The Automobile in Zanesville

Zanesville was limited in population until the automobile allowed people to live anywhere and commute to their jobs. That is not to say that Zanesville grew simply as a town to pass through. Zanesville developed as the population grew and has become more of a car-friendly town than a pedestrian-friendly place. In 1910, before the explosion of the automobile on the national stage, Zanesville only had about 28,026 people within its city limits. The population grew by a substantial amount between 1910 and 1950. By 1950, the population had grown to over 40,000, nearly doubling the total from 1900 (23,538).

1910 Runabout

1910 Ford Model T Runabout

Zanesville did not have almost any roads before 1910. The roads that did exist were dirt and were used for horse and buggies that were commonly used throughout the earlier years. Roads that were previously dirt included; Old National Road, National Old Trails Road, and other roads such as Maple Avenue that run through town and provide easy access to stores. The development of these dirt roads was at first based on closeness to people’s homes and the terrain that the drivers of the horse and buggies experienced. These paths gradually formed over time from use and were perfect to put roads over because they were already relatively flat and people knew them fairly well already.

The growth of the population of Zanesville and the development of the dirt roads contributed to the ability of the city to have National Old Trails Road run through it. This road ran from Baltimore to Los Angeles and was started in the early 1910s, specifically 1912. The road itself spanned over 3,000 miles and ran through Zanesville in the mid-1910s.

Map of the National Old Trails Road with several roads, such as the Oregon Trail

This map shows that the National Old Trails Road was an important cross country road that the government set up to run through the easiest routes possible. Boosters selected a route over existing roads, gave it a colorful name, formed an association to promote the trail, and collected dues from businesses and towns along the way. The associations published trail guides, held  conventions, and promoted the improvement and use of their route. The goals were to promote the road, the good roads cause, and economic opportunity for the cities and businesses along the way. This shows that the roads were useful to the populace and that the associations consistently had to promote the roads at first in order to get people to embrace them.

Zanesville was slow to start buying cars in mass but the city ultimately became a central hub for cars. In 1916 only 2% of the population of the entire Muskingum County had cars, which is about 1600-1700 people. This shows that even after the development of the National Old Trails Road, the people of Muskingum County were reluctant to make the investment in a car. People still value their horse and buggies because they did not see the value in driving to other towns when they had all they needed within a short distance. The car allowed for the people to move further away and allowed for the creation of suburban areas. The Zanesville city has a large number of suburban houses because of its rapid development with the creation of the National Old Trails Road and during the post-war period. As aforementioned, the 1950 population of Zanesville was much larger than the 1910 population count. This was because the post-war period saw the veterans coming back and people wanted to live in houses. The city thus decided to build suburban homes which forced people to buy cars to get to their jobs on time and travel to vacation spots. Thus, people began buying cars much more than they once had and Zanesville adapted by creating more asphalt roads and created one way streets to streamline traffic to make it quicker to drive through Zanesville if the need arose. This is how the car impacted Zanesville, Ohio.






National Road -Old Trails

Dirt Roads

History of National Road


Picture Sources:

Model T






Zanesville in the 90s – Disdain for the East Coast?

Paul and Mary Debolt have led a life that has been split between Baltimore, Maryland and Zanesville, Ohio. They moved to Zanesville in the early nineties after getting married in Maryland on March 11, 1989. Today, the couple have been the parents of six children with only two of those children being born in Zanesville and the two oldest being born to a different father. Paul Debolt runs the company he founded since he arrived in the city while Mary is a housewife that maintains the household. The couple have led a mostly quiet life and have always worked hard for everything they own. However, upon their settling in Zansville, some people of the area proved to be less than hospitable.

We moved to Zanesville on February 29, 1992. There were no other relatives of ours that lived within the area until a few years after we moved into the house when Paul’s father and his wife moved into the area. Paul and I had decided to live on the outskirts of the city since he wanted a larger area for the kids to play in and for the dog to run freely. At the time we had 4 kids: Keith, Chantelle, Arin, and Noelle. Keith, the oldest, was starting high school as a freshman at the West Muskingum High School while Chantelle was about to start middle school. Arin and Noelle were both very young with Arin being only 2 years old and Noelle being 3 months old.

