Greenville, Ohio is
CHOCK FULL OF HISTORY
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler
What has The Wonderful World of Disney and CBS Early Show discovered about Greenville, Ohio, that the rest of us should know?
From a dingy-looking eatery with the tastiest, and rather peculiar, loose-meat sandwich to the rich history of Annie Oakley, “Mad” Anthony Wayne, and Tecumseh, Greenville is a special diversion for those looking for places where good-old-fashioned apple pie Americana still lives and breathes the fresh air of yesteryear. Several years ago, Disney picked the town as one of the few places in the entire country to host the Disney Hometown Parade. More recently, Hanna Storm and the CBS Early Show’s Tour My Town series did a special segment highlighting the quaint little place Northwest of Dayton.
Greenville’s 21st Century publicity as a discovered gem of a town is actually the second time this place on the map has been toasted for its significance. The first was back in the 19th Century when it was renowned for the historical Treaty of Green Ville, which opened the Northwest Territory for settlement and birthing of one of the nation’s most celebrated female icons – Annie Oakley.
The downtown is a warm and friendly place with shopkeepers that are 5th-generation family merchants. It has lovely storefronts, picturesque architecture, and historic landmarks, including 80 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
Garst Museum & The Annie Oakley Center
Little Miss Sure Shot – Annie Oakley is the legendary sharpshooter that traveled the world in the Buffalo Bill Wild West show. Greenville was her home, the place of her birth and death. Many of her treasured belongings, letters, and guns make up the largest known collection of Annie Oakley memorabilia. Annie Oakley Days Festival is celebrated every July.
Although Annie Oakley is a significant person from Greenville and Darke County’s past, there are others. They include Lowell Thomas – the world-famous radio broadcaster and adventurer; Zachary Lansdowne – the infamous pilot of the tragic crash of the zeppelin USS Shenandoah; Fort Green Ville and the Treaty of Green Ville; Tecumseh and General “Mad” Anthony Wayne.
The museum, spanning six buildings, also includes a village of shops from merchants’ businesses of times long but forgotten, a genealogy room, and perhaps one of the most underrated exhibits in the museum – the Uniform floor. Here, visitors see an extensive collection of soldiers’ artifacts, weapons, and uniforms from the Revolutionary War to the War in Iraq.
Garst Museum hours, location, and further information are available at www.garstmuseum.org.
Historic Bear’s Mill
More than 150 years old, this mill is living history of an era long past as it is one of the last operating water-powered mills around today.
Its storied past includes how the 800-foot millrace was dug by hand by school children for 50 cents/day and how it went idle for years for fear that Confederate soldiers may invade the state and burn it to the ground.
Today, the Mill store offers an eclectic shopping experience making it an attraction that has lured travelers from around the globe. It features fresh ground flours and meals using preservative-free grains on original Buhr stones. Handmade pottery lines the walls bringing collectors back regularly. Visitors are free to roam the many floors of the ancient mill and lovely trails along the creek and woods surrounding it.
Bear’s Mill calendar of events, hours, location, and further information is available at www.bearsmill.com.
In addition to Garst Museum and Bear’s Mill, Greenville and the surrounding Darke County highlights also feature Winery at Versailles, Ghyslain Chocolatier, Brumbaugh Fruit Farm, Tecumseh’s Point, prairies and preserves, wetlands, the arts at Memorial Hall, unique eateries, lodging, festivals, special events and more. To plan a trip to Greenville, Ohio, and Darke County, log onto www.visitdarkecounty.org.