Hope, Ohio and the Hope Furnace

Hope, OH still stands but under the waters of Lake Hope. Hope, OH was flooded up the side of cliff as part of a flood control project. Other Ohio ghost towns met a similar fate. Lake Hope is now part of a state park and recreation area.

Two structures from Hope remain. The one-room schoolhouse isn’t far from the park inside the state forest. It has been renovated and is now used as a community meeting place. Inside the park itself the Hope Furnace still stands which was once used to smelt iron ore that was mined in the hills nearby.

There is a third structure, south of the schoolhouse on Wheelabout Road is an abandonded church which is in very poor condition and it is not recommended people go inside it.

Along with these structures there was once a post office named Hope Furnace which was built in 1865 and ran until 1890.

The Hope Furnace is an important historical marker for the region. Located northeast of Zaleski Village along SR 278 it is one of two extant iron furnaces in Vinton County. It ran for 20 years between 1854 and 1874 to smelt iron ore. It ran on coal or charcoal for fuel. It somewhat resembles a skinny pyramid and is made out of sandstone.

Like other iron furnaces of the time in region, Hope Furnace was once surrounded by a community of hundreds of residents as the production of iron and supplying of goods and services for the area required many workers and small business owners. Now no structures of the community remain; however, many artifacts can still be found in the area.

Yearly Quaker Meeting House, Mt. Pleasant, OH

The Friends Meetinghouse is a historic Quaker meeting house. It resides near OH 150 in Mount Pleasant, OH.

Mount Pleasant was named a National Historic Landmark District because of its involvement with the antislavery movement before the Civil War and because it is hoe to five documented Underground Railroad stations.

The village celebrated a 200 year anniversary in 2014.

Built in 1814, the Mount Pleasant Quaker Yearly Meeting House was the first Quaker yearly meeting house west of the Alleghenies and is now part of the Mount Pleasant Historic District for its association with the Quakers and the antislavery movement and Underground Railroad.

The Meeting House has recently been restored to preserve it for future generations and to help illustrate the rich heritage of Mount Pleasant Ohio and its role in both regional and national history.


McCook House Memorial

The Carroll County Historical Society was created in August of 1963. Initially its goal was to preserve the historic McCook House which is a state memorial owned by the Ohio Historical Society. Currently the Carroll County Historical Society is managing that property through a lease agreement with the Ohio Historical Society.

Located in Carrollton, Ohio the McCook House is now a memorial to the Fighting McCooks. The historic house was once the home of Major Daniel McCook. McCook and his nine sons along with six nephews became known as the Fighting McCooks because of their contribution to the armed services before the Civil War but especially during it.

Daniel McCook erected the brick house in 1837 on the southwest corner of the public square in Carrollton, Ohio. He and his family occupied the home until 1848. The state of Ohio came to own it in 1941 and it was dedicated to the brave Fighting McCooks as a memorial on October 10, 1947.

When Confederate general John Morgan made his raid into Ohio, Major Daniel McCook was stationed in Cincinnati. McCook was part of the party that went out in pursuit of Morgan. As Morgan tried cross again the Ohio river McCook and an advance party intercepted Morgan, it was during this skirmish that McCook was mortally wounded. He died the next day, July 21, 1863. He is buried in the Spring Grove cemetery.





Harriet Beecher Stowe House

The historic home was Harriet Beecher’s house before she married Calvin Stowe in 1836. She lived with her father Rev. Lyman Beecher and his large family. The family were a creative group of educators, religious, writers, women’s right and anti-slavery advocates.

Harriet’s sister Catherine Beecher was an early educator and writer who took part in founding many high schools and colleges for women. Her brother Rev. Henry Ward Beecher was a leader of the women’s suffrage movement—so considered him the most articulate minister of his time. Gen. James Beecher was a Civil War general. He commanded the first African American troops in the Union Army who were recruited from the South. Her sister Isabella Beecher Hooker was a women’s rights advocate.

The Beechers made Cincinnati their home for almost twenty years from 1832 to the early 1850s. They then returned east. It was after leaving Cincinnati that Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the best-selling book of its time. The novel, though fiction, accurately portrays the pain of slavery and perilous journey it was to travel the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada.

Ohio and the Underground Rail Road

Ohio is well known for its Underground Railroad activity, many private and now-museum historic homes spread over the state were stops for escaped and freed slaves on their way to Canada. One particularly active stop was Hanby House, home of William Hanby and his family.

Hanby was an extremely active community member: Hanby served as the 15th minister of the United Brethren in Christ Church, he also edited The Religious Telescope, the church newspaper; he was co-founder of Otterbein University; Hanby worked with the early Temperance movement against alcohol; finally and most importantly to the historic site he was an abolitionist who opened his home to former slaves as part of the Underground Railroad. However history takes note of Hanby primarily has musician and composer.

During his tenure as a minister, Hanby composed the famous Christmas song “Up on the Housetop.” Chicago publisher George Frederick Root published “Up on the Housetop” and asked Hanby to work for his publishing company, Root & Cady, in Chicago, Illinois.

Benjamin Hanby composed over 80 songs in his lifetime. Among his most popular include “Up on the Housetop,” “Dear Nellie Gray,” and “Who is He in Yonder Stall.”

Built in 1846, the Hanby family occupied the home from 1853 to 1870. The home is part of the National Register of Historic Places as well as a designated United Methodist Heritage Landmark. In 2011, the National Park Service Network to Freedom recognized the home as a significant Underground Railroad site.

The home and tours are managed by the Westerville Historical Society under an agreement with the Ohio History Connection.

The home features many personal items having belonged to the Hanby family. Most notably the collection includes walnut desk crafted by Hanby as well as the original plates for the first edition of “Darling Nelly Gray”. The home also contains a large collection of sheet music and books.