Paul runs his own company, Debolt Machine Inc., nad has done so ever since we arrived here. In fact, it was our reason for moving from Baltimore. Paul had decided that it would be best for us to move into the Midwest so that he could have his business and the house close together. He also wanted to move to the Zanesville area because of the convenience it provided for his business. Machine shows were more common in the Midwestern states and it was a difficult drive from Maryland to states like Indiana, or even Michigan. He builds model engines and does machine work for larger companies like Producers or Flow-Liner.

When we moved into the neighborhood along Route 40, the initial reaction of the neighbors was seemingly less than happy. We had a huge amount of trouble with our first set of neighbors. At first it seemed like they simply would ignore us and that seemed fine for a time. Then they started parking their cars on our property, causing us parking troubles in the process. So we had a property survey done in order to ensure that they couldn’t dispute where the property lines were. They got hostile when we did that and that woman was nuts. She ranted at Paul, so he laid down the law. They were no longer permitted be on our property. One time, however, when Paul left town for a show, I caught the son of the neighbors peering into the windows of our house suspiciously. Not only that, these people would walk across our porch to reach the store on the other side of our house.

These horrible people did not stop there. Their reckless driving almost caused them to hit Arin when he was just a toddler of 3 years old. They shouted slurs at us constantly as we walked outside, to our cars, or even shouted loudly at night while we tried to sleep. They made wolf calls to me and consistently told me to go back where I came from. They were always trying to get Paul to fight them and the kids even harassed Keith while at school. The constant harassment, trespassing, and trying to incite violence eventually caused us to take them to court in 1994 or 1995, I can’t remember which. But we were even met with opposition from the local judge as he told Paul that “we don’t do things that way here.” But, legally, he had to side with us, so we won the case. After this first set of neighbors moved out, we found out that they had been growing drugs in their basement and in the woods back behind the property. Marijuana I believe they said it was.

The conflict mostly died down after these neighbors moved away. As the years went by we had two more children: William Henry and Ethan. Will-Henry was born in late 1994 and Ethan was born in early 1997. They grew up and as the years went by, Paul and I had begun to need more money to support their desires to play sports, as the West Muskingum District had begun the pay-to-play program when they were in middle school. The district continually tried to force levies on the people of the area and it was continually failing. So our option was bingo night. Every Sunday evening from about 4 pm to around 9 pm, there would be a bingo session in the Booster Hall that was run by the School District. They brought on volunteers like us who could not afford to pay for their kids to play sports at the school. The pay was in credit to the school and it was  mediocre at that but it helped get our kids through high school and allowed them to play all four years.

We did end up having a problem with the School District however. When Noelle was a freshman at the high school in 2006, Paul had gotten us kicked out of the bingo sessions. The School District employees did not take kindly to his strong political view on the levies that the school was consistently trying to pass. They expelled us from the bingo nights which put Noelle’s, Ethan’s and Will’s athletic future in question. However, thanks to some lobbying by a good friend in the system, we were allowed back into the bingo nights. Coach Bob Paul of the girls soccer team convinced the School District not to punish our children for the sake of politics. Paul, to change the district, decided to run for school board that year so that he could put down the levy system for good. He almost won too because people were just as tired of the levies as he was.

Other than that, we have not really had much trouble around here. There was never a really strong “welcome” feeling from the neighbors around us at first, but people warmed up to us later. The kids were honestly a big help with that since they were always wanting to do hangouts with friends or go to social events that required us to go as well. The people here grew to like us just as much as we grew to like them and we have never thought of leaving here for over a decade. Now we have a son with his own family and a daughter with her own family. The rest of the kids grew up as well since Ethan is now 20 years old. I don’t regret our move to Zanesville because I feel Paul and I have led a good life together.





Charles E. Hazlett Memorial in Woodlawn Cemetery – Zanesville, Ohio


Charles E. Hazlett during his final year at the Academy

Charles Edward Hazlett, shown above, was born in Zanesville, Ohio on October 15, 1838 to Robert Hazlett and Lucy Welles Reed. He attended Kenyon College near Gambier, Ohio for a year until he was accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He graduates from the academy in 1861 and immediately went into service with the 2nd cavalry of the Union Army as the 2nd Lieutenant. However, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant almost immediately and was put in charge of Battery D of the 5th United States Artillery.

