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Timeline Journey Through The Buckeye State

What Do You Know About The 17th State?

Historical landmarks

The Fun Way To Learn About History


There are many ways to explore history, but one avenue has a lot of family fun included.

Take trips through the State of Ohio to visit the places you are learning about, and have hands on experiences about the times long ago in museums and adventure parks.

Find historical markers and even make a challenge of traveling to the top fifteen (twenty, eventually) places in the history of Ohio.

Along the way, especially during the summer season, there are areas of wonder and beauty, and plenty to keep the family entertained.

It doesn’t have to cost and arm and a leg, either.

So for fun entertainment, economical travel ideas, and plenty of Ohio history, a trip through the state might be one of the most memorable ways to enjoy learning and being together as a family you have ever had.

The 17th State:
Ohio joined the United States of America on February 19, 1803

Important Events – Landmarks in Time

It is said that the Iroquois Indian word for “beautiful river” is the origin of the state name, and the Ohio River has certainly done much to shape the boundary, literally. It forms the southern border while Lake Erie forms the northern one. The earliest history of our land was made by the Indian populations, some tribes and civilizations long gone before the White man arrived and some changing as different groups of native peoples were increasingly pushed west.

A pioneer land that produced a number of the early presidents of this nation, a place where inventors and famous persons were born and their lives and work was formed. Ohio has plenty to teach us… guideposts along the timeline that have all sorts of stories to tell and to hear.

History Comes Alive

Blue Jacket: Warrior of the Shawnees (American Indian Lives)
Blue Jacket: Warrior of the Shawnees (American Indian Lives)

This is one of my favorite biographies of an American Indian Chief. Blue Jacket was the war chief of the Shawnees, a tribe that settled in mostly Central Ohio. The historical perspective is balanced and gives great insight into the tribal customs of the Shawnee. You will not regret time spent reading this well written and fascinating book.

A Travel In Time

Travel ideas taking history from earliest eras to today.

15  Suggested Historical  Excursions

Indigenous Cultures, Woodland Tribes

Native Americans In The MidWest

What are some great ways to find out about history? Look through the following entries to find out facts, resources, and some of the history of this important member of the Union.

Ohio, formed from the Northwest Territories became a state in 1803, but was that the beginning of its history? What sort of land was this before the European arrived? Who first settled this State and what struggles did the land witness? Here is a taste of some of the facts, some of the legends, and some of the story, to introduce you to the land bound by the Beautiful Ohio River.

  • Where was the first place white explorers and settlers entered the State?
  • Who were the Native American tribes here, and what were they like?
  • Why are there “Perry” place names around the shores of Lake Erie?
  • Why were cities or counties named those odd, but familiar names?

Those are the types of questions that can create our quest to know more of the past of this place.

The Buckeye State
Known as the “Buckeye State”, Ohio’s State Tree is The Buckeye, “Aesculus glabra”, so-called for its beautiful brown nuts with a similarity to the eye of a deer (male deer called a “buck”)

Hmmm, let’s see, where to start? How about right in the middle of the state, where I live? And how about early times when Indians were the sole human inhabitants of this land of hills and plains, Deep forests with massive trees, and shining,rippling streams and rivers at the edge of the largest fresh water lakes in the world?

The Ancients


The Serpent Mound in Adams County is not a lively place with amusement park atmosphere or rides, but it is an interesting place to see a prime example of the Mound Builder people’s work. There are many mounds and different earthworks throughout our state, but this is preserved and is a great place to enjoy a picnic and a quiet walk. It is also a geocache site.

Serpent Mound is the largest serpent effigy in the world.

Are you interested in following the trail of ancient earthworks?

Ohio’s Serpent Mound

Serpent Mound

Serpent Mound

Central Ohio And Ancient History


Olentangy Indian Caverns

have been a local tourist attraction for many decades and there are lots of fun activities for a family outing. Besides taking a tour of the caves there is a miniature golf course, a gem mining experience, a museum and trading post, and it is nearby to other area attractions- the Columbus Zoo and Highbanks park (which has its own modest earthworks site). If you are looking for fun activities to pair with your history discovery, put this place on your bucket list. You may want to visit before the opportunity disappears forever. ( It is closing)


Ohio Historical Center in Columbus will take a day to see all the exhibits.  I think you should carry your bucket list of sights to see along with you, because you are going to find lots of information in the museum that makes this discovery trip richer.

