Historic mile marker moves to museum PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 10 October 2013 11:35
Historic marker at Historical Museum. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
For more than 150 years it marked the way between two cities in the Great Black Swamp. And now it will serve as a touchstone to the past.
The Wood County Historical Center and Museum Wednesday welcomed a new artifact into its collection: a limestone mile marker formerly situated just outside of Perrysburg.
"The mile marker was placed there in the early 1800s to mark the distance between Perrysburg and Lower Sandusky, which today is Fremont," said Michael McMaster, education programs coordinator at the Historical Center. "So the mile markers have P on one side and L.S. on the other side."
Erected in 1842, the stone is one of those that marked the way between the two settlements along U.S. 20 - a distance of 30 miles.
Many of the triangular stones are still visible along the road, said McMaster, deposited about every mile.
"Some of them are gone, I believe," he said, "some have been moved slight distances," or are located in residential yards or the state right-of-way.
"That mile marker is one of the oldest things in Wood County," said McMaster. There are some houses that are older in Perrysburg and such, but it's a very old marker, and pretty historically significant."
The road was originally the route of the Maumee and Western Reserve Road, a major lifeline of travel through the Black Swamp. Land, including a swath what would later be the road, was ceded by Indian tribes in 1794 after Gen. Anthony Wayne's victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. Actual work on the road started in 1824, after the U.S. Congress gave the land to the State of Ohio.
According to information from Historic Perrysburg, the Exchange Hotel on West Front Street in the city was the last inn - of numerous such establishments - located on the northern end of the road. The Maumee and Western Reserve Road was later incorporated into the federal highway system, becoming part of U.S. 20.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. 20 is the longest road in the United States, running from Boston, Mass., to Newport, Oregon, a distance of some 3,365 miles.
Locally, the roadway is called Fremont Pike, and runs through Wood County from Lucas County southeast to the Sandusky County line.
"People had called the museum, telling us that one of the mile markers was completely out of the ground and laying on its side," said McMaster of their stone. "And they suggested we come and get it."
The stone, however, was located in the state right-of-way in the 8000 block of Fremont Pike. After the highway department was contacted, it was decided that the stone should be moved so that people could view it safely.
"It'll be in our log cabin area, so it'll be in a historical setting which makes it a little bit nicer."
The stone was moved by Artistic Memorials, a company in Perrysburg, which volunteered its services.
"This one is in great condition," McMaster said of the stone.

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