Hazlett, now in command of his own regiment of men, led the men into battle numerous times during his time in the Civil War. Battery D used mostly the ten-pounder Parrott rifles that were commonly used as light artillery in the army. During one of his first battles as commander of the unit, his battery experienced near annihilation. That battle was the First Battle of Bull Run and it was said that Hazlett remained on Henry’s Hill as long as he possibly could before being ordered to retreat by General Hooker. Hazlett and Brigadier General Stephen Weed distinguished themselves in this battle as excellent commanders with great courage. Both continued to lead the regiment through rough battles like Antietam, Chancellorsville, and the Second Battle of Bull Run.


Parrott Rifle – It shot ten pound bullets and was used as light artillery


Brigadier General Stephen H. Weed

Their success as commanders of Battery D of the 5th United States Artillery was quite short-lived unfortunately. In attempting to take Little Round Top during the second day of battle in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, both men fell within minutes of each other. Battery D had been scaling to the top of the rocky hilltop, carrying the artillery equipment laboriously through the rifle fire of the Confederate soldiers. The common tale that is told is about how Weed fell mortally wounded during the battle and requested to see Hazlett to relay his final words. Hazlett arrived to hear his superior’s words but as he was leaning in to hear them he too was shot and suffered instantaneous death. He was shot in the forehead by a Confederate man just as his regiment had managed to establish control over the hill. The two men were given a monument on top of the hill where they both fell and Hazlett also received a monument in Zanesville, Ohio where he was buried.


Charles E. Hazlett’s grave and memorial located in Woodlawn Cemetery – Zanesville, Ohio

The memorial to Charles Hazlett is not the only grave memorial in the Woodlawn Cemetery. His brother, John Hazlett, also fell in battle while serving with the 2nd Infantry just one month before Charles did. The Hazlett family saw fit to bring Charles’ body to the Woodlawn Cemetery to be buried next to his brother after the Battle of Gettysburg had ended. Both brothers received the same memorial statue, like the one pictured above. Charles’ inscription reads:

Charles E.

Son of R. & L.W. Hazlett

Commander of Battery D 5th Regt. USA

Born in Zanesville, O.

October 15, 1838

Graduated at West Point in May 1861

and after being preserved in Safety through 11 battlesthen killed in battle at Gettysburg, Pa.

July 2, 1863

while bending over to hear the dying words of his commanding officer

John Hazlett’s memorial reads similarly with different dates and details on how he died of a wound he sustained at the Battle of Stone River. Pictured below is the view of the Charles Hazlett memorial with the John Hazlett memorial within view in the back. Both brothers were placed close to each other, but not directly next to each other, which demonstrates how there were several funeral processions between the two brothers in the month they had separating their deaths.


Both of these memorials represent the meaning of the two brothers to their family and to the community. However, in mid 2010 there was a car accident that caused the memorials of the two brothers to suffer serious damage. As a result, the Muskingum County Civil War Association Inc. gathered funds and donations to rebuild the monuments into the pictures that have been shown thus far. Pictured below is the original vandalized monument of Charles Hazlett. The Muskingum County Civil War Association Inc. decided to encase the inscription of the new memorial for the brothers in bronze to help preserve the integrity of the inscriptions.


After years of organizing and gathering funds, the Muskingum County Civil War Association Inc. also announced the arrival of a Hazlett Day in Zanesville, Ohio. May 14th, 2011 was the set day to be Hazlett Day in Zanesville where memorial services were held for the brothers along with a cannon discharge at 2 pm. At the grave sites, a rifle volley by the infantry and a three round salute by the light artillery were given in honor of the men who gave their lives for the war effort and died heroically.







