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Take A Trip Through Time At Ohio’s Historic Sites

Honor history when visiting Ohio and get a unique perspective on the Buckeye State.

The Dennison Railroad Depot, now a national landmark, commemorates the spot where 1.3 million soldiers were funneled through by train on their way to training camps and battlefields. In Lancaster, General William Tecumseh Sherman’s home is well preserved and rich in history. One of the state’s most unique historic sites is Giant Serpent Mound, a preserved Indian effigy site – its purpose remains a mystery.

To learn about the nation’s 29th president, tour the Warren G. Harding Home in Marion. The grand home where President William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati is set aside as a national historic site.  In Canton, the home of William and Ida Saxton McKinley is open for tours and also is part of the National First Ladies’ Library. Yet another president is honored in Ohio – you can see the James A. Garfield house in Mentor.

Fort Meigs State Memorial in Perrysburg preserves a structure built for the War of 1812. Finally, visit South Bass Island to commemorate the Battle of Lake Erie and celebrate peace between Canada, Britain, and the US.

Fallen Timbers Battlefield & Fort Miamis NHS

Found along the Maumee River in northwest Ohio, the Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site stands to preserve the military history of the region. The Fallen Timbers site centers around the Fallen Timbers Monument and Fallen Timbers Battlefield – complete with bronze statue, stone memorials, and Turkeyfoot Rock.

Just several miles north on River Road in Maumee, Fort Miamis – a former British Fort constructed in 1794 – is also open to the public. Visitors can view actual earthworks used to build the fort, as well as archeological remains still being used for study. Both sites are conveniently located just a short drive north of Bowling Green.

German Village

Settled in the mid 19th century, German Village, located in central Ohio, is a historic neighborhood just outside of Pickerington. Its namesake comes from the high number of German immigrants once comprising one-third of the population.

The Village has many must-sees and tourist attractions, including the German Brewery District, and special events like Oktoberfest. Given its historical significance, it was impressively named a Preserve America Community by the White House in 2007.

Historic Fort Steuben

Constructed in 1786, Historic Fort Steuben served as a protective camp for American surveyors of the 1st American Regiment during the 18th Century. Located in Steubenville in Central Ohio, the fort is now a historic tourist attraction representing an important part of Ohio’s origins.

The reconstructed fort is an exact replica built on the original site featuring furnishing and décor representing the lifestyle of the 18th century. The fort offers different attractions ranging from Fort Stueben Park to the Berkman Amphitheater – site of the Fort Steuben Concert Series.

Warren G. Harding Home

Built in 1891, the Warren G. Harding House is located in the central Ohio city of Marion. The Harding House preserves the former home of 29th President Warren G. Harding and First Lady Florence Mabel Harding from 1891 to 1921.

This Queen Anne-style historic home is a U.S. National Historic Landmark found on the National Register of Historic Places. This now-home museum is operated and maintained by the Ohio Historical Society.

Visitors to the Harding Home Presidential Site may peruse more than 5,000 Warren-family artifacts, and enjoy a 1.5-hour tour of the home. Tours begin at the Press House, and are available by appointment only from May through November.

Historic Downtown Wapakoneta

Originally chartered in 1840, historic downtown Wapakoneta today features a multitude of historic features and pleasantries.

Among them is the historic architecture found downtown – buildings dating back to the town’s origins are available to the public while on a Wapakoneta Walking Tour.

Visitors of central Ohio are encouraged to explore the downtown district for the variety of shops and boutiques in the area.

A wide variety of events take place in the district as well – often more than one per day.

SunWatch Indian Village

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Park is a reconstructed central Ohioan Native American village. The Village is located along the Great Miami River just south of Dayton.

Visitors to this 13th-century American Indian Village enjoy strolling the grounds to learn about its history through the 18 stations, viewing the key sites, and reconstructed Fort Ancient structures. The village hosts many different lectures, seminars, and special events at the interpretive center.


Located at the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum Rivers, the Y-Bridge has been in place since 1814. Located in Zanesville, this historic attraction has become a staple for central Ohio tourism since 1984, when its current form was erected.

The bridge is currently in its fifth rendition after previous versions were replaced or reconstructed completely. The bridge is featured on the National Register of Historic Places list where Historic Preservation authorities overlook the preservation of the site.

William Howard Taft National Historic Site

Found in the Mount Auburn Historic District near downtown Cincinnati, the William Howard Taft National Historic Site preserves the birth home of President Taft. The southern Ohio home was built in 1842 and was named to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1966.

The restored Greek revival home is open for public tours and visits almost daily. Visitors are encouraged to stop by the Taft Education Center – which neighbors the home – for a collection of interactive exhibits and a short orientation film played frequently.

Putnam Historic District & Underground Railroad

Dedicated to such pivotal part American history, the Putnam Historic District – and accompanying educational visitor center – showcases a collection of historic properties in Zanesville in central Ohio. The homes in the district were owned by prominent abolitions – most of whom played important roles in the Underground Railroad in the 1800s.

In partnership with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the visitor center not only provides education but also programs, special events, and rotating exhibits throughout the year. Properties such as the Putnam Presbyterian Church and surrounding areas are available for walking tours by appointment.

Marietta Castle

Built in 1855, the Marietta Castle is a historic home located in the historic district of Marietta in southern Ohio.

After years of renovations and repairs, the Castle was deeded to the Betsey Mills Corporation in 1992 and opened for public tours in 1994.

Guests can enjoy strolling through this historical house, to view the octagonal tower, stone capped spires, and other trademark Gothic Revival style architecture.

The home frequently hosts events as well, including Victorian Christmas Tours, Spring Herb Celebration, and more.

Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument

Found in the town of Wilberforce – just east of Dayton in southern Ohio – the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument preserves the home of U.S. Army officer Charles Young.

The home became featured on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 due to Young’s historical contributions to civil rights while in the military.

Young affectionately referred to his home as “Youngsholm,” where today, Wilberforce events are frequently hosted.

Guests can enjoy guided walking tours of the home feature ample amounts of Buffalo Soldier exhibits and displays.

Ohio History Center

Called “the finest museum in America devoted to pre-European history” by the Smithsonian Guide to Historic America, the Ohio History Center is located in Columbus, Ohio. The Center serves as the headquarters of the Ohio Historical Society, whose goal is to interpret, preserve, and provide knowledge about the history and prehistory of Ohio.

Ohio Village is a reconstructed Civil War-era town, which serves as a living history museum and hosts special events throughout the year. Other popular permanent installations include the Nature of Ohio, featuring the skeleton of the mighty Conway Mastodon.