Copyright Mike Major and Simon Kenton Corridor
Many communities across our nation have a local hero or two. Simon Kenton is one of Champaign County's heroes. It was in recognition of this frontiersman-settler that the Champaign County Preservation Alliance formed the Simon Kenton Historic Corridor committee, who, in turn, organized the Simon Kenton Historic Corridor.
Students, history buffs, travellers, and visitors from near and far are bound to find the history, architecture, buildings, homes, and countryside of interest. The Corridor stretches from Piqua in Miami County eastward on U.S. Route 36 through Fletcher, Conover and Lena.
Between Lena and St. Paris travellers will pass the A.B. Graham Center, dedicated to the founder of the 4-H program. In St. Paris, Champaign County, there is an old railroad station worthy of note. Fine brick houses virtually line the road from St. Paris, through Westville on into Urbana.
In Urbana one can see the outstanding bronze statue of Simon Kenton. Designed by America's "Dean of Sculptor," John Quincy Adams Ward, who was a native of Urbana, Ohio, the statue only recently was completed by Urbana artist Mike Major and lifted onto its' pedestal.
The Simon Kenton Corridor extends further east through the tiny village of Mutual, once factiously called "Texas," and on into Mechanicsburg. Mechanicsburg was a famous Underground Railroad Station and has many points of interest.
West Liberty, in Logan County, north of Urbana on U.S. 68 is a part of the Simon Kenton Historic Corridor. Some of Kenton's most intriguing episodes occurred in this area. South of Urbana toward Springfield, in Clark County, is another area of great signficance in the Simon Kenton saga.
The Simon Kenton Historic Corridor committee is responsible for the designation of U.S. 68, from Aberdeem, Ohio on the Ohio River to Kenton, Ohio, as the "Simon Kenton Memorial Highway." The resolution passed the state Senate and House and was signed by Governor Voinovich on March 2, 1998.
The Ohio Departmen to Transportation erected the first Simon Kenton Memorial Highway sign on Tuesday September 29, 1998 in Kenton, Ohio. Those in attendance included a relative of the late Ray Crain, author and Simon Kenton Historic Corridor Committee members, Georgia Paulig, Mike Majors, Marjorie Cauley, Bill Ward, and president Barbara Lehmann. Just recently the State of Kentucky has designated the continuation of the Simon Kenton Memorial Highway.
On November 8, 2001 the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame will induct Simon Kenton. Kenton was in Ohio prior to white settlers and was appointed a brigadier general in the Ohio militia. He was adopted by the Shawnee Nation and was known as "The Great White Wolf."
A trip down the old Bison Trail to Maysville, Kentucky and Old Washington, Kentucky is planned by bus from Urbana on December 1, 2001 at 8am. See the towns that Simon Kenton owned and enjoy Frontier Christmas in Old Washington. Lunch is included in the price and will be at Brown's Restaurant in Aberdeen, Ohio. You will see the place where Harriet Beecher Stow saw slaves being bought and sold and later wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Seat are available for $50. You may order tickets at 1/800-791-6010.
Individuals or businesses interested in supporting the corridor project or joining the preservation committee should contact Mrs. Barbara S. Lehmann, President of the Simon Kenton Historic Corridor, at Post Office Box 748, Urbana, Ohio 43078, or call 1-800-791-6010.