(The following was compiled by the (Columbus) Historical Publishing Company, and is reprinted from “Reflections II”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
Early Industrial Interests
The need for flouring mills was one of the earliest wants of the first settler, and their absence caused the pioneers much inconvenience. A hand-mill was constructed in Franklinton which would grind corn, but it was far short of capacity sufficient to accommodate the whole colony, and many were obliged to use the ”stump mortar,” while others reduced the corn to a proper condition for bread making by grating it. About 1800 two small mills were built on the Scioto, but both soon fell into disguise and decay. After this, mills driven by horsepower were built, but they were primitive in their construction and proved unsatisfactory. The first grist mill of importance was erected in 1820 by Lucas Sullivant. Franklinton Township had numerous saw mills in its early history, as the government made donations to anyone who would construct a mill. As a consequence many persons built mills, sawed enough lumber to get a title to the land, then they would let the mill go to decay.
This rendezvous was famous in the War of Rebellion. Goodale Park, which had been used for a military camp from the first mustering of troops, began about June to be gradually thinned of soldiers, or recruits, and was at length all together abandoned as a camp. In the meantime a new camp on a more extensive scale was organized on the National Road, about five miles west of the city. This was at first called Camp Jackson, but the name was soon afterward changed to Camp Chase, in honor of Salmon P. Chase, ex-governor of Ohio, and then Secretary of the United States Treasury. It was ultimately turned over to the United States Authorities. Camp Chase soon assume the appearance of a military city. It was regularly laid out in squares and streets, with numerous wooden structures and white canvas tents. Each regiment or other organization had its special quarters assigned. From a camp for a rendezvous, organization and drill of troops, it became as the war progressed, the quarters for paroled prisoners of war, and the site of a huge prison for the confinement of Rebel prisoners. The camp lasted as long as the War lasted, and here thousands of Ohio’s loyal Sons learned “the dread art of war,” and went forth to battle for the Union. Of these many, very many, never returned. Their lives were sacrificed in the cause of the Union, and beneath the sunny skies of the South, where the orange and magnolia wave a ceaseless perfume, their graves perhaps unmarked, they sleep the final sleep of all. The lands formerly embraced within the enclosure of Camp Chase are now divided into lots, and where there was once the spacious parade ground, now stand the dwellings of peaceful citizens. To the south of the camp is the Rebel graveyard, containing the remains of some thousands of Confederate soldiers, who died in prison in the camp of disease or wounds. Subsequent to the erection of Camp Chase, Camp Thomas was established east of the Worthington Plank Road, about four miles from the city. It was at first used as the rendezvous of Colonel H. B. Carrington’s regiment, 18th U.S. Infantry, but soon became a camp for general purposes. Franklin Township furnished a full share of men and officers, many of whom achieved fame, and to all is do a meed of Glory for the attainment of that great result ”One Flag, One Country!”
(The continuation of this story in the next blog entry.)