The Fascinating History of Columbus, Ohio: From French Colonization to the Ohio State Buckeyes

Columbus, the capital of Ohio, was founded on the east bank of the Scioto River in 1812. This area was believed to have been colonized by the French during their colonial empire, and it was under the Ohio country at that time. The city was named after the famous navigator Christopher Columbus, and it was honored with a bronze statue of him as a gift from the people of Genoa. The national highway reached Columbus from Baltimore in 1831, which complemented the city's new link to the Ohio and Erie canals, leading to a population boom. The Columbus Youth Ballet Academy was founded in the 1980s by dancer and artistic director Shir Lee Wu, who was discovered by Martha Graham.

Additionally, Columbus is the largest city in the United States that elects its city council in general and not its Districts. The construction of the Ohio House of Representatives began in 1839 on a 10-acre (4 ha) piece of land donated by four prominent Columbus landowners. The city also maintains an extensive municipal bus service called the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA). In recent years, Columbus has been increasingly revitalized, thanks to park projects, new developments, and efforts to beautify individual neighborhoods. Columbus is home to one of the most competitive interuniversity programs in the country, the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio State University. As the capital of Ohio and the county seat, it is also home to numerous federal, state, county and municipal government offices and courts.

The area that includes present-day Columbus was part of the Ohio Territory, which was under the nominal control of the French colonial empire through the Viceroyalty of New France from 1663 to 1763. The Columbus Experiment was an environmental project carried out in 1908 that involved the construction of the first water plant in the world to apply filtration and softening, designed and invented by two brothers, Clarence and Charles Hoover. The metropolitan area is home to many renowned institutions such as Battelle Memorial Institute, Chemical Abstracts Service, and Ohio State University. The Ohio State Capitol building is located in Capitol Square in downtown Columbus. Most of the remaining mounds in central Ohio lie outside of Columbus city limits, although Shrum Mound remains as part of a public park and historic site. The football game between Ohio State and Michigan (known colloquially as The Game) is played annually in November at alternating locations between Columbus and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Alternative arts, culture or politics oriented newspapers include ALIVE (formerly known as Columbus Alive and now owned by Columbus Dispatch), Columbus Free Press and Columbus Underground (digital only).

Thomas Walker
Thomas Walker

General music practitioner. Certified beeraholic. Food nerd. Incurable social media fanatic. Unapologetic beer fan. Certified bacon junkie.