Sometime around 1886, Harrisburg resident Angelo Ross, purchased and took over the saloon in Orient. Residents in the Pickaway County community didn’t like the way Ross ran his business because he allowed children to frequent the business. The saloon was destroyed by a suspicious fire 13 unlucky years later in 1899.
According to an article by Clyde Michael written in 1952 in the Pickaway County News, Ross built a new, larger building nearby and in 1901 he added rooms.
Local residents referred to the saloon as a “speakeasy” with the rooms reportedly used as “a house of ill fame,” Michael wrote. There were so many complaints about the Orient saloon that the Scioto Township trustees voted the area dry causing the saloon to close its doors.
Ross eventually moved his business to Columbus.
In 1906, O. B. Yearian purchased the Orient building and opened an insurance agency and hotel. The hotel operated three years before it closed.
Compiled by James F. Hale