Knowing all the hottest spots and coolest restaurant in town is fantastic, but nothing makes you feel quite as in touch with a city as being able to tell neat stories about its past. Lucky for us, Columbus has a few quirky tales that are sure to keep your listeners engaged. Check them out!
1. Maudine Ormsby, the homecoming cow.
In 1926, Rosalind Morrison was elected by the student body as the Ohio State University's homecoming queen. However, there was a problem... Morrison received 12,000 votes, but only 10,000 people were allowed to vote. Morrison was not given the title due to suspicion of voter fraud. Instead, the crown went to her runner up: Maudine Ormsby, a holstein cow nominated by the College of Agriculture. Rosalind Morrison had a sense of humor about the whole ordeal, later joking that her epitaph should read, "But for Maudine, here lies the Queen."
2. The naming the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The National Hockey League awarded a franchise to Columbus on June 25, 1997. Shortly after, a city-wide contest was held to select a name for the new team. There were over 14,000 entries submitted! The name "Blue Jackets" refers to the fact that Columbus produced thousands of blue uniforms for the Union troops during the Civil War, and also provided more Union soldiers than any other state.
3. A hidden speakeasy passage?
Long's Bookstore on campus has been closed for a while and it was recently demolished; however, Long’s had one more surprise for us before it faded into memory. During excavation of the site, a century-old arched doorway leading to a space beneath High Street was discovered. While the former owner doubts the door led to anything more than a basement storage room, others have more exciting speculations. The long time legend of a tunnel leading from Long’s to a speakeasy across the street at Sullivan Hall finally seems to have gained some evidence!
4. Franklinton: the original Columbus.
Ohio was awarded statehood in 1803, at a time when Columbus did not yet exist. The capital at the time was Chillicothe, then briefly Zanesville. It was decided that the new capital must lie within 40 miles of the state's geographical center and Franklinton already existed on the west bank of the Scioto River. In 1812, four businessmen from Franklinton decided to offer 20 free acres of land on the east side of the Scioto River as land for the new capital, and thus Columbus was born. The city was incorporated in 1816 and Franklinton became part of Columbus in 1870.
5. The two-headed calf.
In 1941 a two-headed calf was born in Brookville, OH. Though the calf only lived a short life due to the genetic deformity, it was taxidermied and mounted for display at the Ohio Historical Center.
In 1994, artist Michael Cochran created the "Field or Corn" or, as it is unofficially called, Cornhenge. There are 109 statues of ears of corn, each 6-foot, 3-inches tall, standing in diagonal lines in a field off the highway. The installation honors Ohio's agricultural past, especially Sam Frantz, who was an inventor of hybrid corns.
You can visit the Field of Corn at 4995 Rings Rd., Dublin, OH 43017.
Do you know any other weird stories about Columbus and it’s history? We’d love to hear them!
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