Page 18 - Discover Magazine 2019
P. 18

 Illustration of the Wilson-Lenox-Ditmer HISTORY house, the oldest home in Shelby County.
    Shelby County Bicentennial activities will begin in earnest during April. The committee overseeing festivities has been meeting for more than 18 months. Two hundred years of history is a lot to
cover. It is easy to get lost in the details of our rich past. We have been immensely blessed. It is appropriate to celebrate our successes, but also to ask “Why?” “Why here and why us?”
The context for the question arises when the accomplishments of the county and its residents are considered. I am of the firm opinion there is no other community quite like ours. The co-developer of the MRI was born and educated in our schools. We are the world headquarters of the pop tab industry for aluminum cans. Ohio’s first and most famous Civil War memorial building proudly graces our square. Those familiar with our industrial history know of more than ten local businesses which
were either the largest or second largest in their industry in our country. We produce the iconic Airstream trailers
which travel our highways. The world’s largest and most innovative compressor manufacturer, Emerson-Copeland, is headquartered here. Our World War II contributions to this nation were comparable to the largest cities in Ohio.
We have much to celebrate for sure. We will also celebrate the Why and How of it all during the Bicentennial.
If the few meager souls who called this area home in
the early 1800s returned to share their stories, all would
be utterly amazed at what has been accomplished in what
is now Shelby County. The only real attribute the first pioneers saw in our land was its remoteness. They wanted to get away and be away from civilization. They accomplished that purpose. This area was a vast forest of trees with only the Great Miami River and its creeks meandering through it.
It boggles the mind to imagine what those first settlers, like James Thatcher and the Cannon and Wilson families, faced when they arrived here. They had hand saws and primitive axes to take on the massive oak, maple and other trees which covered the land. Some early residents reported the tree canopy was so thick it was nearly dark during the middle of a sunny day.
- continued on pg. 18
 Train stop in Houston

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