Cottrel: Curl up with a book, or two, on Clark County history

“Heartland: An Exhibition from the Collection of the Heritage Center of Clark County” by Burton K. Kummerow is one book to consider when learning about Clark County history. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
“Heartland: An Exhibition from the Collection of the Heritage Center of Clark County” by Burton K. Kummerow is one book to consider when learning about Clark County history. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

This is the perfect weather to curl up with a good book and there are enough local history books to get us through an ice age. And that is a good thing if you’ve dared to look outside.

Note - You didn’t think you were going to get off with just a list of local history websites to peruse did you?

Natalie Stone Fritz at the Heritage Center of Clark County was the first to point out the book “Heartland: An Exhibition from the Collection of the Heritage Center of Clark County” by Burton K. Kummerow. This outstanding book was released just as the Heritage Center was opened. This book and other interesting local books are available in the Heritage Center store in the lobby and online.

Personally I’m hoping to read “Beautiful Ferncliff” and “Ridgewood” this year. This shop always has a good selection of local books.

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The Enon Community Historical Society released “Our Heritage” just before the Enon sesquicentennial. You cannot talk about Enon without including Mad River Township so it logically includes that entire area south of the Mad River from 1850 – 2000. Full of photos and a reference for genealogical research, this can be ordered from their website at enonhistoricalsociety.com

The Clark County Park District also has a book store at its headquarters in the Davidson Center on Lower Valley Pike. Local books available include “Peckuwe 1780” by John F. Winkler. This is by far the most detailed account of the Revolutionary War Battle that took place in Clark County east of the city on Route 4. “The Mad River Gorge” is on my reading list. This is also a good place to find books about the National Road, an important part of our history.

Check out the local and family history books on the shelves at the New Carlisle Library. If you go after March 1, you can also check out the Friends of the Library Book Sale which will go on all the month of March during the library’s open hours. There are always some gems in this sale.

Most of these books I’ve mentioned are also available to borrow from the Clark County Library, which fits most of our budgets well.

The Reference and Genealogical sections at the Clark County Public Library have some great Clark County histories. These old county histories are best described as tomes, heavy ponderous books that are history themselves.

My favorite is “Howe’s Historical Collection” 1847 or the updated 1891 version. My grandma had an original worn leather 1847 copy and I spent hours with my nose in it. There were chapters on all 88 counties and it is a wealth of history. I now have my own copy which I thoroughly enjoy. It looks so grand on the shelf, but more often I read the online version. Search for “Howe’s Historical Collection” and you will find copies available to read online.

This reminds me, last week I wrote about all the wonderful websites, and the local museums that are open. However during this week I have been reminded of some additional Clark County and Ohio history Facebook pages to consider joining or following.

“Springfield History” is one of my preferred Facebook history pages.

Another of my favorites is “Western Ohio History” which also includes a lot of history for the Lima and Greenville area in addition to our area. The research files are awesome.

I’ve got a bit of room left on this page so I’m adding some of my favorite history books in addition to “Howe’s.” I enjoyed reading “The Frontiersmen,” “Dark and Bloody River,” and “Sorrow in the Heart” all by Ohio author Allan Eckert. Eckert wrote the play “Tecumseh!” which is presented near Chillicothe every summer. I have also enjoyed Eckert’s book about the Dayton Flood in 1913, which also had a serious impact in this area too.

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Well now that we all have our reading assignments and I’ve been reminded of a couple of books I want to revisit and a couple that I want to purchase. It’s time to curl up on the sofa and enjoy the coziness of Ohio winters.

Best thing about this frigid weather is that it helps us all maintain social distance and the masks make your face warmer.

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