Columbus Memory - Visualizing Columbus' Past

800BC-100BC: Early Woodland Period

The Adena people existed from roughly 600BC to 100BC. They built conical-shaped mounds up and down the Scioto River.

100BC-500AD: Middle Woodland Period

The Hopewell live from roughly 100BC to 500AD. They build large ceremonial or defensive mounds in geometric shapes. It is a period of great cultural development.

A map of Franklin County showing the location of Ancient Earthworks Relics from the Mounds The Hopewell produce art work with materials found as far away as the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico indicating that they trade with many other peoples.

1810s: Population in 1812: 300

The town of Columbus is founded in February of 1812 and is picked by the state legislature as the state capital that same year.

1810Monument to Wyandot Chief Leatherlips 1812The town of Columbus is platted out. 1814The first state house is constructed. 1815The first State Penitentiary opens. 1818William Lusk begins publishing the Columbus Almanac.

1820s Population: 1818: 1,200

An extreme economic panic all but cripples the Columbus business community while continual epidemics of Yellow or “Bilious” Fever decimate the population.

1823William Neil opens his first inn. 1823Lucas Sullivant dies. 1824Columbus becomes the Franklin County seat. 1827Feeder Canal groundbreaking in Columbus

1830s: Population: 2,435

The 1830s ushers in a decade of transportation innovations. The canal system is introduced to Columbus, as well as the National Road.

1831Canal arrives in Columbus. 1834Columbus is incorporated as a city March 3, 1834. 1836Caroline Frankenberg opens first Kindergarten. 1838Alfred Kelley mansion is finished.

1840s: Population: 6,048

During the Mexican American War four companies are mustered from Columbus, one is entirely of German immigrants. Also, the city limits expand due to a housing boom.

1840Second courthouse is built at corner of Mound and High Streets. 1842The Carter-Hayden house is built. It is also home to Governor Salmon P. Chase. 1847The first Wesley Chapel is organized on North High Street. 1848Holy Cross Church, the oldest Catholic church in Columbus, opens.

1860s: Population: 18,554

The Civil War dominates events. The U.S. Army houses 26,000 troops at Camp Chase, as well as 9,000 confederate prisoners, 2,600 who are buried there.

1861The Statehouse opens 1863The Barracks Shot Tower is built. 1865Lincoln Funeral Train 1868Mission opens in Neville mansion, 1868, from bequest of Hannah (Schwing) Neil.

1870s: Population: 31,274

The German and Irish communities thrive during the 1870s. The Ohio State University is founded in 1870.

1870The Ohio State University is founded. 1871Amelia Parsons marries Prince Zu Lynar. 1875The first white woman born in Columbus dies. 1877Simon Lazarus, founder of Lazarus Department stores, dies.

1880s: Population: 51,647

Telephone service and electricity come to Columbus. A manufacturing boom occurs in both the buggy and shoe-making industries

1880Rev. James Poindexter, 1st African American elected to city council 1884Second county courthouse is demolished. 1886Franklin Park is established. 1887New Franklin County Courthouse opens. 188822nd National GAR Encampment

1890s: Population: 88,150

The 1890s sees both progress and disaster. The first Columbus skyscraper is built in 1894 and a disastrous flood sweeps through the city in 1898.

1890Columbus becomes shoe and buggy capital. 1891First electric streetcar in Columbus 1894Wyandotte Building, the first skyscraper in Columbus, is constructed. 1897Franklinton Centennial 18981898 Flood

1900s: Population: 125,560

The turn of the century in Columbus is marked by city planning and pride through civic projects, like the construction of Memorial Hall, and the Columbus City Plan of 1908.

1906Memorial Hall opens. 1907Columbus Metropolitan Main Library opens. 1908Columbus City Plan is drafted. 1909Lazarus department store expands.

1910s: Population: 181,511

The automobile gains popularity, expanding the city limits further, as people move into the suburbs. The brewery industry booms.

1910Streetcar Strike 1912Columbus Centennial 19131913 Flood 1917St. Paul's Lutheran church demolished. 1918Rev. Washington Gladden renowned Columbus Progressive minister dies.

1920s: Population: 237,031

The brewery industry declines due to Prohibition; but the city’s economy is strong. Landmark structures, such as the Neil House Hotel, are constructed.

1922The Ohio State University stadium opens. 1924Central High School dedicated. 1925Battelle Institute opens. 1927American Insurance Union (AIU) construction 1929Port Columbus opens.

1930s: Population: 290,564

During the Great Depression, the local economy does not suffer as much as some due to the large number of government and university jobs in the city.

1930Ohio Penitentiary fire kills 319 people. 1931Columbus Museum of Art opens. 1935Artist and newspaper cartoonist Billy Ireland dies. 1937Olentangy Amusement Park closes. 1938Olentangy Village Apartment Complex is built.

1940s: Population: 306,087

World War II generates a whole new wave of manufacturing in Columbus at the Curtiss-Wright factory and the Defense Construction Supply Center.

1941Curtiss Wright airplane factory opens. 1944Columbus Foundation established. 1946The Lazarus Annex opens in the Former Columbus Auditorium building. 1948Last Streetcar service in Columbus 1949Deshler mansion

1950s: Population: 375,901

Columbus suburbs grow as shopping malls are built all over the city. Downtown retailers struggle to remain viable.

1954George Parsons mansion razed. 1955Artist Alice Schille dies. 1957Mershon Auditorium at OSU dedicated. 1959Temple Israel dedicated.

1960s: Population: 471,316

The south side is reborn as German Village becomes one of the most important historical districts in the nation and the German Village Commission is formed.

1960German Village Society formed. 1961Alfred Kelley mansion disassembled. 1964COSI opens in Memorial Hall. 1966Demolition of the old central market house 1969First Wendy's Restaurant located on E. Broad

1970s: Population: 539,677

The landscape of downtown Columbus changes as landmarks, such as Union Station, are lost and new structures, such as Nationwide Plaza, spring up.

1972Chittenden Hotel closes. 1974Courthouse is demolished. 1976Kelton House opens as a museum. 1977One Nationwide Plaza completed. 1978Columbus schools desegregate.

1980s: Population: 564,871

Several high-rise office buildings and a shopping mall are built downtown. In the suburbs, Dublin and New Albany experience amazing growth.

1981First Red White and Boom was held on July 4, 1981. 1988Christopher Inn demolished. 1989City Center mall opens.

1990s: Population: 632,910

By the middle of the decade Columbus is the largest city in Ohio and is regarded as a perfect test-market for consumer goods.

1992Ameriflora '92 1993Columbus Convention Center opens. 1996Jai Lai Restaurant closes. 1997The Ohio Penitentiary demolished. 1999New COSI opens.

2000s: Population: 711,470

Entry into the first decade of the new century is marked by a celebration on the State House grounds, called "First Columbus".

2001The Ohio State University stadium opens after extensive renovations. 2002Electric arches (shown circ 1906) are installed over High Street, Short North. 2009City Center demolished.

2010s: Population: 754,885 estimated

2011New Franklin County Courthouse slated to open.
©2010 Columbus Metropolitan Library