Founded in 1828 by Reuben Dove and John Colman, the town of Canal Winchester was founded because of construction that came through Dove’s wheat field. When the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal interfered with Dove’s land, he wanted to sue the state, but instead he created the town of Canal Winchester, named after his father’s hometown of Winchester, Virginia. Originally dubbed Winchester, the town flourished because of the local agriculture and transportation. The Ohio and Erie Canal brought with it a means to transport grain, freight, and passengers to the area. The village was renamed Canal Winchester when the post office was established in 1841, due to there being another village named Winchester in Ohio.
The first weekend of September, the town of Canal Winchester hosts the Labor Day Festival, and in December they have their annual Christmas in The Village — a festival with food, horse-drawn buggy rides, and music. Additionally, there is a rib fest the first week of August that brings out all of the residents for good food and fun times.
Canal Winchester is home to the Bergstresser bridge, which is the only wooden-covered bridge left standing in Franklin County. There is much to see and do in this small town, including the Slate Run Vineyard and Winery, The National Barber’s Museum and National Barber Hall of Fame, the Mid-Ohio Doll and Toy Museum, and the many antique shops located in the Village of Historic Downtown.
Since 2000, the town has erected new elementary schools, an additional wing on the high school, and a junior high. The schools are known for their football, wrestling, cross country, and basketball teams, just to name a few. The baseball team was the state runner-up in both 2008 and 2009. Both MLB player Drew Dosch of the Baltimore Orioles and NBA player B.J. Mulles of the Oklahoma City Thunder are alumni of Canal Winchester schools.
Canal Winchester has plenty to offer its residents, from quaint neighborhoods and good schools, to festive community events and activities at their many museums. It’s plain to see why so many families in the Columbus area in search of small town living move to Canal Winchester. Being so close to a big city is just one of the many perks to living in this village.
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