Olentangy Valley News

History today

Society photos help businesses honor past


You may have seen prints of original photos of Powell and Liberty Township in earlier days, hanging in local businesses -- from restaurants to a dental office -- or used in other publicity.

Credit is given to the Powell Liberty Historical Society because these old photos are found in our archives.

To see the faces and places in your community, sometimes from 100 years ago, is an opportunity to view local history. Favorite photos are a Powell baseball team from 1909 and race scenes from the Powell Speedway in the 1940s. A personal favorite is a large family gathering at Henry Clay Maddox's stately brick home along the Scioto River where the group is gathered in summer 1912.

Did you know there was a Sohio station on the corner where some of you now enjoy outdoor dining and music at Local Roots? As it is today, the location generally was known as the Four Corners. A wonderful tin-type of the IOOF Lodge No. 465 and grocery store across the street was used for the cover of a brochure printed in 1997 for Powell's Golden Days celebration.

Though the 12-grade Powell School built in 1911 was demolished in the late 1970s, the photo of a "school bus" (a horse-drawn wagon) in front of the building shows a unique piece of history. The Powell School was the first in Ohio to transport children in motor-driven buses. It served the community until 1973 and was located on Powell Road, on the hill just east of Grace Drive.

I mentioned our photographs are displayed in restaurants. When the Bob Evans restaurant on Sawmill Parkway first opened, prints of various scenes in Powell could be found inside. Perhaps you remember seeing them.

Last January, when Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers opened in Powell, nearly a dozen photographs were hung on its walls. The owners try to feature local historic photos or memorabilia on the walls of their restaurants. The North Liberty Diner also has a display of period photographs from the historical society.

If you are a customer of Powell Hair Design or a patient at Cornerstone Dental, I'm certain you've seen photos from the society's archives there.

The most-recent use of old photos is by Kemba Credit Union on Powell Road, just west of the former Big Bear silos. You'll see large collages in their two entries of scenes of the O'Shaughnessy Dam being built, some local farmers, and another favorite of mine, the Home Road Walking Club, posed at the bridge when it was a covered bridge. It is a unique presentation.

We hope you enjoy the efforts of the various local business owners who want to share the historic photos of this ever-growing area. Needless to say, we appreciate their interest in recognizing the past.

Please contact us if you have old photographs to loan or donate to the historical society, or if you can put us in touch with others who might have photos to document people, homes, buildings, etc. Call 614-889-1182 or email us at info@powellhistory.

Carole Wilhelm is a member of the Powell-Liberty Historical Society.