Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Nov 24

The Evolution of the United States Highway 35

Posted on November 24, 2015 at 10:19 AM by Elise Kelly

Guest Blogger 
This week we have a guest blogger, Nina Herzog. Nina is one of our interns. She is a second year graduate student in the Public History Program at Wright State University.

When Nina was an undergraduate student, her capstone project examined how the construction of Interstate 675 transformed the City of Bellbrook and Sugarcreek Township. 
Picture of Nina working
Nina hard at work!

She found that after the interstate's bypass was completed in Sugarcreek Township, there was a large growth of commerce and subsequently a population boom.

Growing up in a military family, Nina spent a great deal of time traveling on highways as her family relocated to different military bases. Having that personal connection to roads and having already researched I-675, Nina decided to look into the history of Interstate 35. Below is Nina's preliminary research findings.

United States Highway 35
Ohio State Route Marker, 1920 via Wikimedia Commons
When Ohio became a state in 1803, there were only a few trails that could be designated as safe travel roads. The main thoroughfare that ran from east to west was the National Road, which  is now known as United States Route 40.

An alternate route of the National Road was the Dayton Western Turnpike.

In 1833, the Ohio State Legislature plotted the Dayton Western Turnpike's course, which would travel in and out of Dayton. Originally, the turnpike was a toll road but by 1912, it became an inter-county highway. This inter-county highway (aka State Route 11), connected Chillicothe, Ohio to the Indiana border.

1925 Greene County Map
December 1925 Greene County Map - showcases the County Commissioners certifying the new Highway System.
 In 1926 the Federal Government created the United States Highway System.

Each state had to determine which roads would be assigned as U.S. Routes. State Route 11 was one of the roads included. 

Below is Route 11 before it became US 35.

                                         1928 Greene County Map
1928 Map

Only four years after this map was created, State Route 11 morphed into United States Route 35.

After establishing U.S. 35, the City of Xenia was at the cross roads of three major United States Highways including: U.S. 35 running east to west; U.S. 42 extending from Cincinnati to Cleveland and U.S. 68 traveling along the eastern edge of Xenia (See Below).

1948 Greene County Map
Greene County 1948

The next two decades would see an increase of traffic traveling through Xenia. There were bottlenecks at busy travel times, making it difficult to get around and through the city.

In order to alleviate the overflow of vehicles through Xenia, a bypass was planned for construction. The western section of the bypass was completed in the 1970s; however, it would take another twenty years for the eastern portion of the bypass to be finished.

                                         1980 Greene County Map
1980 Map

This is an ongoing research project. I hope to prove that there is a difference between the economic boom that occurred in Sugarcreek Township after the creation of I-675 to the economic and population stagnation that transpired in the city of Xenia after US 35's bypass was created. The Greene County Archives has been a wonderful resource to help determine my research findings.

Until Next Time!

This Week's Trivia Question: Name the other states that U.S. 35 runs through.

Answer to Last Week's Trivia Question:  What U.S. President issued the first national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation? - George Washington


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