I've always been perplexed by Lakeview Avenue in Clintonville. There definitely is no lake in Clintonville. Did there used to be? This one took some digging, and even then the answer remains elusive.
I've always been perplexed by Lakeview Avenue in Clintonville. There definitely is no lake in Clintonville. Did there used to be? This one took some digging, and even then the answer remains elusive. Lakeview Avenue runs east and west of North High Street about four blocks north of Weber Road. It ends on the east near the Walhalla Ravine, and on the west just shy of the Olentangy River and was on city maps in the mid- to late 1880s. Was there a large bend or pool in the river there at the time that extended east, visible to what's now Lakeview Avenue?
A review of old maps suggests that, at least from the mid-1800s on, there wasn't much change in the river- it looked a lot like it does today. However, just above West Dodridge Street there's a dam, and there once was a water-powered mill there. Lakeview is not too far north of that spot and, given that any tree cover would have been cleared away as this area developed, it's quite possible that the millpond could have been the lake of Lakeview.
Other possibilities include a lake that was on the north side of the clay factory where North High School was later built; and Olentangy Park-the amusement park where Olentangy Village stands today-also had a lake. The park was closer to Lakeview Avenue than the millpond on the river, and the clay factory would have been a little farther away, but they all could be possible name sources. Or maybe the name was just good marketing: It sounded nice, lake or no. But until more information surfaces, choose your own tale about where the name originated.
Refugee Road is an oddly named road on the east side of Columbus. Where did the name come from? This is one of the reasons Ohio history is so interesting. During the American Revolution, a number of Canadians sympathized with, and even fought on the side of, the United States, with the result that their land and possessions were confiscated by the British Crown. But to show appreciation for their support, the U.S. set aside land in what soon thereafter would become the state of Ohio under the Land Ordinance of 1785. The Canadians originally were to receive three townships (about 60,000 acres) along Lake Erie, but Connecticut already had a claim on that area. Over several years, the secretaries of War and the Treasury examined land claims, and by 1812 had approved 67 Canadians who were to receive just over 58,000 acres of land for their service.
With the Lake Erie land unavailable, the government sliced off part of the U.S. Military Lands (north and east of Columbus) and created what came to be known as the Refugee Tract. Extending eastward from the Scioto River, it covered parts of Franklin, Licking, Fairfield and Perry counties. Claimants selected their land by lots but left more than 45,000 acres unclaimed; these were sold later to other settlers. And yes, the Statehouse (not to mention all of today's Downtown Columbus) was built on Refugee Tract land that apparently was never claimed by any of our Canadian brethren.
Jeff Darbee is a preservationist, historian and author in Columbus. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the answer might appear in a future column.
Sources: City and county maps, Columbus Metropolitan Library; Mary Rodgers; www.freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com