World Heritage Meets Hometown Charm

In Chillicothe, Ohio

Nestled in the rolling Appalachian foothills in southern Ohio, Chillicothe invites travelers to embark on an extraordinary journey. Beyond its charming streets and welcoming community lies a treasure trove of ancient wonders, intriguing historical sites, and modern-day culture.

Long before history was recorded, over 2,000 years ago, the landscape was much different in central and southern Ohio when early Native American ancestors once lived and gathered on these lands. They constructed this area’s largest concentration of magnificent earthworks that served as sacred gathering sites. These sites are now globally recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, Ohio’s first and only World Heritage Site. Five of the eight sites are in Chillicothe, where they are protected by Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, with Ohio History Connection managing the other three sites in Newark and Oregonia.

These awe-inspiring earthen complexes showcase the ancient ancestors’ advanced knowledge of engineering, geometry, and astronomy. They intricately designed complexes in the shapes of squares, octagons, and circles, and most have solar and lunar alignments woven into these ancient structures, highlighting the ancestral understanding of the cosmos.

Far from mere relics of the past, these earthworks stand as enduring monuments to the generations that came before us. Unlike towering cathedrals, these complexes’ spacious enclosures and mounds served as venues for ceremonial gatherings, fostering connections between communities and honoring significant rites of passage. The earthworks invite contemplation on the shared human experience and the legacy of the early Native American ancestors. The UNESCO designation underscores the outstanding universal value of these sites and emphasizes the importance of preserving and sharing their cultural heritage with the world.

Beyond the ancient earthworks, Chillicothe radiates a captivating blend of historical allure and modern vitality. Travelers can explore the beautifully restored 19th-century mansion at Adena Mansion & Gardens, once the home of Thomas Worthington, a pivotal figure in Ohio’s statehood journey. The gardens feature three terraces of flowers, vegetables, and fruit trees as they functioned during the 1800s. The north lawn provides a spectacular view of the Mt. Logan Range, which inspired the design of the Great Seal of the State of Ohio.

The Ross County Historical Society offers engaging exhibits that span different eras, shedding light on the history of the Northwest Territory and the founding of the state of Ohio, the prehistoric cultures of the Scioto River Valley, the area’s involvement in the Civil War, Camp Sherman, and World War I, and historical vehicles and transportation. Additionally, you can tour a log house with artifacts depicting what life was like in the community’s early days.

As dusk descends upon Chillicothe, the evening is just coming to life on Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheater for “Tecumseh!” Outdoor Drama. The production unfolds under the star-studded sky. The life story of the legendary Shawnee leader comes alive on the stage as he defends his sacred homelands during the late 1700s. This action-packed annual summer production immerses audiences with galloping horses, a live military cannon, and breathtaking battle sequences.

Downtown Chillicothe pulses with the vibrant energy of a city that knows its history and embraces its future. Strolling along the charming streets, visitors will be greeted with the timeless architecture that blends seamlessly with the modern buzz of local restaurants, quaint cafes, and unique boutique shops. Downtown comes alive with melodic strains of live music drifting from cozy pubs and from the historic Majestic Theatre. Jump on the Chillicothe Trolley for a nostalgic journey along the downtown streets or explore the city on an immersive tour with the First Capital Brews Cruze, a fifteen-passenger party bike.

A trip to Chillicothe is a timeless voyage where ancient civilizations harmonize with the lively modern culture. It’s an opportunity to witness the legacy of Native American craftsmanship while embracing the warmth of southern Ohio hospitality.

Let the Ross-Chillicothe Convention & Visitors Bureau assist you with planning your epic adventure. Learn more about the area by visiting www.VisitChillicotheOhio.com, downloading the official Visit Chillicothe Ohio mobile app, or calling 740-702-7677.

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