There is a fee for parking and entrance. This will grant you access to two levels of exhibits and quite a bit to see inside an air conditioned building. Ohio Village is also on the grounds, which replicates a town of circa the Civil War era. It holds special events, consult their Calendar.

Upper Sandusky



Indian Mill gives insights into the Wyandotte tribe and the early interactions between Indians, the American government and the small community of free and slave blacks who settled here after the War of 1812. Overland Inn Museum is also in this area, for a pleasant drive in Upper Sandusky.

Captured By Indians, Daniel Boone Blazed The Trail To Ohio

Life of Daniel Boone, The
The Life of Daniel Boone

An exciting life of one of the first white settlers to enter this part of the nation and settle here (for awhile). Captured by Indians and made a member of their tribe, he escaped and returned to his family… this was but one of the larger than life adventures of this early American.

Zoar Village

Zoar Village

Vintage engraving of Zoar Village

Northern Ohio Discovery


Zoar Village is a restored village of the religious Separatists. Ten restored building with costumed interpreter staff to give a Williamsburg-like experience of life and products of this pre-Civil war community that exists within a living community of private homes. Visitors can also buy nineteenth-century reproduction wares.
Plan your visit between April and late October- things are closed up during winter months. Homeschoolers may be interested in Spring Homeschool Day with special events and pricing.
April 27 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm


Oliver Hazard Perry is pretty famous in the Great Lakes history, and there are many natural things to see while enjoying the beautiful Lake Erie Firelands area. Plan a trip to Kelleys Island, crossing the water in a ferry boat to arrive on a large Island. Visit Inscription rock and see the bare rocks that illustrate how glacial grooves were carved across the land in the last ice age. Lots of opportunities to camp, swim, and fish.
I’ve always loved the Lake Erie shore and there are lots of activities for family vacations. If you get tired of the history and want to indulge in plain old fun go to Cedar Point! It is one of the premier Amusement Parks and calls itself the “Roller Coaster Capital”.

Cedar Point Amusement Park is located in Sandusky, on the Sandusky Bay.

Hanker for Archaeology?


More for Ancient Indian and Indian culture aficionados, The Sun Watch Indian Village, in Dayton, has interpretive center and a store with lots of books and crafts. Restored prairie.
Their programs and events, and more about what they offer can be found on their site.

Ohio Documentary, Quick Synopsis

Find Landmarks

Map of the State

Ohio Map

Ohio Map


Zanes Trace started out as an Indian trail, but became a major trail in early exploration days( until after the War of 1812 ). Travel through the cities of Zanesville, Lancaster, and Chillicothe followed this pathway leading to the Northwest Territory’s early development. If you start at Wheeling, you can simultaneously travel the National Road. Visit Degenhart Paperweight & Glass Museum in Cambridge, OH, and see the John and Annie Glenn Historic Site in that vicinity.


Nothing tells a story better than a stage play, and the historical drama of Tecumseh is one of the most popular. Depicting Ohio country of the early 1800’s with the tale of one of the most famous of Indian Chiefs. Located at 5948 Marietta Road, Chillicothe, OH. | Phone: 740-775-4100


One of my favorite areas is the Hocking Hills of the Southwestern part of the state. I have long loved visiting Old Man’s Cave for hikes. But did you know there is a Hocking Hills Train Tour that will take you on travel into times when Railroads forged a westward track through the nation? Find out more: 33 W. Canal Street, Nelsonville Phone: 800-967-7834

Traveling Train Tour for an unusual and memorable daytrip adventure.


If you like self guided tours and want to see actual log cabins of the original pioneers, built by them and lived in, you are going to like Caesar’s Creek Pioneer Village. Supported by entry fees.

The two routes that pioneers followed to enter the Northwest territory as the lands were known at the time:

  • Zane’s Trace overland route
  • Via the Ohio River.

The oldest settlement was Martin’s Ferry, while Marietta claims to be the oldest permanent settlement (the official explanation is that “Martins Ferry remained an unincorporated settlement for a relatively long time”).

Building log cabins much like those seen in the Pioneer Village from the copious giant trees of forests that covered the territory, settlers soon began filling the forested wilderness with farms and then cities. From Lake Erie in the North and the Ohio River in the south, settlers made their way into the interior of what is now the Buckeye State.


