On May 9, 1808, a “plan of the town of Delaware” was filed, or “platted,” marking the real beginning of the present city of Delaware. A plat is a legal document of a map or tract or parcel of land made by a surveyor. The plat provides legal descriptions.
Long before Delaware was platted, the region was originally occupied by the Delaware Indians who shared the territory between Columbus and Lake Erie with the Mingos and other tribes. Prehistoric Hopewell mound builders inhabited this area even earlier.
In 1804, Moses Byxbe arrived from Berkshire County, Massachusetts. He had acquired a large number of land grants which were part of the United States Military lands, given in payment to Revolutionary War soldiers. In May 1808, Byxbe laid out a town on the east bank of the Olentangy River but a few days later changed his mind about the most suitable location and platted the town on the west bank.
Following the War of 1812, settlers arrived at a faster pace, including the parents of Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the United States. Hayes was born in Delaware and met his future wife, Lucy, at Ohio Wesleyan University. The university was founded in 1842 by Methodists seeking to establish a liberal arts college. The original Mansion House building, known as Elliott Hall, is still in active use on campus.
Prior to the Civil War, Delaware had Northern sympathies and abolitionists brought the Underground Railway through the area. The local Africa Road owes it name to this era. Camp Delaware, a Civil War-era Union camp was one of the few from which African-American soldiers deployed to fight for the Union. During and following the War, railroads played an important role in expanding Delaware. By 1900, Delaware had its own electric street railway, and an electric interurban rail connected the community with Columbus and Marion, located about 20 miles to the north.
In the modern era, residential and industrial development has flourished. The proximity to Columbus, as well as historic periods of growth and prosperity, greatly influenced the economy of Delaware. Its history, however, is carefully preserved in its many 19th century buildings and homes, its comfortable scale and architecture and the pace of life as a home town.
DELAWARE COUNTY FAIR
The Delaware County Fair has a long tradition that has its origin centered around the formation of an Agriculture Society in 1833 to plan annual fairs.
The first fair was held in 1834 with livestock exhibits displayed on an empty city lot and domestic wares shown at the courthouse.
By the 1840’s the Agricultural Society had become inactive and no fairs were being held. The Delaware Society reorganized in 1848 and in 1854 bought seven acres of land on what is now Fair Avenue for the first fairgrounds.
In the early 1900’s, the Delaware County Fair was moved from the Fair Avenue site to just west of Powell where Murphy’s Party Barn is now.
In the fall of 1938 the county fair opened at its present home on Pennsylvania Avenue in Delaware. There were no buildings on the grounds yet, so all the livestock and exhibits were located in over 50 tents. Subsequent to the fair that year, a $60,000 bond issue and $65,000 WPA to build a pool, the racetrack, grandstand, barns and exhibit buildings were passed by a large margin and the fairgrounds as we know it today began.
The county fair first included harness racing in 1938 and in 1946 the first Little Brown Jug was raced. In recent history, additional barns and exhibit space, paddock and stadium were added the swimming pool was dismantled in the seventies.
Today the Delaware County Fair stands as an enduring symbol of not only providing an enjoyable way for people to exchange ideas, demonstrate skills and exhibit products, but is a great source of family recreation, entertainments and learning.
In an effort to continue the foresight of the leaders of the past, the Fair Board is looking to the future with plans to adapt to changing trends and needs well into the next century.
For more than six decades, something remarkable has been happening inside an old brick home in a Northwest Delaware neighborhood.
Many who live nearby have no idea what is going on inside the former Ohio Wesleyan fraternity house where famous author Norman Vince Peale once lived. But what once housed young men is now a safe, nurturing and affordable home for single working women as they transition toward a self-supporting future. It is the Women’s City Club of Delaware (WCC).
WCC began in 1954 when Zuilla Way, wife of a former local industrialist, purchased the property as a boarding house for young professional women who were working the mostly low-income jobs that were available to women at that time.
Zuilla recruited friends to help her operate and sustain the home. Many of Delaware’s most prominent women became members, held social events and took offerings from members. Some Delaware citizens probably remember elegant lunches that were served there regularly.
