Selected by Ohio Magazine as one of the top 5 Ohio communities in 2008, Dublin is a model community that offers plenty of amenities and an ideal town for raising a family. Dublin was also name one of Money magazine's "Hottest Places to Live" in 2004, and they weren't referring to the climate.
Dublin Ohio is a long standing community and is probably best known for being the home of Jack Nicklaus' Country Club at Muirfield Village and the PGA Memorial Golf Tournament held there each year since 1976. With an estimated population of over 40,000, Dublin continues to be one of the fastest-growing suburbs of Columbus. In addition, thousands more live outside the municipal boundaries of Dublin, yet are generally considered Dubliners because they reside within the school district. Approximately 57,000 people live within the school district. Dublin schools continually are rated as Excellent by the State Report Card.
Although its earliest settlements date back to 1802, the village became known as Dublin didn't take shape until the arrival of the Sells family of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. Brothers Peter and Benjamin Sells purchased 400 acres of land on the west bank of the Scioto River as a gift for their brother John.
In 1808, John Sells brought his family to the region. In 1809, John and Benjamin opened the Black Horse Tavern. The tavern was named for a horse that John Sells had purchased in Kentucky several years before.
After inspecting a number of locations along the river north of Franklinton, the Sells chose this location for several reasons. The river could safely be navigated up to this point before it became more difficult to navigate further north. There was also a natural landing there and the elevated cliffs behind the landing would protect both farms and buildings from future flooding (a recent flood a few years back had completely wiped out the new town of Franklinton).
The other advantage was the natural spring at the landing. This spring still exists today just below the Bridge Street bridge that crosses the Scioto. By 1810 John Sells had begun surveying for lots to create a new village along with his partner, an Irish gentleman named John Shields. According to historians, Shields is responsible for naming the town after his birthplace of Dublin, Ireland. Sells is also the name of a public Dublin City School, John Sells Middle School.
The Black Horse Tavern became a popular stop not only for locals and frontiersmen passing through the area, but also for Native Americans as they traveled an old trail that paralleled the Scioto River about where High Street is located. One of those Native Americans was an old Wyandotte Chief named Shateyaronyah, who the locals called Leather Lips because his spoken words were strong as leather. The old Chief became a regular, if not short lived fixture, at the tavern.
In June 1810, less than a year after the tavern opened, a small tribal council of 6 Wyandotte warriors arrived at the tavern late one evening looking for the old Chief. Benjamin Sells, not suspecting anything amiss, directed the group to the chief's camp located a few miles north on the other side of the river. The following morning when John Sells arrived at the Tavern, his brother mentioned the previous night's visitors. Perhaps having some knowledge of the political intrigue going on in the Wyandotte Nation, Sells decided to pay a visit to the old Chief's camp. When he arrived, he found the chief bound and seated along with the 6 warriors who were conducting a trial where the charge of witchcraft had been brought by the group against the chief. Despite repeated efforts to gain the freedom of the chief by Sells, the old Chief known as Leather Lips was executed later in the afternoon after being convicted of the charges brought against him. For a number of years after, the site of his execution and burial became an honored shrine.
In 1970, Dublin was still a small village with just under 700 residents. However, the construction of the Outerbelt (I-270) created a population boom, spearheaded by the acquisition of major corporate headquarters such as Ashland Inc and Wendy's International. In addition, the growth of the Muirfield Village Golf Club and its residential subdivision attracted a large number of affluent citizens to the rapidly growing suburb. Dublin was officially declared a city in 1987, after reaching a population of 5,000 residents.
Dublin features 1,000 acres of parks with 77 miles of scenic bike trails and 39 developed parks that include wooded natural areas and river frontage. Several Dublin parks are located along the Scioto River, including the two Dublin Kiwanis Riverway parks. The river is accessible at several points for small watercraft, and the nearby Griggs and O'Shaughnessy reservoirs allow motor boating and sailing. Several of Dublin's parks are home to a unique assortment of outdoor sculptures--part of the Art in Public Places collection, established by the Dublin Arts Council.
In 1989, the Council developed the program to enhance the quality of life for residents, and to establish a public art tour throughout the City to attract visitors. It has since become a nationally recognized program. The series includes a 12 ft. tall stone portrait of local legend, "Leatherlips" (the Wyandot Native American Chief known for the strength of his word); Field of Corn that features 109 adult sized cement ears of corn planted in neat roads; and a copper house that honors the region's native American culture.
Ballantrae Park is located at the entrance of its namesake subdivision. Sitting upon a 20' tall hillock, is a 15-foot bronze sculpture called “Dancing Hares”. An interactive play fountain is found at the base of the hill. It provides a fun oasis for swimsuit-clad kids during the warmer months.
Dublin's Irish Festival
Dublin's Irish Festival is the premiere festival in Central Ohio. Each year the festival becomes more elaborate. With multiple stages throughout Coffman Park offering live entertainment throughout the festival, the cost of the cover charge is well worth the price. Plenty of vendors provide food and drink, but the big draw is the entertainment that occurs on 6 stages strategically located throughout the park so that they don't interfere with other.
Irish dancers, an Irish Marketplace with gifts from the homeland, as well as numerous rides for the kids make for a great afternoon or evening in the park.
22nd Dublin Irish Festival: July 31, August 1, 2, 2009
at Coffman Park
Dublin Irish Festival Video:
Dublin's Historic District
In the 1880's Dublin was known as the roughest frontier town in the area with 5 saloons on the main street created a lively business at all hours of the day and night, 7 days a week. Racing buckboards and horses through the main street occupied many young men having had a few too many drinks. There were drunken brawls and cussing matches and rock fights in the streets with rival gangs from Worthington and Columbus.
In the 1920’s farming and quarrying were Dublin’s main economy. The steam thresher helped harvest as gangs of up to 40 men and boys separated wheat and helped each other get crops in. The first gas tractor was in Dublin by 1930.