Serpent Mound is one of the most notable historic sites in North America and that efficy mound is located in Adams County. What most people are not aware of is that there was once a very large meteor strike here.
The meteor which made the crater, impacted southern Ohio some 300 million years ago and left a very large crater. That crater is about 5 miles in diameter and covers much of Adams, but also Highland and Pike Counties. The Serpent Mound is located on plateau inside the southwest quadrant of crater. It seems that scientific instruments used at the site have detected anomalies that are not normally present.
Whether the crater was created by a meteor, an astroid, a comet, or just an underground eruption can't be positively identified. The collected evidence to date suggests that it was a meteor-type collision.
West Union was first established in 1804, and is the county sea. Originally the county seat was located in the more populous town of Manchester, but due to some political differences, the county seat was moved to West Union, which was more centrally located.
Because of its central location, West Union grew slowly. With no easy way of getting to and from the town, despite its central location, few people ventured to West Union unless they had dealings with the county court. Even after the arrival of the railroads to Ohio, West Union remained isolated. West Union would become the only county seat not to be connected to a railroad line.
Massie's Station was the first permanent white settlement within the Virginia Military District, built along the Ohio River in 1790. It was built near three islands. Native Americans used these islands to attack settlers traveling down the Ohio River. Numerous whites lost their lives to native attacks. The community was named after Nathaniel Massie, a land speculator who helped survey the Virginia Military District. Massie offered nineteen men property if they would settle in the town. He used the settlement as a base for his survey work in the district. In 1791, Massie's Station became known as Manchester, Ohio. Massie named the community after Manchester, England. It was the fourth permanent settlement established in the Northwest Territory. By 1791, residents had completely encircled the community with a stockade to provide protection from Native Americans. This was the last town in what would become Ohio to be enclosed by fortifications. Manchester served as the county seat for Adams County from 1797 to 1803, when residents moved local government to West Union.
The town also prospered during this time period as a stop for steamboats as they traveled along the Ohio River between Portsmouth and Cincinnati. Most industries in the community were affiliated with agriculture. During the nineteenth century, a tobacco warehouse, pork-processing company, a buggy manufacturer, a mill, and a nursery operated in Manchester for varying lengths of time. By the 1840s, Manchester had become the largest town in Adams County.
Peebles is a rural village surrounded by some of the most beautiful farmland in the Ohio River Valley. The foothills of the Appalachian Mountains add grace and beauty as travelers are required to slow down and enjoy the scenery when they trek the back roads in this area.
In it's early years Peebles was a booming place. It was platted in 1881 and named in honor of John G. Peebles, the man who persuaded the Cincinnati and Eastern Railway to cross Zane's Trace (State Route 41) here. Local citizens saw opportunities to create businesses and Peebles came into it's own. By 1906 the village was so progressive that Chautauqua Days were held and drew many visitors for public lectures, concerts and other cultural events.
The 1970's brought more exciting changes. With the completion of the four lane Appalachian Highway that crosses Zane's Trace on the south end of town, Cincinnati and its amenities are only an hour away. Another great change was the purchase of farmland by Amish families. These fine folks appreciate the local rural heritage. Their farms, businesses, and families remind us to enjoy the slower pace, much like our ancestors enjoyed in this area.
Adams County History
As you might expect being located along the Ohio River, that Adams County would be one of the first counties to be formed. In fact when Adams County was formed in 1797, it was only the third county in existence in the Ohio Territory. The other two counties were named for the first American president, George Washington, and the other was named after another founding father, Alexander Hamilton. Although Hamilton never made it to the presidency, he was deeply involved in the Revolutionary War as an aide to Washington, plus he became the 1st Secretary of the Treasury.