Clients in the News
Clients in the News Archive: June 2012
Media-relations efforts by FrazierHeiby to promote CHS’ Bicentennial City Tours resulted in numerous print and online articles. Ultimately, all five of the scheduled tours sold out and an additional tour date was added.
Bicentennial bus tour spotlights Columbus’ historic places!
The Columbus Dispatch
Two hundred years of history in little more than two hours. That’s what you’ll get if you sign up for a Columbus Historical Society bicentennial tour. The monthly tours are meant to highlight the city’s heritage during its 200th birthday.
“We hope people learn a better appreciation for this city,” said Jeff Lafever, the society’s executive director.
The 22-mile tour follows a route that includes German Village and other historic districts and stops by such landmarks as the Topiary Park on Town Street and the Franklinton Cemetery.
Participants will learn about the city’s role in the Underground Railroad, how it helped start the NFL and how the Statehouse was designed and built.The first tour is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday and will depart from COSI.
Before the tour, participants can peruse the Columbus Historical Society Gallery, which features an exhibit showcasing the city’s first 100 years. After Labor Day, the exhibit will include items from the second century.
“I think the really good thing the bicentennial is doing for residents is it’s making us take a look at our past,” said Beth Ervin, an Experience Columbus spokeswoman. “If you can go to the past, you have a better idea of what we’ve become.”
Another tour point is the Circus House, 755 Dennison Ave., formerly home to the owner of Sells Circus.
Hearing stories about neighborhoods, houses and buildings we pass every day helps us feel better connected to the city, said Kathy Mast Kane, executive director of the Columbus Landmarks Foundation, a preservation group.
“Connecting those stories with those buildings or with those neighborhoods is what is enriching,” she said.
Ervin said learning how Mound, High and other streets got their names has given her a better appreciation for the city.
“I don’t think we pay enough attention to our history,” Ervin said. “There’s no way to get a sense of place better than learning something about the past. It gives texture to what you’re seeing, it gives you a sense of why things are the way things are.”
Mound, by the way, was named for the ancient burial mounds that used to be in the area. High? The street was higher than others.
Tour promises fun, stinky look at city’s history
The Other Paper
If you’re of the opinion that Ohio politics carries a stench, you’ll get a kick out of this.
In the early days of the Statehouse, a nasty odor wafted through the building. As you’ll learn if you take the Columbus Historical Society’s inaugural Bicentennial City Tour on Saturday, it apparently was due to a construction snafu related to the building’s heating system and poorly ventilated restrooms.
“It’s a really, really fun story of the building of the Statehouse,” said Jeff Lafever, the society’s executive director. “They had to figure that one out.”
The tale of the stinky Statehouse is one of the more unconventional tidbits about Columbus’s history that will be told on the society’s tour, which will be repeated monthly through October. The series celebrates the capital city’s 200th birthday by providing a look at its historic neighborhoods while sharing fun facts about notable sites and early residents.
“Columbus has an amazing history and rich heritage that many lifelong residents don’t even know about,” Lafever said.
The Bicentennial City Tour takes about two hours and covers 22 miles as it winds through Franklinton, the Arena District, Victorian Village, the Short North, Downtown, the Brewery District, German Village, Franklin Park and the King-Lincoln District. It leaves from COSI at 10 a.m.
Besides this Saturday, tour dates are July 14, Aug. 11, Sept. 1 and Oct. 13.
Reservations are required due to limited space on the bus, Lafever said, and should be made by noon on the preceding Friday.
Along with a broad overview of Columbus’s history, growth and development, Lafever said the Bicentennial City Tour offers a good mix of well-known and “I never heard that before” information related to the capital city’s heritage.
Tour highlights include widely known historical markers such as Franklinton (the area’s first settlement), the Old Governor’s Mansion on East Broad Street (now home to the Columbus Foundation), the Deaf School Park’s topiary garden on Town Street and the Statehouse.
“There was international intrigue about the Statehouse and what was going on in the late 1950s having to do with a country down in the Caribbean,” Lafever teased.
Other points of interest, perhaps less known to Columbusites, include the old breweries south of Downtown, the Franklinton location where Franklin County’s first African-American birth was recorded and the E.W. Farrow building on West Broad Street. It housed “the oldest Harley dealership in the nation and the first to be managed by a woman,” said Lafever.
Another fascinating tour stop: the Sells House, aka the Circus House, and its carriage house at the corner of Dennison and Buttles avenues, across from Goodale Park.
Built by Peter Sells, whose family owned the Sells Brothers Circus in the late 1800s and was considered among Columbus’s wealthiest, the Circus House has tiled, flared rooflines resembling a circus “big top.”
Though Peter Sells built the elaborate home for his wife and young daughter, Lafever said, “his wife wasn’t a big fan of the circus.”
She apparently was, however, a fan of extramarital affairs, as will be explained during the Bicentennial City Tour. “I’m not going to give away everything,” Lafever said, simply noting that the Sells saga is one of many that will be shared with tour-goers.
Franklinton featured in Bicentennial Bus Tour
The Columbus Messenger
Residents have five chances to board the Bicentennial Bus Tour and glimpse the past 200 years of the city of Columbus.
The Columbus Historical Society (CHS) will guide passengers through the historic neighborhoods of Franklinton, Victorian Village, the King-Lincoln District, and downtown on June 9, July 14, Aug. 11, Sept. 1, and Oct. 13.
Each stop on the two-hour tour will delve into the historical happenings, facts and people that built today’s urban landscape.
“Columbus has an amazing history and rich heritage that many life-long residents don’t even know about,” said Jeff LaFever, executive director of CHS.
LaFever said they want to entertain and educate locals and visitors about the area’s history and create a sense of excitement and pride about the city.
The tours launch from COSI, 333 W. Broad St., where the CHS will present its ongoing bicentennial exhibition and discuss the history, growth and development of Columbus.
Once on the bus, passengers will hear stories spanning from Lucas Sullivant’s establishment of Franklinton to the development of the Scioto Mile.
LaFever said Franklinton will be explored through accounts of the T&O Central Ohio Railroad, the Arthur Boke Bridge and the flood wall. Residents will also visit the grant office, original burial place and the site of Sullivant’s home.
“Even if you think you know the city I bet you will learn something on the tour,” LaFever said. “You will explore parts of the city you probably have not seen in quite some time. We have stories of local lore, national significance and international intrigue.”
Tickets for the tour are $30 per person, $27 for seniors and $24 for members. CHS offers special tours for clubs, companies, organizations, or for special occasions. For information or to purchase tickets, call 224-0822 or visit www.columbushistory.org.