About This Station

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About This City

While the city and county of Delaware are named for the Delaware tribe, the city of Delaware itself was founded on a Mingo village called Pluggy's Town. The first recorded settler was Joseph Barber in 1807. Shortly after other men started settling in the area (according to the Delaware Historical Society)- Moses Byxbe, William Little, Solomon Smith, and Elder Jacob Drake, Thomas Butler, and Ira Carpenter began building in the area. In 1808, Moses Byxbe built the first framed house on William Street. On March 11, 1808, a plan of the city was filed, marking the official founding of the town. Byxbe and the others planned the city to be originally on the east bank of the river, but was switched to the west bank only a few days after the first plan was filed. Even though Delaware was still a small community, in 1812, when the capital of Ohio was moved from Chillicothe, Delaware and Columbus were both in the running and Delaware lost by a single vote to Columbus. However, following the War of 1812, settlers began arriving in Delaware in greater numbers. Among some of the earliest settlers were the parents of Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President of the United States. The Hayes home no longer stands, but a historical marker in front of a BP station marks the location. The Rutherford B. Hayes House in Delaware, Ohio In the early days of the town, a sulfur spring was discovered northwest of Joseph Barber's cabin. By 1833, a hotel was built as a health spa near the spring. However, the Mansion House Hotel was a failure, and by 1841, citizens began raising funds to purchase the hotel property with the intent of giving it to the Ohio and North Ohio Methodist Episcopal Conference of the Methodist Church for the purpose of a Methodist college. With that effort, Ohio Wesleyan University was founded in 1844. Railroads came to the area in April, 1851 as Delaware served as a stop on the Cleveland Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad. Additional rail lines were added to serve Delaware providing access to major cities and markets throughout the country by the late 1890s. At the turn of the century, Delaware could boast of its own electric street railway system. In the early 1930s, electric inter-urban service was provided by the Columbus, Delaware and Marion system. .

It began in 1937 when the Delaware County Agricultural Society's members, at their annual meeting, voted to move the County Fair, held since its inception at Powell, to Delaware on a tract of land at the northern edge of the city. Two years later a half-mile track was built and provided the stage for harness racing. R.K. McNamara, a local contractor, designed and built the lightning fast track. Enter attorney Joe Neville, whose family had been identified with the standardbred sport for many years, and his friend, Henry C. "Hank" Thomson, sports editor of The Delaware Gazette. Neville, who had campaigned horses on the Grand Circuit and was familiar with its officers and stewards, was successful in obtaining Grand Circuit dates for the new Delaware track. Neville, concerned over the years by the emphasis placed on the trotter, turned his efforts toward showcasing the pacers, particularly the 3-year-olds. The Little Brown Jug Society was formed to stage the Grand Circuit meeting. Neville headed the organization with Thomson as secretary-treasurer. Then came the birth of the Little Brown Jug, named through a newspaper contest, with its previews in 1944 and 1945. The initial Jug in 1946, with a purse of $35,358, was won by Ensign Hanover with Delaware's Wayne "Curly" Smart driving. Smart, a most successful trainer-driver on the Grand Circuit, was later to become an integral part of the Jug's operation as the track superintendent. Over the years the track monopolized the half-mile record section with world standard performances, mainly through Smart's skill in maintaining the fastest racing strip of its size in the country. Through its humble beginnings, the Jug grew slowly to become perhaps the most traditional stake on the pacing gait. In 1956 the Jug provided the anchor for the newly designated Triple Crown of Pacing to go along with The Cane Pace at Yonkers (N.Y.) Raceway and the Messenger Stake then at Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury, N.Y. The Little Brown Jug is contested in heats. The first heat is split into several divisions, with the top finishers in each division returning to contest the second heat. A horse wins the Little Brown Jug by winning both heats. If a horse does not win both heats, a race off is conducted between the first heat division winners, and the winner of the second heat, to determine the champion. The Little Brown Jug is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers. Ever since 1946 the administrators of the Little Brown Jug have glazed the winners of the horse race on a jug. In 2005, they ran out of room on the first jug and had to make another one. This time, instead of making it out of clay, they made it out of plastic so it would be lighter. The Little Brown Jug is played during the Delaware county fair.

