Southeast Ohio History Logo with four outlines of Ohio together at the point to create a compass with the words "Southeast Ohio History Center" in a circle around it.

Early Mills in Southeast Ohio

Wolf Creek Mill was the first mill in the Ohio country, constructed along Wolf Creek, a tributary of the Muskingum River 15 miles upstream from Marietta, the territory’s first settlement. Built in 1789, the Wolf Creek Mill was a combination of a saw mill and a grist mill, serving the pioneer farmers 15 years before Ohio became a state. Image: Historical Collections of Ohio by Henry Howe, 1886.

Mills were so important in early Ohio history that there were well over a thousand grist mills in the Ohio country in the 19th century. By 1860 there were more than 1200 or these grist mills. These massive structures were framed with giant timbers from Ohio’s primeval forest.

Lake Tight and Pre Glacial SE Ohio

Prior to the onset of the glacial periods the Allegheny Plateau had been drained by the giant Teays River, the main stem of a pre-glacial river system in this region of North America. The headwaters of the Teays was near the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge, at the edge of the Piedmont Plateau in North Carolina and Virginia. The Teays River drained much of what became West Virginia flowing westward toward the Ohio country. 

The Hocking Valley Canal

The Hocking Valley Canal supported economic activity in small towns of the valley between Athens and Lancaster, Ohio.

Squirrel Invasion

Army marches in formation down street in illustration

Invading Hordes of Squirrels? If it happened, it hasn’t happened recently. Nonetheless, many local county histories recall stories of hordes of squirrels swarming over farmland and devastating crops in 1800’s Ohio. The plague of squirrels was reportedly so great it caused famine and suffering. Some local histories report the population exploded in Kentucky and thousands […]