Saturday, January 31, 2009

Clintonville: The Book

One of the purposes of this blog is to celebrate Clintonville, the neighborhood in which our house is part. It's a great place to live and feels like a small town even though it's part of and surrounded by the city of Columbus. The history of the neighborhood begins as far back as 1800 when the federal government divided the land up to Revolutionary War veterans in hopes of encouraging settlement. It took another century for the northern boundary of Columbus to overtake the farmland that then occupied the area. At that point Clintonville began to grow in earnest and now boasts a population close to 30,000. And because it began to take shape in the early years of the 20th century, the style of architecture of the houses is predominately Arts and Crafts.

Last month Arcadia Publishing released Clintonville and Beechwold as part of their popular Images of America series. Books in this series offer a collection of vintage photographs of a given area and are great fun to read. The Clintonville book (Beechwold is a neighborhood in the northern part of Clintonville) was written by Shirley Hyatt, a longtime resident who has compiled over 200 photographs for this book. She put a call out to local residents for any photos they had of the neighborhood and managed to collect so many that she has created a website for the ones that did not make it into the book.

I've had a lot of fun flipping through the book, getting a sense of the history of Clintonville and truly understanding why people enjoy living here. I even found a picture that seems to have been taken in the same area of one of the photos I had posted in an earlier entry. While it solved one mystery it created many more questions. Just what a good book should do.