Historic Structures

Blacklick Covered Bridge, Pickerington Ohio

The Blacklick Covered Bridge was built in 1888 by August Borneman who was proprietor of the Hocking Valley Bridge Works in lancaster, Ohio. Cost of the bridge was $2,020.75. According to one source, this old bridge rests on the abutments of an earlier covered bridge that was supposedly built in 1832. The Blacklick Bridge was built at the site of Allen's Mill in Violet Townhip. It is one of the few covered spans left in this township out of at least a dozen that once stood here. It is the largest covered span in Fairfield County at 133' and is wider than the usual covered bridges. It is very well-built and Mr. Borneman obviously intended that it should last for many years. Mr. Borneman was a well-known and respected bridge-builder and inventer in Fairfield County. He also built the John Bright Covered Bridge. The portals of John Bright and Blacklick Covered Bridges are much alike. Mr. Borneman was a talented builder who would build any type of bridge desired, wooden, steel or a combination of both; established truss plans such as the Howe truss of the Blacklick Bridge, or a truss of his own design like the Bright Bridge. The Blacklick Covered Bridge is the closest such structure to the City of Columbus, and there is the possibility that someday this entire area will be a part of the city. If this happens, the bridge will become part of the city park system. The Village of Pickerington is also interested in annexing this area. The outcome of all this is unknown, but in the meantime, this fine old span continues to carry very heavy traffic. Building is going on in the area and what this will mean to the future of this old bridge, we do not yet know. Vandalism has been a persistant problem at the Blacklick Covered Bridge. It has been set afire at least five times. For some unknown reason, the area around this fine old structure is continually being used by unknown individuals as a trash dump. Church youth groups and Scout groups have periodically cleaned up the mess around the bridge. The old Blacklick Covered Bridge is one of only 18 Howe trusses left here in Ohio. It is also close to the City of Columbus and Blacklick Metropolitan Park.


Renner and Weber Brewery, Mansfield Ohio

The Renner and Weber Brewery was one of few remaining examples of 19th century industrial architecture in Mansfield and is one of Ohio's dwindling number of brewery structures. At one time there were over 75 breweries in Ohio, by the 1970s there were only 10 and most of these are in modern structures. Mansfield was a brewing center of north central Ohio from 1850 to the early 1900's. The industry came to the city with early German settlers. Henry Weber arrived in Mansfield about 1860. He was from a family of brewers. Born in Schillingstadt, Germany he begain work in his father's brewery while still a boy. Young Henry came to the U.S. when only 24 and first settled in Pennsylvania and worked in a brewery. After a year he moved to Mansfield and worked at Frank & Eberle Brewery. In 1866 he formed a partnership with Martin Frank (Frank & Eberle) and opened the Union Brewery. That arrangement continued until 1883 when Weber bought out the Reiman & Aberle Brewery with George Renner and the brewery was renamed Renner & Weber Brewery. The previous firm has existed on 4th St. since 1855. From that time (1883) great improvements were made in the building and the machinery. By 1900 the brewery had reached its present configuration and was producing 150 barrels of beer a day. Their popular Red Band Lager Beer was brewed until the brewery closed in 1942. The site of the brewery had been chosen because of the existence of the Big Spring which supplied early Mansfield settlers with water. After Renner & Weber enlarged the plant two more wells had to be drilled. Modern machinery and a refrigeration plant were also installed. Renner left Mansfield around 1900 and Weber died in 1910. The brewery was renamed the Eagle Brewery. The brewery operated through W.W. I, reopening after the repeal of the 18th Amendment, and continued until 1942 when W.W. II made it difficult to get needed new boilers and other equipment. The abandoned buildings sold in 1969 to a buyer whose intentions included a Rathskeller. His plans did not materialize. In 1976 or 1977 the brewery was again sold, and the new owner planned a complex of shops and restaurants.


Douglass High School, Memphis Tennessee

Throughout its history, Douglass High School was one of few high schools in Memphis for African American students. The irony of the “separate but equal law set out by Plessy v. Ferguson was that schools such as Douglass High School in Memphis and other areas in the south rarely received adequate funding for maintenance of the facility of educational materials. Nevertheless, the community members of Douglass provided the students with support by maintaining the facility, purchasing educational materials, and offering intellectual and moral encouragement. Douglass High School is significant to the Memphis/Shelby County area as the last African-American school built prior to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education integration edict. Douglass High School remained an African-American school after other schools in Memphis were integrated. In 1981, the pressures of integration forced Douglass to close it doors. The community’s support of the educational facility, the faculty, students, and Parent-Teachers Association of Douglass High School provided the leadership and organizational skills necessary for the community to endure financial hardships. Indeed, the school became a mutual aid society, providing stability, individual and community relief efforts and uplift. The tenacity and dedication demonstrated by these leaders allowed the community to thrive in a society otherwise beset with discrimination. Their efforts represent the resilience and standards of an African-American community determined to retain their pride and honor.


McKinley School - North Side School, Columbus Indiana

The first public school building in Columbus, Central School, was erected in 1859, expanded in 1873, and reconstructed in 1904. Other public schools were built in 1877 (Lincoin), 1880 (Jefferson), 1886 (Washington), 1892 (McKinley), and 1896 (Garfield). These were built in response to rapid population growth which took place in the 1850's and 1860's. After that period, the population grew at an increasingly lower rate until the 1930's, when a population boom which was to continue into the 1970's began. Between 1896 and 1952, no new schools were constructed, though some existing schools were expanded. Between 1952 and 1973, eleven new schools were constructed in Columbus. None of the schools constructed since 1952 have been designed by local architects. All but one were designed by nationally renowned architects through the modern architecture program of the Cummins Engine Foundation, which pays architectural fees for many public buildings in Columbus. The exception was designed by an Indianapolis firm. Thus McKinley School is one of the six original public schools, that served Columbus from the 19th century until the mid-20th century, and that include the only examples of schools designed by local firms. After Central became the High School and Washington the Junior High in 1904, and until the 1950's, the elementary schools were Lincoln, Jefferson, McKinley and Garfield. All four schools were similar in size and appointments. Lincoln and Jefferson, constructed in 1877 and 1880, respectively, were built in older neighborhoods which began to decline in prestige as new north side additions were platted. North side residency was made practical by the construction of the street car line in 1890, and later by the automobile. At the time of its construction, McKinley was at the northernmost limits of the city in a newly developing area. Garfield was built four years after McKinley and was also in a newly developing area. Of the early schools, all but Jefferson are still in existence. Only Central is still in use as a school. Lincoln has been rehabilitated as office space. Washington houses apartments. McKinley and Garfield are vacant. Jefferson was demolished to make way for a new building in 1952.

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