4 Historic Sites to See While in Columbus

4 Historic Sites to See While in Columbus
February 28 09:08 2018 Print This Article

Midwestern cities like Columbus, Ohio, can offer a unique glimpse into American history. In the eyes of a history buff, the East Coast tells the story of the American Revolution, the South speaks of the Civil War, and the western states are a place to relive the Gold Rush and Wild West. But in a city like Columbus you’ll find the heart of American history, with quiet stories of the expansion, immigration, and daily life of the people of the United States.

German Village Historic District

Image via Flickr by zoxcleb

This neighborhood invites you to explore 200 years of history. Like many midwestern towns, Columbus was a settling place for working-class German immigrants in the early 19th century, and the German Village preserves their history in its charming brick streets, delightful architecture, and local businesses. Shop, dine, stroll, or even take a tour of the Village if you like. You can still enjoy schnitzel and strudel at the Juergens German Bakery and Restaurant on Fourth Street, or get a bite to eat at Schmidt’s Restaurant. Schedule a guided tour in advance or stop by the visitors center to pick up a map.

Kelton House Museum and Garden

Another favorite Columbus historical attraction is this 19th century Victorian home and its gardens. The house and all its furnishings are period-perfect, but it’s the audio and docent-led tours that really make the Kelton House a can’t-miss attraction. The tours offer a great overview of the period along with some unexpected glimpses into American history, including a pitch-dark basement room where slaves would stay as a stop on the underground railroad to freedom. The abolitionists who lived in this home impacted many lives with their courage and sacrifice.

Central Ohio Fire Museum

Kids and adults alike enjoy fire trucks, and the Central Ohio Fire Museum delivers several historic models along with some shocking information about the history of firefighting. The museum showcases firefighting equipment from every stage of technology dating back to the War of 1812. Kids can dress up in firefighter gear, slide down the pole, and enjoy other hands-on activities, but adults enjoy this museum, too. History buffs know that fires were a much more prominent danger in the early years of the U.S., and fire prevention was a very serious matter.

Government Architecture

As the capital of Ohio, Columbus is home to some of the state’s most impressive and beautiful government buildings. The manicured grounds around Capitol Square feature war memorials, peace tributes, and a Christopher Columbus statue. You can tour the Greek Revival-style Ohio Statehouse with cell phone narration or guided podcast tours.

The Columbus City Hall and a collection of other historical landmarks are near Capitol Square as well. Check out the hotels near downtown Columbus to find one within walking distance of the Square so you can explore the streets on foot.

If you’re a traveler who is interested in historic sites, you probably have already discovered that nearly every city in America has something unique to offer. Columbus is certainly no exception, and offers a fascinating glimpse into Mid-American life in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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Clare Louise
Clare Louise

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