The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker along with lawyers, doctors and a dentist. There was a blacksmith on one end of Court Street and a buggy manufacturing company on the other end. An opera house stood on Market Street as well as a horse stable.
There were women and men’s clothiers, hat makers, hardware and mercantile stores and a monument company. All of these businesses and others filled the downtown buildings in the City of Washington in the late 1800s.
Ohio became a state in 1803, and Fayette County became recognized in 1810. In February 1831, Washington reached the 5,000 resident mark needed to be incorporated as a city by the state. In 1846, 97 homes existed within the city. There were two churches, eight stores and two newspaper offices. In 1875, eight years after Frank Lloyd Wright was born (1867), Morris and Madeline Sharp built their home, which is now the Fayette County Museum. Unfortunately, in 1885, a tornado struck the city killing six (including two children) and left over $500,000 in damage in its wake.
This season, the Fayette County Historical Museum will exhibit a retrospective of local businesses. Some of the businesses will surprise you and others will have familiar names. You may find yourself surprised at the large number and variety of retail stores.
The Fayette County Historical Museum opened in 1965. The Sharp home, which houses hundreds of Fayette County artifacts, displays a unique retrospective of the history of Fayette County. Do you know how the city went from the City of Washington to Washington Court House? Stop in and we will share that information with you.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Fayette County Historical Museum is its collection of memorabilia and stories. This museum holds the history of Fayette County and the spirit of its people from the late 1700s up through today. The trustees of the museum have never stopped acquiring artifacts because history happens every day in Fayette County.
The museum will be open every Saturday and Sunday from this month through September. The hours are 1-4 p.m. There is no charge for admission, however, the museum does accept donations that help offset the cost of cooling the house and to set up exhibits. Private tours may be arranged by calling 740-335-2953. The museum is located at 517 Columbus Ave. in Washington C.H.