Why not take some time during the remaining weeks of good weather, pack up the car and the kids, and take off for a driving tour of sites related to one of Richland County’s most famous former residents?
A historic byway has an accompanying map to guide travelers a route in Ashland and Richland Counties to do just that. The Johnny Appleseed Historic Byway is a 30 mile route along State Routes 39 and 603 which celebrates the life of John Chapman, the nineteenth century local man who planted apple trees and became an American cultural and historical icon.According to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), the route tells the story of a man “…who spent the vast majority of his adult life in and throughout north central Ohio, spreading the seeds of fruit, as well as fait, to Ohio’ early pioneers. Both routes pass by and through Appleseed’s land holdings, apple nursery sites, Native American villages, and locations of important events in which Appleseed was involved during the War of 1812. The Johnny Appleseed Historic Byway’s vision statement is to “enhance all lives of those who pass this way.”
Included on the story map are 30 individual stops on the Johnny Appleseed Historic Byway, from the Charles Franklin Kettering historic marker in downtown Loudonville on the east, to the Johnny Appleseed monument in Mansfield’s South Park on the west.
Along the way, the route passes by and through places such as the site of the 1812 Copus Family Attack; Malabar Farm State Park; four locations where Chapman owned or leased land; and many others. Each stop includes a narrative description and photos.