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Columbus History, Ohio

Columbus History – Columbus Across the 19th Century

Columbus is the capital of Ohio and the largest city in the state (other US cities named with the same name are Columbus, Mississippi and Columbus, Georgia). Situated right in the center of Ohio State, Columbus was founded in the early 19th century in order to serve as a capital for the newly formed state. Columbus’ official birth date is February, 14, 1812.

The new town was built in an area covered by swamps and dense forests – the cause of several cholera and fever outbreaks, which only ceased when the swamps were drained. The capital was given the name of America’s first pioneer and discoverer, Christopher Columbus. Following the town’s foundation, a road connecting Columbus with the cities on the East coast was finished in 1831, leading to a first wave of immigration. Most of these immigrants were either Irish, or German, and some of their traditions are still visible in our days (such as Columbus’ brewery industry).

By 1834, Columbus was already considered a city, as its population surpassed 3500 inhabitants. By the time the Civil War began, Columbus had been included on the railroad map. The civil war represents an important episode in Columbus history, as a major military camp and an imprisonment camp for Confederate soldiers were erected on the city’s outskirts. The following decades were characterized by economic growth: Columbus came to be acknowledged as the world’s ‘buggy capital’ and was served by a system of electric street cars. Also, several academic, medical, financial, social and administrative institutions were founded at the peak of centuries.

Columbus History – Columbus in the 20th Century

In the first decades of the 20th century, Columbus perfectly illustrated what historians later named as “La Belle Époque”: the illuminated arches that spread over the city’s main arteries attracted the nickname “the Arch City” (they were demolished in the 1910s and then reconstructed in the 21st century). Nevertheless, these were marked by a series of disasters, as the Streetcar Strike in 1910 or the Scioto River flood in 1913. World War II brought along a lot of new jobs and consequently another wave of immigration.

Columbus history took an ascendant route when the local economy began to switch on finance and services, and the process of suburbanization determined a significant territorial and population growth. In the ‘90s, the entire centre of the city was rebuilt and for the first time Columbus became the largest and most populated city in Ohio. Due to its proximity to other major American cities like Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Cleveland or Toledo, Columbus continues to flourish as the state’s economic, educational and administrative center.

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  • danpopGerman Village in Columbus
    travel tip by danpop posted more then 30 days ago
    For a better overview of the German Village in Columbus you should purchase their Walking Tour Books at either the Franklin Art Glass Studio (222 E. Sycamore St.) or at Caterina's (571 S. 3rd St.). The traditional and historical...
  • athenaloveKelton House Museum & Garden
    travel tip by athenalove posted more then 30 days ago
    Whenever I'm in a new city I always look for original historical establishments because those are the ones that can truly give you an insight of how life was years, centuries ago.So a visit to the Kelton House Museum & Gardens...
  • asterixShort North Arts District
    travel tip by asterix posted more then 30 days ago
    Full of art galleries, restaurants and boutiques the Short North Arts District is a popular destination for both local and tourist art lovers. Found at the northern part of Columbus, this are is filled with artists, restaurant owners...
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