History & Tourism

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About: State Route 97

27 Jun , 2020  

By: 1812Blockhouse

It is not the longest, or the most-traveled, highway in the state or even the region.

Along its length, however, which runs almost 35 miles along farm fields, along rivers, and through small towns, State Route 97 adds a lot to the character of this place we call home.

It even boasts the birthplace of a United States President!

Here, then, is the latest post in our series looking in some depth at area places and institutions – this time, for SR97.

Exact length: 34.57 miles

Western terminus: Intersection of East Street and Harding Way East on the east side of Galion – intersects with SRs 309, 61, and 19.

Eastern terminus: Intersection with SR 3 in rural Hanover Township, Ashland County

Runs alongside: For some distance, the Clear Fork of the Mohican River; the Richalnd B & O Trail, and the headwaters of the Olentangy River

Launched: In 1923, with the original section between Lexington and Bellville. Extended eastward to SR3 in 1926/7, and westward to Galion in 1939.

Improved: Received first pavement in 1938, and was fully paved by the mid 1950ss.

Route: Through Crawford, Morrow, Richland, and Ashland Counties, and the cities/villages of Galion, Blooming Grove, Lexington, Bellville, and Butler

Historic and Natural Sites on Route 97: Birthplace of President Warren G. Harding; Vidonish Stained Glass Studios; Ohio Genealogical Society and its Samuel Isaly Library; Bellville Bandstand (National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)); Bellville Cemetery Chapel (NRHP); All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church (NRHP); Bellville Village Hall/Opera House (NRHP); Praire Peddler area

Other “Everything You Always Wanted To Know” posts in this series are available here.

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