Delaware is located at 4017'56?N 834'19?W (40.298898, -83.072007). The city is located about 24 miles north of Ohio's capital city, Columbus, due north along U.S. Route 23. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.07 square miles (49.39 km2), of which 18.95 square miles (49.08 km2) are land and 0.12 square miles (0.31 km2) is water. The Olentangy River runs through the city.

The Delaware downtown is the epicenter of the city. It boasts The Strand Theatre, the longest continually run movie theater in Ohio, nearly 20 restaurants, most with outdoor eating spaces. Quaint boutiques, antique shops, bookstores, yoga and dance studios are located amid floral shops, a record shop, cycling store, pre-prohibition style bar, micro breweries and a wide selection of specialty ice cream parlors, coffee shops, commercial banks, salons and spas. Visitors can shop the twice weekly farmers' market, wine store, brewer's supply house and beer emporium. Downtown Delaware has a main branch library, city hall, municipal courthouse and the county tourism bureau. Delaware has maintained a traditional downtown shopping area, and added other shopping venues that includes the Delaware Commons pedestrian mall, a small mixed-use complex built at the end of the urban renewal era. This area contains an increasing number of large retail stores and restaurants run by national chains. Others say the chain stores boost local shopping options for residents considerably, many of whom would have previously shopped elsewhere, while increasing sales tax revenue for the city and county. The tradeoff between sprawl and economic development continues to be debated throughout the city and the surrounding area. Delaware has many businesses characteristic of American university towns: used and new bookstores, a historical cinema, coffee shops, organic food stores, and local restaurants. The Arts Castle, home to the Delaware County Cultural Arts Center, offers classes ranging from ballet to fiber arts. Delaware residents support a popular farmer's market, professional theaters, the Ballet Met, the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, Opera Columbus, Contemporary American Theater Company, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Delaware Community Chorus and many theater opportunities. The city also hosts one of the main flea markets in the area every Sunday from 5am to 1pm. It is held at the Delaware County fairgrounds starting on April 1 and running every weekend until the end of October. Historic Northwest District[edit] Nestled between the Scioto and Olentangy rivers, just minutes north of Columbus, lies a hidden treasure. The Historic Northwest Neighborhood of the City of Delaware has it all: gorgeous historic homes on idyllic, tree-lined sidewalks, a short walk to excellent schools, delightful green spaces, a thriving downtown and one of the nation's premier small, private universities. The Historic Northwest Neighborhood boasts more than 500 homes and carriage houses listed on the National Register of Historic Places, all recognized as worthy of preservation for local, state and national significance in American history and architecture. Each home, distinctively unique in character and style, takes you back in time and creates a deep appreciation for craftsmanship and history. From the earliest Federal style (c. 1826), to the modern Craftsman (c.1915) and the French Eclectic (c. 1930), the area includes Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Folk Victorian, Stick, Queen Anne, Richardsonian Romanesque, Shingle, Prairie, Mission Tudor and Colonial Revival styles. Victorian mansions are just steps from the robust Downtown Historic District, where another 79 buildings are listed on the National Register. Delaware's historic Northwest District, home to city founders and entrepreneurs in the 1800s, remains a time-tested, vibrant community and a great place to live. The Northwest Neighborhood incorporates the downtown business district and a portion of Ohio Wesleyan University. Politics[edit] Politically the city's population is moderate to conservative, with most of the Ohio Wesleyan University voting for liberal candidates and a majority of the permanent population being Republican. Media[edit] The dominant local newspaper in Delaware is a morning daily, The Delaware Gazette, founded in 1818. The paper is owned by Ohio Community Media. Other local print publications include the Delaware News, owned by Columbus-based Suburban News Publications, ThisWeek in Delaware, owned by the Columbus Dispatch and the Transcript, the student paper at Ohio Wesleyan University. Delaware is also served with a locally run and written daily news blog. DelawareO is owned by BTW Media and features a diverse group of writers discussing news and personal interest stories.

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