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Hilltop News from the Greater Hilltop CDC   

GHCDC 2001 News

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National Scenic Byway
The National Road, U.S. Route 40 (West Broad Street through the Hilltop)  literally carried the United States west in this young country’s quest for opportunity and expansion.  Efforts are now underway to seek National Scenic Byway Status and its benefits for this unique road that has played such an important role in the Hilltop’s history.

The National Road was the first, federally planned and funded infrastructure project.  Through an act of Congress passed in 1806 and signed by Thomas Jefferson, it created the first “interstate highway” in the country.  It was intended to connect the great port of Baltimore with the Mississippi River in St. Louis.  The $7,000,000 project originated in Cumberland, Maryland and stretched 591 miles through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana, ending in Vandalia, Illinois.   In doing so, it opened up the Old Northwest Territories to trade with the growing towns and cities of the Eastern United States.

Construction of the road came to Columbus in the 1830’s closely following 40 degrees latitude, hence the designation as Route 40.  It entered the city on East Main Street but then turned north along High Street to West Broad Street which it followed across the Scioto River through Franklinton then up to Sullivant‘s Hill.

  As the road was completed through the Hilltop, the large tracts of the Sullivant Brothers property were divided and sold, and farm houses began to appear on the National Road along with the inns that served the travelers and drovers who used the road.  During the Civil War it brought suppliers, soldiers, and prisoners of war  to Camp Chase.   It also provided the location for the first school on the Hilltop, established for the children of the officers serving at the camp.

  Shortly after the end of the war, the development of the large State Facilities on either side of the road created new jobs and increased demands for goods and services.  By the time streetcars began running out from the city, along West Broad Street,  it was no longer just up to Sullivant’s Hill, but into the Hilltop community that had formed around it.

Although its role was briefly overshadowed by the railroads, the importance of the National Road entered a new era of dominance with the turn of the century that ushered in the development of the automobile.  It became the “Main Street” of the country, a defining element of American life until the 1960’s.

The National Scenic Byway program was created under the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and was continued as part of the 1998 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st. Century (TEA21).  The Federal Highway Administration operated the program through its state coordinators, who are usually located within a State’s Department of Transportation or Tourism Agency.

  Today, 37 states have scenic byway program.  The National Scenic Byway Program has designated 15 All-American Roads and 57 National Scenic Byways.  Scenic Byway Designation offers the follow:

¨ Promoting interest in an area’s cultural and historic resources and natural beauty

¨ Creating opportunities to interpret the intrinsic qualities of the area

¨ Attracting visitors who bring additional revenue and economic activity to an area

¨ Encouraging compatible and place-sensitive development

¨ Drawing travelers to less-traveled roads

¨ Developing partnerships within and between communities sharing a common vision

¨ Opening doors to financial and technical assistance

  In 1996, as an initial step toward designation, the Ohio Historic Preservation Office contracted for an initial survey of the historic road.  As a result of the survey and community meetings a decision was made to proceed with the application process:  advisory groups were formed and funds were secured to hire a firm to coordinate the application activities.

  On Thursday, April 19th from 7:30 to 9:00 PM. There will be a public, Regional Meeting for Central Ohio at Hoge Memorial Presbyterian Church, 2930 West Broad Street to present a progress report on developing a plan for preserving the old National Road and completing the application for National Scenic Byway status.  The public is encouraged to attend!

HilltopCommunity Resources Directory
Please be sure to check the mailing label on the envelope from  this newsletter and the community calendar. The label shows how your organization is listed in the directory.  It also indicates who we have listed as a contact person.  If there are any changes or corrections please call the GHCDC at  276-0060.  Thanks!

1913 Flood Reunion
The 13th Annual Reunion of the 1913 Flood Survivors, sponsored by the Hilltop Historical Society  will be held on Sunday, March 25, 2001, at  3 PM in Hoge Memorial Church, 2930 West Broad Street.

  In 1988 the Society decided to honor those area residents who suffered through the  Flood .  The event has become an annual affair, and the stories told by the survivors are moving and thrilling.  Congresswoman Deborah Pryce who has worked to secure final funding for the floodwall has been invited to attend.  The meeting is open to the public and refreshment will be served.

Sullivant Trace Clean-Up Planned

  The connection between the boardwalk of the Sullivant Trace multi-purpose trail and the asphalt State Offices walking trail has been completed.  You can now walk from Glenview Park (the eastern portion of Holton Park)  to the state’s retention pond trail in the Dry Run Creek Valley, up over the hill just north of the state offices and then down into Rhodes Park and along the old “Shady Lane” to W. Broad Street.

With only the asphalt section between Eureka Ave. and the boardwalk to be completed plans are being made to hold a special dedication some time in May.  In preparation for the dedication a clean-up has been planned for Saturday, April 21, 2001 from 9:00 AM to noon.  Volunteers are asked to meet at the beginning of the boardwalk at the eastern end of the park.  Trash bags will be provide by Keep Columbus Beautiful Program.

Volunteers of all ages are welcome to come to help clean up and to learn a little history of the area.  This would make an ideal project for a young person’s community service hours requirements. For more information call the GHCDC at 276-006.

Children’s Theater Production
The Greater Hilltop Community Theater will present the children’s production “The Storytellers” on Friday, March 30 at 7 PM and Saturday, March 31 at 2 PM and again at 7 PM in the evening.  The production will be staged at Wedgewood Middle School, 3771 Eakin Rd.  Tickets are $3 per person, with reserved seating available.  For information or reservations call 470-1400 and leave a message.

  “Storytellers” includes four pieces: “The Princess and the Pea”, “The Elves and the Shoemaker”, “The Nightingale”, and “The Giant and the Three Golden Hairs”. Over 40 young people, ages 9-20,  from the community are cast in the production being directed by area resident Karen Nagy.

 

 

 


If you have any old photos that could be copied or have some memories to share or would like to work on this project contact the GHCDC

     

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