The Statehouse is full of significance and is home to an  Abraham Lincoln monument. Take tours of the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, There are many types available.


Thomas Edison, an inventor who lastingly impacted our lives has a birthplace museum in Milan. Rare exhibits of examples of many of Edison’s early inventions along with mementos and documents, the museum has the distinction of being run by members of the great inventor’s family.


If you want to investigate more of the Civil War time history, there are many places that served as Underground Railroad stations for slaves fleeing slavery in hopes of a life of freedom. One of the entry points was the John Rankin House in Ripley, OH.


Johnston Farm & Indian Agency in Piqua covers Native American, Frontier, and Canal History with lots to see and do. You might call it a one stop for all your history needs if time and travel are limited. Farmhouse tours, Canal boat rides, an education center and many events means that your family will have both a learning experience and lots of entertainment.

From Native Indian History to Early Settlers

Source: Wikipedia Commons

Milan, Ohio Was Home To Thomas Edison

Edison: A Life of Invention
Edison: A Life of Invention

Thomas Edison invented what arguably might have most changed life for everyone in the modern age: the light bulb.

Combine a daytrip to his museum along with some background reading of his biography. Especially interesting to homeschoolers since he was homeschooled by his mother, due to struggles with academic learning.

Biographies for History Insights

The combination of learning history through visiting sites and reading the biographies of those who shaped their world is powerful. Get a perspective that is full of living drama and pertinence.


Do you think this is a fun way to learn history?

Athens in Hocking County

Ohio was once the Northwest Territory

The Northwest was not always the description of Washington State or Oregon. It once was the furthermost frontier for pioneers. Read about those times when our nation was first forged: 1720 through 1830.

This Was Once The West

The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830 (A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier)
The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830 (A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier)

Many events of history, heroes and villains created the nation we know as the United States. It is a fascinating story with the clash of English, French, Indians and early pioneers and patriots.

Ohio History Facts

  • Claimed by France and considered part of “New France” during the 17th Century
  • 1756 – 1763 French and Indian War is fought to determine whether the territory is French or British in domain.
  • The American Revolution
  • Treaty of Greenville ends the Indian Wars in the state.
  • Official Date of Statehood : March 1, 1803
  • 1842- The date that the last Indian tribe, the Wyandot, leave Ohio.

The Mighty Ohio River

Quick Facts

  1. Chillicothe was Ohio’s first capital city.
  2. Ohio’s state fossil is the trilobite. Lots of them are to be found in the native limestone.State Animal? White Tail Deer.The state stone is Flint. You may wish to visit the museum at Flint Ridge which has all sorts exhibits to learn about the ancient flint quarry at the site. (Located at 15300 Flint Ridge Rd in Glenford, OH)
  3. Abraham Lincoln visited the Statehouse here three different times
  4. Marietta was the first permanent settlement and was named in honor of Queen Marie Antoinette of France.
  5. Daniel Boone was held captive by the Shawnee tribe near the Seven Caves area in Ohio. The area can be visited by going to the the Seven Caves Nature Preserve
  6. State Motto: “With God, all things are possible”
  7. In 1835, boundary disputes between Michigan and Ohio cause the Toledo War- so it wasn’t always about football!

Hearkening to the 1800’s



German Immigrants Comprised 26% Of The People And Culture

Random Facts And Strange Tales

Strange Tales Book Cover

Exciting Places To Visit, Interesting Things to Know

The Ohio History Center

The States center for many historical exhibits about Ohio from its earliest history through to our modern age. Located in the vicinity of OSU campus in Columbus, Ohio.

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight
To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight

We take flight for granted, but it started with the successful invention and bravado of the Wright Brothers

Up, Up, And Away

Dayton holds plenty of aviation history and museums to mark all the important highlights.

Want to know more about the astronaut who became a state senator? Look no further than the JOHN & ANNIE GLENN HISTORIC SITE in New Concord, Ohio. The National Road/Zane Grey Museum is in the same place, so you get more than one era and lots to look at in this one trip.

72 W. Main Street
New Concord, OH 43762

May – October
Wed. – Sat.: 10 – 4
Sunday: 1 – 4