History and Interesting Facts

Some notable Westerville history:

During the Antebellum era, several of Westerville’s homes were stations on the Underground Railroad, and one of the most well known is the Hanby House, located one block from Otterbein college. That home is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and now functions as a museum owned by the Ohio Historical Society and managed by the Westerville Historical Society.

Westerville was at one time known as the Dry Capital of the World. During prohibition, there were escalating tensions between pro and anti-temperance forces which lead to the “Westerville Whiskey Wars”. Often, anti-temperance townfolks would take matters into their own hands, and blew up establishments that sold alcohol with gunpowder.

When the U.S. Constitution’s Eighteenth Amendment was ratified in 1920 supporting temperance, over 40 tons of mail in the form of leaflets was sent out by the League (headquartered in Westerville and at the forefront of the Prohibition movement) – so much mail that Westerville became smallest town in the nation to have a first class post office. Even after Prohibition ended, Westerville remained dry for most of the twentieth century.

Here are a few more interesting facts about the area that I am certain you’ll enjoy a lot. It really is a very nice place to visit but an even better place to be from. There is a greatly varied history that begs to be investigated and we hope you will see what it’s all about.
* Westerville is home to a smaller and lesser-known Hoover Dam, where the Westerville Crew high school rowing team and the Ohio State University and Denison University sailing teams practice.
* Westerville’s Central High School is actually further north than North High School.
* In 2009, Westerville was ranked #15 on Money magazine’s list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live. It ranked #46 on this same list in 2007.
* Westerville does parks right. The Westerville Parks and Recreation Department has won the gold medal for Excellence in Parks and Recreation Management in both of the last two recent years of eligibility (for 2001 and 2007). The winner has to wait a full five years before applying again, so who know what 2013 will bring.
* Jennifer Hetrick, who plays Vash in Star Trek: The Next Generation, is from Westerville.
* Two time Olympian (1992, 1996) Bob Kennedy is a Westervillan.
* Ditto for Dan O’Brien, the former General Manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
* Lance Moore, wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints, is a graduate of Westerville South High School.

The Westerville area Chamber of Commerce website offers an interactive community guide containing a detailed profile about the City of Westerville. You can learn more about the Westerville schools, library, Otterbein University, the Westerville Symphony, parks and recreation, civic service organizations, and much more.

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