Throughout time, WCC has never changed its mission of providing a home for low income working women. But the makeup of the group’s members has changed. No longer is the club itself an elite group of Delaware women who can sustain the facility with their own contributions and luncheons. Most of the members work outside the home in a variety of professional capacities including financial services, health care and more. Business and civic leaders are also members of WCC.
As the roles of members have changed throughout the years, so have women who are served by WCC.
Those who live there these days are single, low-income working women who cannot afford to rent a home of their own. Their stories are often tragic. Some were homeless, relying on friends or family to take them in for short periods of time or had been living in their cars. Some were victims of domestic abuse. Others lost homes due to catastrophic situations. But most never got the education or skills needed to get a job that pays for basic needs. That’s why WCC members also provide mentorship, job and life skills for residents.
The need is overwhelming. The 10 rooms are usually full and there is often a waiting list.
WCC residents pay small rents, but those don’t come close to sustaining the home. Just a couple of years ago, the future of the home was uncertain because of costly repairs that need to be made in order to keep it in operation.
A couple of local churches have made generous donations. Local businesses have stepped forward to help. WCC members continue to solicit donations from the community and hold fundraisers throughout the year with the annual Festival of Trees, princess tea, rummage sale and garden tour.
Recently, WCC has also benefited from street parties, like the Arts for Your Ears event back in May. All of these efforts help, yet WCC still needs substantial donations to repair the home. The WCC does not get United Way funds and is not a member of a funding foundation so fundraisers and community donations are critical. You can help by donating tax deductible gifts to Women’s City Club Foundation, 135 North Franklin Street, Delaware, Ohio 43015 or by donating online at the website: wccdelaware.org. Women who are interested in becoming members can also find information on that website.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to more than 11,000 animals representing nearly 600 species from around the globe. The complex is a recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and the 18-hole Safari Golf Club. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium also operates the Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park located in southeastern Ohio.
The Zoo is a regional attraction with global impact, annually contributing $4 million of privately raised funds to support conservation projects worldwide. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Columbus Zoo has earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating.
It spans 588 acres in all, more than 200 of which have been developed as animal habitats and public spaces. The habitats are organized into six geographic regions: Asia Quest, Australia and the Islands, Congo Expedition, Heart of Africa, North America and Polar Frontier, and Shores. The newest region, Heart of Africa, is designed as a mixed species savanna spanning 23 acres.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium serves as one of central Ohio’s most popular family attractions and hosts more than two million visitors annually. It experienced record-breaking attendance in 2014 with 2.47 million visitors (not including the attendance for Zoombezi Bay, Safari Golf or the Wilds).
In 2014, the Columbus Zoo’s Conservation Grants Program and Partners in Conservation awarded more than $2 million of privately raised funds to program support for 70 conservation projects in 30 countries. This money is raised from restricted donations, conservation fundraisers and coins donated by Zoo visitors.
The Zoo participates in a number of conservation programs. One of these programs is the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership, through which the Zoo has cared for more than 20 manatees. The program offers an exciting second chance for manatees found struggling in the wild to grow strong under human care and be released back into Florida waters.
The Zoo also participates in Species Survival Plans (SSP) for various species, one of which is for the western lowland gorilla. Through the SSP, the Zoo strives to maintain a sustainable population of these endangered great apes in North America. After famously raising the world’s first gorilla to be born in human care, Colo, the Zoo has become internationally recognized for caring for gorillas in social groups. The Zoo has also become a leader in the gorilla surrogacy program, successfully finding families for young gorillas that were abandoned by their birth mothers.
As for the visitors, including the 87,210 households representing 457,971 individuals to participate in the Zoo’s membership program in 2014, the Columbus Zoo Education Department offers fun and engaging programs for all ages.
