Written by: Christine M. Irvin
Carroll County has a rich historical heritage and the folks in Carroll County want you to know about it. To that end, they have placed 12 historical markers, at 10 different locations around the county, commemorating important people, places and events from the county’s past.
The Great Trail, on Rt. 183 outside of Malvern, is actually the site of three historical markers (the only one with this distinction). The markers pay tribute to both The Great Trail and the “Ohio Country”, a large territory that included modern-day Ohio, and parts of eastern Indiana, western Pennsylvania and northwestern West Virginia. The Great Trail was called “the Gateway to the Ohio Country” as it was the major overland route used by Native Americans, European explorers, missionaries, fur traders, military expeditions, and settlers who were passing through the area. The Great Trail Festival, an event that celebrates the importance of this route, takes place annually in a location near the marker.
A marker was erected on the square in Carrollton commemorating the site where the first county courthouse was constructed in 1835 (although it is no longer standing). Peter Herold designed the building that was originally supposed to be built by James McMullin. Through a series of delays, the contractor was changed several times with George Y. Hampson put in charge of finishing the building. Bricks for the building were made in the Atkison-McCook brickyard just one block west of the building site, and were laid in what was known as the “Flemish Bond” style. A bell for the building’s belfry was later cast in Pittsburgh in 1842 and shipped first by boat to Wellsville and then on to Carrollton by oxcart. The first elected County Commissioners to enjoy their new building were John Shober, William Davis and James Ferrall.
The Sandy and Beaver Canal was an important water route that opened up trade between Glasgow and Bolivar. Glasgow which was on the Ohio River and Bolivar on the Ohio Canal. The new canal opened up a new trade route for the area. Locks 19 and 20 of the canal, a basin, a toll station, and a canal dam were all located at Lodi. This segment of the canal, known as the Western Division, was finished in 1845, and was used between Bolivar and Hanover until 1853 when the popularity of the new railroads and problems with flooding caused its demise. The marker for the canal is attached to stones from Lock 19.
A marker is located at the Algonquin Mill, a well-known mill that was in operation for more than 100 years in Carroll County. The original structure, built of logs in 1818, was replaced with the still-standing wooden frame building around 1826. The mill originally was operated by water power from nearby Little McGuire Creek, until 1880 when it was converted to steam. In its heyday it was able to produce 25 barrels of wheat, oats, corn and buckwheat in a 24-hour period. The mill was used until 1938. The Algonquin Mill Festival is celebrated annually at the site on Route 332 in Petersburg.
The Perrysville Methodist Episcopal Church, which was organized in 1833, is commemorated with a marker on Rt. 164 in Perrysville. Rev. E.C. Merriman was the church’s first minister. In 1968, the church merged with the Perrysville Evangelical Untied Brethren Church to become one congregation. The original church building was offered to the Carroll County Historical Society for use as a historic landmark. The Society dedicated the site on June 30, 1974.
In 1837, the New Hagerstown Academy was built on Rt. 164 in New Hagerstown. It operated as a fully accredited institution of higher learning until the turn of the century. Many prominent lawyers, business administrators and educators received their education and training there.
Atwood Village once stood at the intersection of Rt. 542 and Lodge Road. It was never officially recorded as a village, but according to baptismal records from the United Presbyterian Church, the village was thriving in 1834 and continued to be a thriving town until 1878, when the railroad came through the area. A marker stands on Lodge Road, west of Dellroy, on Rt. 542.
Orange Township High School is memorialized by a marker that sits on Rt. 212 on the north edge of Leesville. The high school was in operation from 1906 through 1933, when the building was turned into an elementary school that was used until 1963.
A marker sits on Rt. 39, 2 miles east of Mechanicstown, to commemorate the one of the battles of what was later called Morgan’s Raid. Confederate Major General John H. Morgan traveled with his troops all the way from Tennessee to Northern Ohio, a trip that lasted from June 11 – July 26, 1863. The northernmost battle of the Civil War took place between Morgan and Union General James Shackelford on July 26, 1863. Morgan later surrendered before making it back to Tennessee.
Morges is the site of another marker. This one commemorates several things. The first is the Worley’s Hotel, which was built-in 1820, before the town was formally recognized and platted in 1831 by John Waggoner and Samuel Oswalt. The hotel served as a stagecoach stop, the first one between Steubenville and the Bolivar-Canton area. The marker also mentions Bezaleel Wells, a white man who founded Canton in 1806 and the Waggoner home, site of the first mass in 1828 whose congregation later built St. Mary’s Church in 1851.
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