Reynoldsburg, a traditional middle class small town, is located on the eastern edge of Franklin County.Ohio was still a wilderness when the first settlers arrived in the area now known as Reynoldsburg. There was plenty of wolves, panthers, beaver, great flocks of birds including ducks, geese, turkeys, woodpeckers. There was also plenty of snakes. In fact, many of the surviving reports from those early settlers all talk about the number of snakes; 1000s of snakes. There were also Native Americans, which provided uneasy encounters with the new settlers.
When the National Road neared Columbus in 1831, a young supplier to the builders of the road named James C. Reynolds, followed along from Zanesville. He provided food, tobacco, whiskey and clothing for the road crew. When he reached eastern Franklin County he realized his job at the supplying the road crew was probably at an end as the new road approached Columbus. One of the big land owners in the area was John French. Reynolds made arrangements with French to board with him. In the meantime, French had hired his own surveyor to layout plots of land that he began to sell.
Reynolds built a cabin and opened a store, and continued selling the same goods he had sold as a sutler to the road crew. This store became a gathering place for local residents where they came for supplies they couldn't provide themselves and to send and receive mail. While the area for a time was called Frenchtown after John French, the big landowner, but when the citizens met at an informal meeting, a vote was taken on what to call their new community. Since James Reynolds was a likeable enough fellow and one they all saw on a regular basis, they voted in favor of calling their community Reynolds Burg. In time, Reynolds Burg became Reynoldsburg.
As a stop on the National Road, Reynoldsburg developed a number of taverns and Inns that served travelers. Taverns were basically small hotels that also served alcoholic beverages. Taverns became places where locals could hear news from back east so they played an important role in a community's development.
The Reynoldsburg Tomato Connection
Reynoldsburg is most noted as the “Birthplace of the Tomato.” On his farm in Reynoldsburg, internationally recognized horticulturist Alexander W. Livingston was the first to develop the tomato for commercial use. He introduced the Paragon tomato in 1870 which became the first commercially grown tomato. These tomatoes were of similar size, large and more fleshy than any tomatoes that had been grown to date. They were ideal for commercial applications where consistency in the fruit was essential for mechanical food processing. Every September, in Civic Park, Reynoldsburg celebrates with a huge Tomato Festival sponsored by local citizens.
Heritage Center Museum
The Reynoldsburg Heritage Center Museum has a variety of memorabilia from the 1800s to present.
The Museum is Open the last Saturday of each Month from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. or by Appointment
1485 Jackson Street
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068