In 2014, the Zoo’s education team offered more than 2,000 programs to more than 300,000 participants. Such programs include preschool classes, field trips, summer camps, overnight outings, scout and teen programs, adult and teacher workshops and more. Because accessibility plays an important role in the Zoo’s mission to inspire, the Zoo offers scholarships for many of the education programs. These scholarships are made possible through donations submitted directly to the Education Department.
Bereau of Motor Vehicles — 369-3552
City Hall — 203-1010
Delaware City Prosecutor’s Office — 203-1175
Delaware County Auditor — 833-2900
Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities — 201-3600
Delaware County Board of Elections — 833-2080
Delaware County Common Pleas Court — 833-2500
Delaware County Housing Improvement Program — 833-2107
Delaware County Probate Court — 833-2680
Delaware Driver Examination Station — 833-2155
Delaware General Health District — 368-1700
Department of Administrative Services — 203-1025
Long Term Care Ombudsman — 800-536-5891
Ohio Department of Aging — 614-466-5500
Ohio Department of Heath — 614-466-3543
Ohio Department of Insurance — 800-686-1578
Ohio Home Care Bureau of Long Term Care Services and Support — 614-466-6742
Ohio KePRO — 800-589-7337
Ohio State Attorney General’s Office — 614-466-4320
Planning and Community Development (City of Delaware) — 203-1600
Public Utilities Administrative Office — 203-1900
Public Works Department — 203-1810
Social Security Administration — 888-475-0296
Delaware City Schools — 833-1100
Olentangy Local School District — 657-4050
Buckeye Valley Local Schools — 369-8735
Alzheimer’s Association of Central Ohio (Delaware Branch) — 363-1365
American Cancer Society (Ohio Division) — 888-227-6446
American Heart Association — 800-242-8721
Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired — 614-466-4575
Central Ohio Diabetes Association — 800-422-7946
Central Ohio Parkinson’s Society — 614-890-1901
Chronic Disease Prevention — 368-1700
Collaborative Health Partners — 614-396-5665
Delaware General Health District — 368-1700
Delaware Lions Club — 362-9223
Delaware Speech and Hearing Center — 369-3650
Foot and Ankle Wellness Center — 363-4373
Hearing Health Solutions — 614-538-4327
Hughes Family Hearing Aid Center — 362-2845
Lymphedema Therapy Services — 615-2660
Maryhaven — 203-3800
Mid-Ohio Psychological Services, Inc. — 417-9265
OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital — 615-1000
Ohio State University (Dental Clinic) — 614-688-3763
Olentangy Noon Lions Club — 614-361-6185
Visiting Physicians Association — 614-840-1688
Visiting Podiatry — 614-987-1424
Fire Department — 203-1300 (non-emergency)
Police — 203-1111 (non-emergency)
Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAAA) — 614-645-7250
Community Library of Sunbury — 965-3901
Delaware County District Library — 362-3861
National Library Service for Blind and Physically Handicapped — 800-424-9100
Parker Medical Library — 615-2136
Steady U Ohio — 800-266-4346
Wornstaff Memorial Public Library — 747-2085
Advanced Senior Support — 614-891-7480
Comfort Keepers — 614-263-1998
First Light Home Care — 614-846-8009
Heritage Heath Care Services — 614-848-6550
Home Care Network, Inc. — 614-781-7809
Home Instead Senior Care — 363-5720
Interim HealthCare — 990-0403
National Multiple Sclerosis Society Ohio Buckeye Chapter — 800-344-4867
Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services — 614-433-0031
OhioHealth Home Care — 800-300-7075
Prime Home Care, LLC — 614-863-1998
Pro Health Care Services, Ltd. — 614-856-9111
Silver Crown Homecare — 614-358-7900
Visiting Angels — 800-365-4189
Visiting Nurses Association of Mid-Ohio — 419-522-4969
