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A Walking Tour of Columbus, Ohio (Look Up, America!)

There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. Whether you are preparing for a road trip or just out to look at your own town in a new way, a downloadable walking tour is ready to explore when you are.

Each walking tour describes historical and architectural landmarks and provides pictures to help out when those pesky street addresses are missing. Every tour also includes a quick primer on identifying architectural styles seen on American streets.

After a decade of bickering among Ohio legislators following its elevation to statehood in 1803 a search party went out looking for a spot to build a new capital city. They settled on a dense forestland on the east bank of the Scioto River that had been used only as a hunting ground. The site had the advantage of being centrally located with access to river transportation but carried the wilderness burdens of swamp-borne disease and conflicts over land ownership. Founded on February 14, 1812 and named for Christopher Columbus, the town stumbled along until the swamps were drained and a feeder canal tapped into the Ohio and Erie Canal in 1831.

Ever since, the population of Columbus has grown every decade. Unlike other American cities that were founded specifically to be state capitals Columbus was never satisfied with being just a government town. By 1875 five railroads were servicing the town as Columbus became the leading industrial and commercial town in central Ohio.

Of the many manufacturing concerns that sprung up in Columbus none was more important than making buggies. There were more than twenty buggyworks in town, earning Columbus the sobriquet of "Buggy Capital of the World." By the 20th century the buggies had been forgotten and the diversified economic base laid the foundation for growth that made Columbus America's 15th largest city and fourth biggest state capital.

Just as you don't see any buggies on Columbus streets you won't see many buildings the horse-drawn transports rode past either. Landmarks as old as a hundred years are few and far between on the Columbus streetscape but we will start our walking tour at one that has seen just about all of them come and go...

Important places

Columbus (57)


Franklin (61)


Ohio (1,283)


United States (64,950)

Other geographical areas

Central Lowlands (North America) (1,334)