1816 is known as the “Year Without a Summer” when widespread crop failures in Europe and North America created food shortages due to Mount Tambora’s volcanic dust shrouding the globe. The sunless days are even credited for the inspiration of Mary Shelley’s classic novel “Frankenstein”. In 1816 James Monroe, a Democratic – Republican from the state of Virginia, became the 5th President of the United States. That’s right folks, back in 1816 Democrats and Republicans were on the same team. Who would have guessed that was ever possible? Maybe that’s what really inspired “Frankenstein”.
Here in Ohio 1816 brought a new village to the hills of southeast Ohio. Governor Thomas Worthington, another one of those Democratic – Republicans, established the village of Logan. Governor Worthington commissioned the construction of a gristmill and sawmill to attract residents to the new village. By 1818 the population of Logan was 100 residents. The new village had a post office, a church, two general stores and a tavern. By 1839 the village of Logan became the City of Logan with a population of 500, a mayor, two lawyers, two churches, seven physicians, three general stores, three dry goods stores, two hotels and three saloons.
Fast forward 200 years. A lot has changed. Logan is the gateway to the Hocking Hills, Ohio’s natural crown jewels which welcome approximately 3.5 million visitors every year. This year the City of Logan is in the midst of a birthday party and everyone is invited. The festivities began in January and continue through the year.
The Bicentennial Bash, a concentration of many events over a few days, will begin June 10 with a musical Bicentennial salute in Worthington Park. June 11 is the Hocking Hills Moonshine Distillery Prohibition Party. June 12 is a Community Picnic with a Purpose coordinated by churches throughout the community.
June 10 through June 15 historic tours of Logan will be provided by the Hocking County Historical Society. June 12 through 15 the tours will be on board a Trolley departing from Main Street on June 12, the Hocking County Historical Society June 10, 11, 13 and 15 and from the Scenic Hills Senior Center on Flag Day, June 14.
Flag Day will be celebrated at the Scenic Hills Senior Center with American Legion Post 78 and the Hocking County Historical Society. The day’s events include an appearance by Civil War historian and musician Steve Ball. Kids of all ages can experience leisure time in the days before technology with an Old Fashioned Fun Day at the Hocking County Historical Society Museums.
The Bicentennial Bash dovetails into the Annual Washboard Music Festival which opens June 16 with Arnett Howard & Friends. The Festival’s Grand Parade will be the Bicentennial Parade this year with awards for the best Bicentennial Parade entries. The Washboard Music Festival features continuous music, festival foods, arts and craft vendors, quilt show, classic car show and free kids’ rides & entertainment.
The celebration continues in July with the reenactment of the “Trial of the Century”, the 19th century that is, in the historic courtroom of the Hocking County Courthouse, imagine the courtroom in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. August brings the inaugural Rib Ruckus and Gate to Gate 5k along with an Old Time Jam & Porch Picking accompanied by an Ice Cream Social.
September will feature Old Time Music and free Apple Butter sponsored by the Hocking County Commissioners. Get to know Logan’s founders and characters at the Best of Tombstone Travels cemetery tours in October. Guys get ready to hang up your razor in November and see if you’ve got what it takes to win the Bicentennial Beard Growing Competition. The year-long celebration will culminate with the Bicentennial Ball on December 30.
For the past 200 years businesses have come and gone, families have bid farewell to loved ones heading off to wars, cheered their children’s accomplishments in academics and sports, supported one another during difficult times, worked together, played together and prayed together. Join the celebration and become one of the family in Logan. For details on all Bicentennial events visit Logan200.com.