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Delaware County Historical Walking Tours

Summer time often breeds a need to walk outside. Thankfully, The Delaware County Historical Society has created several different tours of the county; four walking tours within Delaware and one Underground Railroad driving tour within the County. @ohiogirl.travelingworld and family participated in two of these tours.

A Walk on Winter Street highlights various architectural spaces on Winter Street in Delaware. Expanding from downtown to a few blocks west, the tour highlights commercial and residential spaces. With a multitude of Italianate and Greek Revival architecture styles, each building tells a unique story. Such as Andrew’s House; previously the Jane M. Case hospital and TKE Fraternity House, the building is now owned by St Peter’s Episcopal Church and serves as a multi-faceted community services center. More valuably, the tour highlights a multitude of private residences and cultural safe spaces. Including, 151 West Winter Street (owned by a notable local business owner), the Delaware County Cultural Arts Center (known locally as “The Arts Castle”), Bun’s Restaurant, and the New York Cash Store as well as Strand Theatre Buildings.

A Stroll Down Sandusky focuses on the Sandusky Street portion of downtown Delaware. Interestingly enough, when Delaware was settled, the intent was that William Street would be the primary business route. However, settlers preferred a north-south business district known as Main Street, spanning several blocks of Sandusky Street. The tour itself highlights many spaces along Main Street, it also extends a few blocks past the district. The northern end of the tour highlights many County Buildings. Including, the Historic Court House and Court House Square located at 91 N. Sandusky Street. Freshly renovated to historic Italianate-style architecture and reopened in 2021, the Historic Court House is home to the Delaware County Commissioners, Veterans Service Commission, Human Resources, and Economic Development Departments. While walking along the Main Street district along Sandusky Street, reading the words from the Historical Society truly put us in a “Circle of Life”. It was amazing to see how many spaces have been repurposed into similar intent of their beginnings. For instance, 41 North Sandusky Street has many “PBL” details; standing for The People’s Building, the Art Deco style building was initially home to a banking and loan company and is now home to First Commonwealth Bank in addition to several attorney offices. Additionally, we truly appreciated how many businesses have kept the heart of architecture into their store front; such as 51 N Sandusky Street. Initially built for a boot and shoe dealer, the building is now home to insurance and mortgage offices. However, the original cast iron columns are still in place, while the entry doors are now set back. The southern end of the tour included The Delaware Municipal Building and bits of the Ohio Wesleyan University campus. While being a private University, Ohio Wesleyan University brings much diversity to the Delaware community. Highlighted on the tour is the Ross Art Museum, initially Delaware’s Post Office.

All photos and copy by: Melanie Bange | @ohiogirl.travelingworld

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Delaware, OH
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