Clark County is celebrating its 200th birthday this week and it has a lot of history to look back on. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

5 fascinating things to know about Clark County’s history as it celebrates its bicentennial

Clark County is noting a special milestone this week with its bicentennial celebration. The county has a few special events lined up to get people in the party mood, including a bicentennial bash on Friday.

To help you bone up on a little Clark County history, here are five facts you might not have known.

1. New Boston: the Clark County seat that never was

Back when Clark County was formed in 1818, the state legislature was responsible for choosing the county seat. Springfield was chosen by a margin of two votes over the village of New Boston. The village, which was located in the eastern portion of modern-day Bethel Twp., began to decline after the designation and was dissolved in 1866.

Today, another New Boston exists as a town in Scioto County.

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2. Clark County has its fair share of landmarks

Currently, 40 listings on the National Register of Historic Places call Clark County home. Many of the places, including the Clark County Heritage Center, the Westcott House and the Masonic Temple, are still available to see by the public. The oldest listing for the county is Enon Mound, which was placed on the NRHP in 1972.

3. Springfield used to smell like roses

Many know Springfield as the Champion City, but it also has two other nicknames: the Home City and the City of Roses.

The latter name comes from the fact that, in 1919, Springfield was home to 33 greenhouses that produced more roses than any other city in the world. The most common nickname used today stems from the name of the Champion reaper farming equipment that was produced in the city in the 1800s.

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4. “The City at the End of the Road”

Clark County and Springfield have also gained notoriety thanks to the National Road, which still runs through the city. In 1839, the road made its way to Springfield, but a lapse in federal funding caused construction of the road to stall for a decade. During that time, Springfield became known as “the City at the End of the Road.”

5. Clark County played part in aviation history, too

Dayton often gets credit for being the home of the Wright brothers, but Springfield had its own part in the first flight. Harry Toulmin, a patent attorney from Springfield, wrote the first “flying machine” application for the patent that was granted to the brothers in 1906.

Ultimately, Toulmin handled five patents for the Wright brothers over a period of several years. He died in 1942.

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