Stone Sentinels

Charles Hazlett – Details

Hazlett War Reports

5th United States Artillery Activity Log

Documents of First Lieutenant James C. Bush

Article on Hazlett Day – May 14th, 2011

Stone Sentinels – Details

Charles E. Hazlett

Hazlett Memorial Inscription


Picture Sources:

Charles Hazlett Photograph

Parrott Rifle

Brigadier General Stephen H. Weed

Hazlett Memorial – First Picture

Hazlett Memorial – Second Picture

Hazlett Memorial – Third Picture (Original)

Nelson T. Gant House in Zanesville, Ohio

The Nelson T. Gant house, located at 1845 West Main Street in Zanesville, is the house that has been preserved by the Nelson T. Gant Foundation for the purpose of keeping the history of Zanesville alive. The Nelson T. Gant Foundation was founded in 2001 with the purpose of restoring the Gant house and to revive the legacy of Nelson T. Gant for the building of character and community/cultural pride. Its purpose is to develop the Nelson T. Gant house into an historical, educational, cultural and charitable facility.
Nelson T. Gant was one of Zanesville’s most prominent African-American residents and was an important figure before, during, and after the Civil War. Pictured below, Gant contributed to the advancement of Zanesville as well as the abolitionist movement.

nelson (2)


Nelson Talbot Gant was born in Loudoun County in Virginia on May 10, 1821. He was born into slavery just as most blacks in the South were during this period of American history. His master used him as a body servant, meaning that he was a valet or personal maid (most likely valet). During his time as a slave, Gant met the woman of his dreams and married her in 1843. Anna Marie Hughes was a slave of a different owner with the last name Russell and was Gant’s crush since he was a young man. Upon his master’s death in September 1845, Gant received his freedom and he immediately began working to earn enough to buy his wife Anna from her owner. Nelson’s freedom was a gift from his former master, John Nixon, through his last will and testament. Had he not received such a gift from his former master, Gant could have been taken by the state or sold back into slavery with a new owner. Fortune smiled on him as his master’s dying wish was to free his slaves and let them choose their own fate in the world.

Nelson worked selling firewood in Virginia for a year following his master’s death then left to go to Zanesville to set up a house for he and his wife to live in once she was free. However, he grew anxious to retrieve her from captivity and tried to steal her in late 1846. They were caught in Washington D.C. and she was sent back to her owner while he was sent to jail. He was brought up on charges but was acquitted because a wife could not be compelled to testify against her own husband. With the help of the abolitionists and the Quakers in Zanesville, Gant bought his wife’s freedom in February 1847 and the couple moved into the house.


Pictured above is the Nelson T. Gant House today. It has been restored and preserved as well as it possibly could be throughout the years since the Gants passed and the Nelson T. Gant Foundation was set up.

Nelson Gant returned to Zanesville with his wife and one year old daughter in tow to the house he built on the National Road, or Route 40. The family had good fortune with farming and their finances began to grow substantially using their 140 acres of land. They grew vegetables, sold blocks of ice cut from the Licking River, and they became a prominent influence in Zanesville once they purchased 160 acres that included a coal mine and a saltlick. This gave the family more wealth and influence over the community, even moreso after Nelson Gant became a leader in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Gant family also partook in the abolitionist movement during the pre-Civil War era by helping the Underground Railroad. Nelson Gant was known to have helped slaves of all ages and genders to freedom through using his house a one of the stops for the Underground Railroad. The Gants were one of the former slave families that gave the runaway slaves hope for their own future and their own loved ones.


Above is the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom marker placed in front of the Gant House. This marker, placed in 2004, identified the building as an Underground Railroad site

The Nelson T. Gant House is a historically significant building because of the history of its owner and the impact he had on the community and its growth. He and his wife made a small park named Gant’s Grove that was one of the first integrated parks in the state. This area eventually became the site of the Municipal Stadium, which hosts a plethora of events and exhibitions within its confines. The man known as Nelson T. Gant exercised a large amount of influence over the community through his connections to former slaves who arrived seeking freedom and the white abolitionists who had helped him achieve his goals. Gant was even fortunate enough to have met Frederick Douglass as they both sought the freedom of all blacks. His death on July 14, 1905 was a day of mourning for many people as he was a crucial part of so many people’s lives, especially during his abolitionist years and his leader of the church years.


In the above photo is a closer view of the Nelson T. Gant House. The wear is very visible, especially on the first floor of the home, showing how the home has only survived thanks to the Nelson T. Gant Foundation’s careful work and dedication to preserving the site as an important historical piece of not only Zanesville’s history, but Ohio’s as well.

