Columbus, Ohio



The Hilltop


The first Hilltop inhabitants were mound-building Indian tribes.  The first settler to arrive in the Hilltop area was Lucas Sullivant a surveyor.  He acquired vast acreage of land as payment for her services.  Around 1888, Lucas' sons, Michael and William, inherited 1600 acres on the Hilltop and became the first "residents."

"Hilltop" became known as Sullivant's Hill, and was eventually donated by the family. Sullivant Avenue is now a major road in the area.


Hilltop was once the site of the Columbus State Hospital for the Insane. Groundbreaking for the massive, Victorian structure was presided over by then-governor Rutherford B. Hayes in 1870; construction took an additional seven years to complete. The hospital remained in service until the late 1980s, despite falling into severe disrepair. It was demolished in 1997 to be replaced by a new Ohio Department of Transportation facility. Four patient cemeteries still exist in Hilltop.


Columbus also led to the establishment of Camp Chase and the construction of the largest structure in the nation under one roof, the Central Ohio Psychiatric Hospital.  This sprawling series of buildings dominated the Hilltop skyline. The hospital was demolished in the late 1980s, and the State Safety and Transportation Buildings now occupy the site.


Westgate Park held the annual Hilltop Bean Dinner


Bean Dinners became popular events after the Civil War (1865). Veterans from the war both north and south would gather for reunions and cook simple food in the style of the campaigns - beans and coffee. These events came across the Ohio River from Kentucky and West Virginia into southern Ohio. Soon, politicians running for local offices looked at the Bean Dinners as a way to meet and greet residents in one location. Strong coffee mixed well with politics!


The Hilltop Bean Dinner continues today every 4th Saturday in June from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Westgate Park.


West High School

Burger Chef on Sullivant Ave.

Columbus Asylum for the Insane


Hilltop residents: James P. Phillip's Restaurant, #2762; Charles H. Campbell's Pharmacy, #2766; Rausch Brothers' Hardware, #2768; B & H 5 and 10 Cent Store, #2772; and Van's Restaurant, #2776 West Broad Street.




Flytown was democracy's melting pot for the city of Columbus,.  But even more important it became known as a "port of entry" for the immigrant settlers of Central Ohio.  New arrivals found friends and relatives, who guided them through the initial steps of becoming naturalized Americans.  Here was born a feeling of comradeship that led to patriotic loyalty that knew no division.  Seventeen nationalities contributed to their knowledge and experience t the community spirit and culture of Flytown.  This is a section of Columbus that has become known and respected the width and breadth of the land.

"Flytown Historical Plaque"

In 1865 the district of Columbus known as Flytown and subdivided into city lots.  Brick and frame houses dotted the area and friendly community soon emerged.  Industry did no locate here because of the lack of necessary facilities.  In order to obtain water, light, and power, the district was annexed to the city in 1880.  Industry began to move in since building sites were cheap.  Railroads and highways provided transportation, and water became available.  An Iron foundry was established in1870 to be followed a few years later by The United States Pipe and Foundry Company.  In 1900, the Columbus Forge and Iron Company and the Commercial Paste Company built plants in Flytown.  In 1901, the Franklin Lumber and Furniture Company was founded and shops were constructed by The Columbus, Piqua, and Indianapolis Railroad.  All of these plants and other employed immigrant workmen - Germans, Irish, Negroes, Italians, Swedes, Jewish, Greeks, Hungarians, and others.  When Rosenthal Brothers - Wool-Pullers, located on Spruce Street, there were no houses for their employees.  A building marathon ensued.  It is said the houses literally "flew up" overnight thus the name "Flytown" was coined.


Ohio Penitentiary

Remnant of Columbus' old

Union Station

The Godman Guild



St. Francis Church and School

First & Last Chance Saloon



Lincoln Village


Lincoln Village was started in 1955 as a planned community by a real estate subsidiary of Nationwide Insurance (Peoples Development Company) and its president, Murray D. Lincoln.  The community was developed to have all the essentials such as a shopping center, schools, and parks, and to incorporate safety considerations such as not positioning the homes on street corners to eliminate blind intersections.

When completed it would cover 1170 acres seven miles west of the downtown Columbus intersection of Broad and High along US 40

Do you remember the Lincoln Village 4th of July Parades?.   

The Lincoln Village Parades began at the Prairie Lincoln School passing through Deerfield Road and onto Beacon Hill Road.  The parade would end at the Lincoln Village Flea Fantasia where fun activities for the kids were available!  Did you win a goldfish? 

Doctors Hospital West

Remember when "Doctors West" was a beautiful 2-story, 112 bed General Hospital?  The hospital was one of the first in the United States built specifically as a satellite hospital.



Lincoln Village Sign Hidden By Progress



The Original Lincoln Lodge


Doctors Hospital West


New Rome


New Rome was a small village on the west side of Columbus, Ohio in Franklin County, where it had occupied little more than a three-block stretch of West Broad Street (U.S. Highway 40) since its incorporation in 1947. It had long been the target of scorn and criticism from Central Ohio residents, state officials, and even national media, due to decades of harassing motorists in one of the worst speed traps in the United States and the internal corruption of its local government. In 2004, the village was ordered legally dissolved by a Franklin County Common Pleas court judge, and its residents, land and assets were made part of Prairie Township



New Rome




Franklinton was the first community settled in Central Ohio. During the late 1700s, Lucas Sullivant was a surveyor in the Virginia Military District.  He surveyed a piece of land on the western bank of the Scioto River, near the confluence of the Whetstone River. Today, the Whetstone River is known as the Olentangy River. Sullivant named the town Franklinton, and it quickly grew to become the most important community in the northern portions of the Virginia Military District.  By 1798, Franklinton had numerous homes.  They were all log cabins. The oldest structure in Franklin County still stands on Gift Street. Other historically significant structures include the Volunteers of America building (built in 1895), Engine House No. 10 (1897)..

Franklinton Cemetery, located on River Street just off Souder Avenue, is one of the oldest cemeteries in Central Ohio.  Lucas Sullivant was originally buried at the Franklinton Cemetery, but was moved to Greenlawn Cemetery.



Old Franklinton Cemetery










Old Franklinton Cemetery Plaque


Past and present photos of Engine House No. 10.









"This ancient burial ground of Central Ohio was established in a bend of the Scioto River in 1799 and is known as "Old Franklinton Cemetery". The pioneers buried here are about one hundred in number. Seventy-one graves are marked largely by sandstone slabs, many having elaborately carved drawings and quaint inscriptions. Here also is buried at least one soldier of the American Revolution, Reverend Seth Noble, first minister of the frontier town. In 1811 the first church in the community, Presbyterian, was erected by Lucas Sullivant, the founder of Franklinton, upon the present burial grounds. Sullivant himself was buried here in 1824, but his remains were moved to Green Lawn Cemetery years later.

In 1931 the West Side Board of Trade erected a granite obelisk monument in the center of the cemetery, twenty-six feet in height. The memorial contains two commemorative tablets, one of which reads "In this Churchyard Stood the First Church of the Community - Built and Presented to the Congregation by Lucas Sullivant in 1811."

Genealogy Links:

Camp Chase Cemetery

Columbus Mental Health Hospital/Cemetery

Greenlawn Cemetery

Ohio Memory On-Line  Scrapbook

Question, comments, and submissions can be sent to

Page created November 2006