The small city of Delaware, Ohio is the county seat of a county of the same name. Located just north of Columbus it was for more than 150 years the center of a farming county, as well as the home of the small college, Ohio Wesleyan.
With Columbus suburbs fast approaching, most of the county to the south has been developed in tract housing and shopping centers, and it now has a population of over 200,000, and is recognized as having the highest per capita income in the state.
The town of Delaware however still feels like a small town, with many historic buildings.
First up is Beiber’s Mill which was was built in 1877 as a grist mill. Long abandoned, it sits directly on the Olentangy River – there were enough No Trespassing signs, and neighbors that looked like they would have shotguns that we took the photos from the road.
The next stop was Perkins Observatory. While in town there is an observatory that was built in 1896 that is still standing (barely), this building is about 3 miles south of town, next to a golf course.
Built in 1925 it has been in use ever since, but has over time reduced in scope as central Ohio is not very conducive to astrological observations – due to the low altitude, cloud cover and light pollution from the cities.
As we arrived on the small campus of the 1900 student Ohio Wesleyan University, we found Edwards Gymnasium. Built in 1905 it is a spectacular building with an amazing wood ceiling with skylights.
Just up the hill is Slocum Hall, which contains a library.
As well as a great skylight.
Next door is the University Hall and Chapel, although it appears to me very similar to most of the county court houses and jails around the state.
On the west side of the campus are a series of newer buildings.
Leaving campus we moved on to an area where all of the Delaware County Government buildings are located including what was a Carnegie Library – now the County Commissioners home.
Next door is the old courthouse.
Our last stop is what should be the main attraction of the town – the birthplace of a U.S. President – in this case Rutherford B. Hayes. However someone messed that one up long ago when the home was torn down, so now it is the Rutherford B Hayes Memorial BP Gas Station. But it is the only Presidential Gas Station in America, so Delaware, Ohio has that going for them.