The architectural style of the home suggests that Nelson Gant built the two story home with the Greek Revival in mind. This architectural style of the 19th century was common during the years between 1835 and 1860. It is represented by the trabeated, or recessed, entryway surrounded by a porch with Doric or Ionic columns. This is clearly shown in the above picture with the doorway being slightly deeper in the wall of the home than the windows and the columns that help to hold the porch’s roof up. There is a level of symmetry in the architecture due to its Greek Revival design as well. This building is a perfect representation of what a normal home may look like in the Zanesville area during the era before the Civil War.





Black History Stories Close to Home

Location of Nelson T. Gant House

Nelson T. Gant History

Gant History – OHC

Gant House – National Road

Zanesville Spots

Ohio Memory – Architecture

Nelson T. Gant Foundation


Picture Sources:


Nelson T. Gant House

Historic Marker

Closer view of Gant House











Bounding the Land

The city of Zanesville was first founded by Colonel Ebenezer Zane when he was commissioned by the U.S. Congress to form a trail through the dense forests of Ohio and to set up ferry services at any river crossings he encountered. This trail became known as Zane’s Trace and it became the travel route for thousands of settlers into Ohio.


Depicted above is the path made by Ebenezer Zane known as Zane’s Trace. Made mostly from old Indian trails, the path spanned just over 230 miles (370 km) and helped establish several communities that still exist today.

Expanding on the topic of ferry services, Ebenezer Zane passed through Zanesville and created a ferry service there at the crossing of the Muskingum and Licking Rivers. It was there that the city of Zanesville came to exist and even derived its name from the man who created the path leading to it (Ebenezer Zane – Zanesville). The city became mostly settled by migrants from Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Connecticut and Maryland. People were now able to travel with a horse or small wagon down the trail into the new frontier land known as the Northwest Territory. This trail, however, came after the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, a law deciding the fate of the Northwest Territory taken from the British at the end of the Revolutionary War.

The Confederation Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance on July 13, 1787. Officially titled “An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States North West of the River Ohio,” this ordinance established how these new territories in the Northwest Territory could become states through three stages of government.The first stage dealt with Congress being responsible for choosing the original leaders of the territory. There would be a governor, a secretary, and three judges. The governor and judges would choose existing states’ laws on which to base their territorial legal code. The governor would have power over the militia and Native Americans matters. He also could select law enforcement officials and judges for the lower courts. Congress could reject any law that came to pass in the territories and each of the five members of this kind of “commission” were to be large landowners of the state they planned to create.

The second stage of the statehood creation process set by the Northwest Ordinance is based on whether or not the territory has reached 5,000 free residents. The territory was then allowed to elect a legislature consisting of a legislative council and a house of representatives. Every legislator had to be an adult male who owned at least 200 acres of land while each legislative council member had to be an adult white male who owned 500 or more acres of land. The right to vote was only given to those who were adult males owning 50 or more acres of land.

In the final stage of the statehood process, a territory could apply for statehood if they had 60,000 or more residents. After reaching this mark, the people created a state constitution after convening in a constitutional convention. This constitution would be submitted by the state to the federal government for approval. Once approved, the territory would become a state with one condition; no state created from the Northwest Ordinance could allow slavery. Along these guidelines, Ohio became the seventeenth state to join the United States and the first of the Northwest Territory (became the Indiana Territory on March 1, 1803, the same day Ohio became a state).


Shown above is the Northwest Territory with the modern state boundaries. Only up to 5 states were allowed by the Northwest Ordinance to form from this area. Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin all became states at their own pace from this territory. Part of Minnesota comes from the Northwest Territory but most of it lies to the west of the Mississippi River.

The Northwest Ordinance did not only establish statehood but also established how the land should be distributed, surveyed and bound. Much of the land that was to become Ohio was set to be military reserves or congressional lands. Specifically, there were 15 sections that Ohio was broken up into by Congress, military reserves and purchases made by conglomerate of people (17 in total – if you count the French Grant, which is commonly identified as part of Congress lands East of the Scioto River, and the Firelands, which is a part of the Connecticut Reserve).


The map above shows the lands of Ohio as they were distributed among states and people. A comprehensive list includes: the Toledo Strip, Between the Miamis, Symmes’ Purchase, Connecticut Military Reserve, Virginia Military District, Ohio Company Purchase, Donation Tract, Seven Ranges, U.S. Military District, Refugee Tract, and 5 plots of Congress Lands.

