Central Ohio Tourism
Support our advertisers

Lancaster Ohio

ZanesvilleEstablished in 1800 by Ebenezar Zane, Lancaster has a rich heritage even from its humble beginnings, Lancaster's influence on the government and culture of the United States was unparalleled. As a legacy the city has not one, but four National Register Historic Districts. Ebenezar had a surveyor lay out the town in 1800 and lots went on sale on November 14. Depending on the location of the the lot, prices ranged from $5.00 to $50.00 per lot with 1/4 of the cost having to be paid within 2 weeks and the balance to be paid within 2 years of purchase.

Understanding the importance of attracting merchants and trades people, Zane reserved lots at no charge for these people as long as they remained on the property for at least 4 years. Attracting these important merchants made the town more attractive for others to settle in the area. As a result, Lancaster grew quickly.

Laid out along Zane's Trace on the banks of the Hock Hocking River, Lancaster was settled primarily by cultural streams of people from the east, including many German immigrants coming from eastern Pennsylvania. Early in Lancaster's development, shops had signs posted in both German and English.

Within 34 years of its forming, Lancaster became an important canal town where the Hocking feeder canal joined the Ohio Erie Canal. Lancaster also was known as having one of the oldest mills in the state. Surrounded by rich farmland, farmers first sent their milled wheat in the form of flour south over Zane's Trace to the Ohio River and then on to New Orleans. This trip became even faster when the canal came to town.

LancasterToday, Lancaster has more than 36,000 residents. Many of these people have found employment in various glass production companies, including Anchor Hocking Glass Company and the Lancaster Glass Corporation, located in the area, while other residents make the 39 mile commute to Columbus each day.

Lancaster also has a growing tourist industry. Among the city's more prominent sites are the Sherman House, birthplace of William Tecumseh Sherman, the Georgian Museum, the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, and the Glass Museum of Ohio.

General Sherman StatueLancaster's Favorite Son

Lancaster's native son, William Tecumseh Sherman, was a 4-star army general, and some say a military genius. What can't be denied is that he played a major role in Civil War as a strategist who revolutionized war by incorporating psychological and economic warfare into his military tactics. Probably best known for leading the "March to the Sea" through the South. Years after the war he declared "War is Hell".

In historic downtown Zanesville there is Veterans Square dedicated to the veterans of all wars. The area also prominently features a statue of Sherman.

Sherman HouseSherman House

General William Sherman, notable Civil War military leader, was born in Lancaster, as was his brother, John Sherman, who later became a US Senator and was responsible for the Sherman Anti-trust Act. Their house is now a museum that features the Sherman family as well as plenty of Civil War memorabilia.

The original frame home built in 1811, consists of a parlor/dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, and children’s bedroom. The Sherman family added onto the house in 1816, including a parlor and study for Judge Charles Sherman. Rooms have been restored to when the Sherman's lived here.

Rear of Sherman HouseThe brick front was added to the house in 1870 and its victorian parlor is furnished almost completely with furniture owned by the General and Ellen Sherman when they lived in New York City after his retirement. It includes a parlor set originally owned by General Ulysses S. and Julia Grant. One upstairs bedroom houses family memorabilia, another has a re-creation of General Sherman's Civil War field tent . The last room you will visit houses an excellent exhibit of Civil War artifacts.

Sherman House
137 E. Main Street,
Lancaster 43130
( 740) 687-5891

Georgian Museum, Zanesville, Ohio

The Georgian Museum

This historic house was built by Daniel Sifford for Samuel Maccracken in 1832 using Asher Benjamin's Handbook for Carpenters the Georgian represents the best of American and Georgian architecture.

The Mansion has been restored to its original architectural grandeur and furnished with exceptional period pieces. Many of the furnishings were owned by the Maccracken family. Several of the other pieces were made by Fairfield County's master craftsmen. Also included in the exhibit is a collection of Erickson Glass and Elijah Pierce woodcarvings.

Georgian Museum
105 E. Wheeling Street
Lancaster 43130

1:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M. Daily (except Mondays and Holidays)
Final Tour of Day starts at 3:15 P.M.
Closed January, February, March except by appointment

Decorative Arts Center

Decorative Arts Center

The Decorative Arts Center is a not-for-profit museum whose mission is to foster knowledge and appreciation of the decorative arts; celebrate the architecture and heritage of the Reese-Peters House; and enhance the vitality and integrity of historic Lancaster. The Center provides exhibitions, public programs, art classes and workshops for all ages, and a focus for research and communication about the decorative arts of Ohio.

Decorative Arts Center
145 East Main Street
Lancaster, Ohio
(740) 681-1423

Glass Museum, Zanesville Ohio

Glass Museum of Ohio

The Ohio Glass Museum reflects the importance of glass in the development of Lancaster and Fairfield County's financial stability from 1888 to present. An abundance of natural resources including natural gas and sand in this area made it possible for the establishment of the glass industry and in particular, the pressed glass industry.

Pressed Glass allowed for items to be efficiently and cheaply produced for broader consumption of middle class America. Lancaster was named the "Pressed Glass Capital of Ohio" by the State Legislature in 2002.

The gift shop features glassware and pottery from the following companies: Erickson, Fostoria, Fenton, Cambridge, Pilgrim, Rainbow, Murano, Tiffin, Indiana, Venice, Gibson, Boyd, Mosser, Blenko, Galla, Imperial, contemporary Carnival Glass, American Brilliant Cut, Crystal, Lennox, Weller, Hall, McCoy, Brush, and Shawnee.

Glass Museum of Ohio
126 West Main Street
Lancaster 43130
(740) 687-0101

Fairfield County Fair

Fairfield County Fair

The Fairfield County Fair is one of Ohio's last county fairs of the year. It offers a variety of attractions including truck, tractor, and horse pulls, demolition derbies, concerts, bands, and horse races. There is also a large assortment of exhibits and rides for all ages.

Lancaster Soap Box Derby

Derby Downs

Lancaster takes great pride in their annual running of the Lancaster Soap Box Derby. The day long event is a regional race that ultimately helps determine which racers will attend the national Soap Box Derby held in Akron.

The heats are held at Derby Downs on the southwest side of Lancaster where they have been held since 1955. Derby Downs was specifically created to host the annual race. Race day is usually held the last Saturday of June.

Derby Downs
3060 BIS Road
Lancaster, Ohio