Abbington of Powell — 614-789-9868
Ashley Manor Assisted Living Inc. — 747-3229
Bennington Glen — 419-253-0144
Country Club Rehabilitation Campus — 369-8741
Country View of Sunbury — 965-3984
Delaware Court Healthcare Center — 369-6400
Delaware Metropolitan Housing Authority — 369-1881
Delaware Village Apartments — 369-1313
DeWolfe Place — 387-9817
Emeritus at Outlook Manor — 614-794-2499
Feridean Commons Senior Housing — 614-898-7488
Franklin House Apartments — 549-0094
Heartland of Uptown Westerville — 614-882-1511
Highbanks Care Center — 614-888-2021
Inn at Olentangy Trail — 417-9287
Kingston Residence of Marion — 389-2311
Londontown Apartments — 363-1235
Mitchell House of Powell — 614-506-2890
Oakhurst Place — 369-5267
Rainbow Place Apartments — 965-3459
Riverside Landing at Delaware Place — 417-4901
Sarah Moore Health Care Center — 362-9641
St. Michael’s Community Apartments — 363-3748
Sunbury Park Apartments — 965-6368
Sunnyview Square Apartments — 369-9042
Wesleyan Way Assisted Living — 369-6400
Willow Brook at Delaware Run — 201-5640
Willow Brook Christian Village — 369-0048
Women’s City Club 417-9379
Delaware State Park — 363-4561
Delaware Parks Division — 203-1810
Mingo Park — 203-1450
Delaware Community Center YMCA — 203-3051
Hidden Valley Golf Course — 203-1470
Alcoholics Anonymous — 614-253-8501
Cancer Support Community Central Ohio — 614-791-9510
Delaware County Diabetes Association — 740-369-7559
Drug Free Delaware Coalition — 369-6811
Epilepsy Foundation of Central Ohio — 513-721-2905
Grady Life Center — 615-2130
GriefShare — 800-395-5755
Helpline of Delaware and Morrow Counties, Inc. — 369-3316
Narcotics Anonymous — 800-587-4232
OhioHealth Hospice — 615-0540
Overeaters Anonymous — 614-253-2492
Parkinson’s Support Group — 614-846-8009
Recovery and Prevention Resources of Delaware County — 369-6811
SourcePoint — 203-2399
Tobacco-Free Delaware County Program — 203-2016
Transitions Counseling, LLC — 363-8370
Turning Point — 382-8988
Delaware Area Transit Agency (DATA) — 363-3355
Delaware Municipal Airport — 203-1898
Andrews House — 369-4520
Columbus Bar Association — 614-221-0754
Legal Aid Society — 383-2161
Domestic Abuse Programs
Central Ohio Mental Health Center — 369-4482
Choices – 614-224-6617
Victim Recovery Programs
Delaware County Victim Services Unit — 833-2710
Delaware Area Career Center — 363-1993
Grady D.R.I.V.E Program — 615-2660
New Directions Career Center — 614-849-0028
The Ohio State University (Delaware Center) — 614-247-9001
The Ohio State University Extension Office (Delaware County) — 833-2030
Ohio Wesleyan University — 368-2000
Employment for Seniors, Inc. — 614-863-1219
Experience Works — 877-496-6439 Ext. 3
American Red Cross Central Ohio — 362-2021
Big Brothers/Big Sisters — 369-2447
Connections Volunteer Center — 363-5000
Center of Vocational Alternatives (COVA) — 877-521-2682
Goodwill Industries — 387-7023
Habitat for Humanity (Delaware County) — 363-9950
Safe Harbor Peer Support Services — 363-1619
Stratford Ecological Center — 363-2548
United Way of Delaware County — 614-436-8929
Basic Living Needs
Big Walnut Friends Who Share — 965-9596
Big Walnut Ministerial Association — 965-1358
Church of Christ in Christian Union — 369-4943
Marion Shelter Program — 740-387-4550
People in Need Inc. of Delaware County — 363-6284
Salvation Army (Delaware County) — 369-5301
St. John Neumann Catholic Church — 365-1358
Vineyard Church of Delaware County — 965-8888
Consumer Protection Organizations
Better Business Bureau (BBB) — 614-486-6336
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) — 800-686-7826
Delaware County Department of Job and Family Services — 833-2300
Veterans’ Service Office (Delaware County) — 833-2010