The bounding of the land by such districts allowed the federal government, as well as several state governments, to pay off the military veterans from the Revolutionary War using land. The Symmes’ Purchase was bought by a conglomerate of people who wanted to buy land in Ohio to start anew just as the Ohio Company had bought the land in southern Ohio to start new communities and make money. The U.S Military district was used to pay off those veterans that had served in the Continental Army in the war while the Connecticut Reserve was used to appease people who lost everything in the war, whether they were a veteran or a civilian who lost their town in the war.

The setup, created by the Public Land Survey System, allowed for even distribution of lands into square sets of land. The land was divided into townships measuring 6 square miles (6 x 6). These townships were broke down into 36 sections measuring 1 square mile (1 x 1), or 640 acres. This measurement was reduced even further, going from “half lots” (320 acres) all the way down to “quarter-quarter lots” (40 acres).This is demonstrated below in the map depicting the first area survey known as The Seven Ranges.


Ohio, being the closest to the original thirteen colonies and being the easiest to access, was the natural choice to first start the Public Land Survey System created by the Northwest Ordinance. The majority of Ohio townships were created through this method with some being based on metes and bounds depending on natural landscapes (such as rivers, lakes, or mountainous areas).  Certain sections of the townships became reserved for certain ordained needs set by the government. For example, section 16 in each township was reserved for the support of public schools, making this the first federal aid to education (predating the Constitution). The 88 counties of Ohio were created using this method  and it became a staple for every county created in each state to come thereafter.


Muskingum County, as shown above, is separated into 25 townships with some being sectioned in perfect squares and others being sectioned using metes and bounds. This county has some counties that are bounded by the old method of forming townships, metes and bounds, because of the Muskingum River that runs directly through the county. This shows how the landscape and waterways of the nation can affect how people create their townships and establish boundaries. The state of Ohio even has the southern boundary based on the Ohio River. Rivers, lakes and mountains act as natural boundaries between townships, counties, states, and even countries. The Muskingum County, however, was split at one point between the U.S. Military District and the Congress Lands East of the Scioto River. This split naturally occurred before the founding of the modern day county but cannot be overlooked as it could indicate a difference in culture between the northern half of the county compared to the southern half of the county.


Shown above is the detailing of the territorial separation of Ohio surrounding the area of Muskingum County and Zanesville. This shows the U.S. Military District and the Congress Lands East of the Scioto River

Zanesville, as fate would have it, lies on the southern border of the United States Military District and the northern border of the Congress Lands East of the Scioto River. The Muskingum County, as aforementioned, is split in half with the northern half being in the U.S. Military District and the southern half being in the Congress Lands. The split? Exactly where Zanesville lies. The city was developed after these territorial purchases were made so it is hard to say whether or not the city was formed as a kind of mediator between the two sections or if it was formed as a hub of trade because of early use of canals as transport. This seemed like a strange development in relation to other cities because not many others are founded on the border of two different controlling groups with different purposes (military payment and congressional sale).




U.S. Military District, Ohio

John Kilbourne – Public Lands

Northwest Ordinance – OHC

American History – Northwest Ordinance Effects

Auditor of State of Ohio – Dave Yost

Primary Documents in American History

Brittanica – Northwest Ordinance

Zanesville History

Colonel Ebenezer Zane

Muskingum County – Zanesville

Zane’s Trace – Touring Ohio


Picture Sources:

Zane’s Trace Map

Northwest Territory Map

Congress Lands East of the Scioto River Map

Township Map

Muskingum Township Map

Zanesville Map

Detailed Territorial District Map

Native Americans near Zanesville

Reaching back to around 1,000 B.C., the Archaic Native Americans that had inhabited the lands near Zanesville, Ohio had begun to dissipate. These people had been around for thousands of years (since as early as around 7,000 B.C.) and are characterized by their hunter-gatherer society. Unlike the PaleoIndians before them (11,000 B.C. – around 7,000), the Archaic Natives developed small villages and hunted smaller game (relative to the mastodon and the mammoth that were commonly hunted by the PaleoIndians) such as deer, bear, and wild birds. A feature of the Archaic lifestyle that was not prevalent in the PaleoIndian lifestyle was the addition of fishing. It is likely that the people of the PaleoIndian era did fish a little but the Archaic people implemented fishing as a part of their lives. Fishing during the Ice Age for the PaleoIndians would have been nearly impossible due to the lack of stationary life for this early Indian group.

