Big Walnut Creek– When Native Americans lived in this area, they called this waterway the Gahanna River. Big Walnut, Blacklick Creek, and Alum Creek all converge into one river, and the word “Gahanna” is interpreted as “three into one.” It is from this Native American word that the community gets its name.
Jaycee’s Fishing Derby – While fishing from the banks of Gahanna’s creeks and rivers has always been a popular activity, the Jaycee’s Fishing Derby had the help of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, who would dump roughly 200 catfish into Rocky Fork Creek for youngsters to catch.
Historic seal of City of Gahanna– After growing from a village of a few hundred people to a community of 12,000 Gahanna was officially declared a “city” in 1970. The city seal was adopted after a public design competition, with the winning emblem showing three badges upon a triangle symbolizing the “three in one” interpretation of the Native American word “Gahanna.”
The Log House– The two story log house was built in 1840 by David Shull as a wedding present for his wife Julia Ann Clouse. Originally located on Cherrybottom Road, it was saved from destruction in the 1960s and moved to the Gahanna Historical Society where it has been restored and offers tours of what life was like for early Ohio settlers. This Gahanna landmark is a tribute to the pioneering spirit and early families like the Shull’s who built our early towns and villages.
Golfers from Big Walnut Country Club- The Big Walnut Country Club existed where Friendship Park is today (Oklahoma Ave.) With a clubhouse, golf course, restaurants, baseball fields, summer festivals and beautiful grounds it offered a rural retreat for African Americans living in the urban communities of Columbus and all around Ohio. Formed in the 1920s it is one of the first African American country clubs in the entire United States.
Antique cars promoting 1956 Flea Market– In the mid 1950s the population of Gahanna was under 3,000 people. Special events, festivals, and fairs were popular ways for the community to get together. In 1956 a group of antique cars paraded down Mill Street to advertise the upcoming Flea Market.
Shadwicks Hardware store– As a popular business on Mill Street, Shadwicks Hardware store became a local landmark not just because of its history, but because of the shopper’s experience there. Residents recall wooden floors of long, narrow aisles, stacked to the ceiling with “anything you could ever want,” as well as a staff that knew just where to find it.
Mill Street looking north– Though the cars, business, and buildings change, since the 1800s the “Heart of Gahanna” has been Mill Street, our local section of a state highway. This northern-facing view was captured in the 1960s.
Warren Truss Bridge (1900-1965)- Built in 1900 the Warren Truss Bridge was replaced by today’s structure in 1965. Weighing two hundred tons, the majestic iron structure served as the “Gateway to Gahanna” as automobiles replaced horses and wagons in the 20th century. Prior to its construction a wooden covered bridge spanned the Big Walnut from 1824 to 1900.
Corner building between Mill and Granville– In the mid-1800s the building was a saloon and residence, next to a livery and blacksmith shop. In the 20th century it served as Summerfield’s office supply store, a popular destination for residents. The structure today was built in the 21st century but retains the architectural style reminiscent of the famous landmark of Gahanna’s early days.
C. Strait and Sons Milk Transport – The trucking company in the picture was founded in the 1930s by the Strait family, who came to the Gahanna area in the 1800s. Doug Strait, the young boy in the photograph, is a 5th generation Gahanna resident and as the proprietor of Signatures, was instrumental in the development of the historic mural.
Columbus to Gahanna Interurban Railroad– In the early 1900s a system of railroads connected Columbus and surrounding suburbs. The line from Columbus to Gahanna passed through the village of Shepard (named after the same man for whom Gahanna’s Shepard street is named) and terminated at the edge of the iron bridge at Big Walnut. Though it was named the Columbus New Albany & Johnstown line, it was never extended past Gahanna.
Olde Gahanna High School– Gahanna’s first high school was built in 1887 on land donated by Dr. William Shepard. It served as a high school until 1928, then an elementary school, then a nursing home. “The Old Schoolhouse” is home to offices now, and is proud to be one of the few buildings in Gahanna on the National Register of Historic Places.
Jesse Baughman – A few years after John Clark established Gahanna on the south side of Granville Street, Baughman founded Bridgeport on the north. In 1881 the two small towns combined to incorporate as the Village of Gahanna, and the Bridgeport name disappeared. Having built the first grist mill in the area, Baughman’s legacy remains in the main thoroughfare through Olde Gahanna called Mill Street.
John Clark – Originally part of the land grants given to soldiers of the Revolutionary war, hundreds of acres in this area were acquired by the Clark family in Chillicothe. John Clark moved here, built a home, donated land for the Mifflin Presbyterian church, and in 1848 established the village of Gahanna, comprised of several properties on the south side of Granville Street. As the founding father of Gahanna, his name is honored throughout the city at Clark Hall, Clark State Road, the John Clark Museum, etc.