometer, not a map or GPS, to explore eastern Delaware County site of historic interest. A vignette is provided for each site, with more detailed information about the site’s located online at BigWalnutHistory.org under Local History.

The historical society is offering the booklets again for Sunbury’s Bicentennial. Buy Automobile Tour Booklets for $5 in the Myers Inn Museum Gift Shop, and then allow a half-day for the 46-mile tour.

When you have finished the tour, take your booklet to the Sunbury Fall Festival between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday, October 16. If you are among the first 20 completing the tour, Town Crier Roger Roberts will tell you where to get a special surprise.

Auto Tour Booklets will be available at the 7 p.m., Tuesday, October 11, Big Walnut Area Historical Society meeting at the Myers Inn Museum, and each day the Myers Inn is open through October 16.

The Myers Inn Museum, located at 45 South Columbus Street in Sunbury, is open noon to 3 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays; and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.

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By Lenny C. Lepola

newsguy@ee.net

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.