The Archaic people grew to be more developed than the PaleoIndians, which may be the reason they survived the changes resulting from the end of the Ice Age while the PaleoIndians disappeared. The use of fire became evident in the era during the Archaic people because of the discovery of charcoal at the excavated campsites. The developmental capabilities of these people ultimately led to what can be known as the Adena and the Hopewell people around 900 B.C. The Hopewell were named such because the person who first uncovered the remains of these people on his lands was Captain M.C. Hopewell.

These people came about because they adapted their lifestyle to become more sedentary than their predecessors. These peoples developed agriculture, basing most of their crops around the development of maize, or corn. Adena and Hopewell people created larger villages and built permanent homes mostly in river valleys such as the Muskingum or Licking Rivers (in the case of the Hopewell people).

Copyright: / Helmut Weiss

The picture above shows the housing of the Adena culture while the below picture shows the housing of the Hopewell peoples. The homes are structurally similar which symbolizes that the cultures were close to each other but also had different cultural values.


The Hopewell people, based around the Zanesville area, built more basic homes called wigwams that did not take too much work to create while the Adena created a home that was more structurally sound. This could be because the Hopewell experienced a much different lifestyle than their compatriots of the period. The Hopewell did develop much more than housing during their time in Ohio. They built mounds and made walls of earth in geometric forms such as circles or octagons which suggested that they were advanced enough to develop surveying skills. This development in the Hopewell showed how advanced the people were becoming in the Ohio region despite having no contact with the European world. However, the Hopewell people and the Adena faded from existence around 600 B.C. and no other advanced peoples inhabited the Ohio region until the 1600s.


The above map shows what the distribution of Ohio tribes looked like in 1648. This map can show what the Ohio region looked like before 1655 when the Iroquois drove away the uncivilized ancient tribes that inhabited the northern area (Fort Ancients and the Erie). These other tribes shown on the map (Shawnees, Miami, Wyandot and Lenape) arrived in the years following the evacuation of the previous tribes.

After the Iroquois arrived in 1655, the tribes from the East Coast also began to arrive. The Lenape, Shawnee, Mingo, and the Wyandot all began to come to Ohio because of the Europeans continually driving them out of their territories outside the Ohio region. The Lenape get their Anglicized name, Delaware, from the Europeans as they had once inhabited the area near the Delaware River, had settled near the Zanesville area by the Muskingum and Licking Rivers. This group of Indians referred to themselves as the Lenape, or Lenilenape, had settled around the area most likely because it was similar to the Delaware River valley they had previously inhabited. The Zanesville area was characterized by game such as deer and other animals to hunt because of the water source. Plentiful trees as sources of wood and good land for gardens also helped determine the Zanesville area as a settlement for the Lenape as they tried to get comfortable in their new home.

Most of the villages of the Lenape are made up of only about 25 to 50 people but some could be up to 200 or 300 people. Familial ties usually determined the size of the village and were the basis of social life in the villages. Stealing was never even contemplated in these villages as the belief was that the land belonged to everyone and there was no hoarding of possessions because the community always came before the individual. Chiefs reached their position through merit and battle experience and were always male. The gender roles in this society were based on hunting and gathering just as the Indian tribes before them. The women gathered food and tended gardens while the men hunted and learned woodcrafting. Stone tools developed from flint and quartz became the staple for the Lenape as they did not really develop beyond these tools until Europeans began to arrive in the Ohio region more frequently. The Muskingum and Licking Rivers enabled the Lenape to travel and plant crops as well as hunt game that came to the rivers for water. The Zanesville area was perfect for the people of the Lenape tribe.


Shown above is a picture of what a Lenape village might have looked like based on collected artifacts and knowledge given to us by Europeans who encountered these Indians as they pushed westward.

The struggles by the British and the French over control of Ohio resulted in the fragmentation of many tribes of Indians and the inevitable result of the Native American elimination from the Ohio region. They were either killed, died from disease, or driven westward across the Mississippi in order for the Europeans to take the frontier known as Ohio and make it a state in 1803. There are no current reservations for Indian tribes today in Ohio but what remains of them mostly is the mounds, the walls of earth and the tools that were buried ranging from various dates in history (such as the walls of Fort Ancient built by the Hopewell).




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Environmental Factors on Settlement in Zanesville

Ohio’s landscape, created by glacial activity during the Ice Age, varies greatly across the state. There are separate areas based on two subregions that Ohio straddles: the Appalachian Plateau in the east and the Central Lowlands in the west. The city of Zanesville, shown in the image below as the black dot, is set within the Appalachian Plateau subregion of Ohio.


This map shows the two different subregions, where Zanesville is in relation to these subregions, and gives a general idea of how Ohio is a diverse state geographically.

The reason for the strong contrast between the levels of the land in Ohio is due to the regional uplift during the Paleozoic Era. This uplift, attributed to the formation of the Appalachian Mountains, caused Ohio to rise above sea level while multiple valleys formed which exposed areas of limestone and shale. Zanesville is a mainly flat area considered a part of the ecoregion known as Western Allegheny Plateau within the Appalachian Plateau. As Europeans began to arrive in North America, their push westward across the Appalachian Mountains led them to discover Ohio. The settlement of the Appalachian Plateau ultimately led to the founding of Zanesville in the late 18th century. When the Zanesville area was first settled in the early to mid 18th century, much of the land became farmland for the European settlers. Geographically, had the land not been as flat around Zanesville then the Europeans may not have decided to settle there and farm for a long period. The gradual drop in the level of the land in the area around Zanesville is due to the town being so close to the Muskingum River. The following two maps show the relationship between the topography and the rivers in Ohio.


With Zanesville again represented by the black dot, it is plain to see that the city resides near the Muskingum River and is relatively close to the Licking River.


The comparison of this map showing elevation of the land in Ohio to the previous map demonstrates how Zanesville (white dot) is lower than the elevated lands around it due to it being in a type of river valley.

This relationship of water and elevation shows that Zanesville was in one of the perfect areas to farm as it was near rivers for irrigation and relatively flat compared to other parts of the Appalachian Plateau (or Western Allegheny Plateau to be more specific to Zanesville). The soil around Zanesville provided rich nutrients for the farming life that Europeans survived on during the early settlement period. The richness of the soil near Zanesville was only possible because it is a river bottomland within the Appalachian Plateau. Without the Muskingum River nearby, there is a possibility that the Europeans would have skipped by this area of Ohio at first. This could have been possible because if Zanesville was not in a river bottomland then it would be a part of the heavily eroded, hilly areas that characterized the southeast in Ohio. With irrigation came the idea to use the Muskingum River as a source of transportation during the mid 18th century. The creation of this canal in the early years of the 19th century provided people with a regulated form of transportation to different regions of the country and the state before trains and planes. This explains why the Europeans started a settlement in Zanesville as most towns and villages based themselves on agriculture during the times before mass industrialization.

Industrialization brought about the change in the distribution of the population from rural areas to urban ones. The population distribution Zanesville changed because of this urbanization. By 1910, Ohio had officially reached the point where people in urban areas outnumbered those in rural areas. The technological advances of the Industrial Revolution and mass production had finally managed to change the majority of the populace from farmers to industrial workers. This change in population distribution did not change the face of Ohio as being a farming state. Zanesville did become a modernized city but it still retains much of its farming heritage as the people outside the city limits still farm to some extent. The introduction of the train and the airplane as main forms of transportation essentially eliminated the need for the much slower canal-based transportation such as canoes or small boats/ships. This modernization allowed the people to be able to withstand any climate and allowed more people to move to Ohio and Zanesville for jobs or farming opportunities.

While industrialization and modernization fundamentally changed the way people function in the world today, roughly half of Ohio is still farmland. The importance of agriculture to Ohio is evident as in 1850 the state came in first in agricultural output in the country. Zanesville derives its existence from the agriculture that defines Ohio as well. Without the perfect setting of being in a river bottomland with excellent soil and weather to keep the crops growing consistently, Zanesville may not have been settled as early nor been as important to the state in agricultural contributions as well as innovative contributions from the people who grew up in the area.