Ohio Humanities has put together a series of trails highlighting points of interest to illustrate topics such as Historic Farms and Civil War Presidents. These curated trails offer opportunities to sample national history locally made.

Historic Farm Trail

For hours of operation and admission fees, click on the individual sites’ visitor information.

Ohio has a rich history as an agricultural state. The massive mounds and earthworks that dot southern Ohio reveal cultivation by the Adena and Hopewell peoples as early as 1000 AD. Native tribes including the Seneca, Ottawa, Shawnee, and Delaware farmed corn, beans, fruit trees and more for hundreds of years along Ohio’s fertile rivers. After the Treaty of Paris left most of the Midwest in American hands in 1783, farmers flocked from New England to establish landholdings in Ohio. The fertile land and convenient waterways attracted waves of settlement from neighboring states like Kentucky and Virginia and from as far as Europe throughout the nineteenth century. Agriculture was vital to the region’s economy, and most Ohioans grew up growing or raising at least a portion of their own food until the early twentieth century. Although farming was a common occupation, actual farming practices often varied widely depending upon the farm family’s national origin and the farm’s location in Ohio. As an environmentally diverse state, Ohio has a rich variety of farms along waterways, in reclaimed swampland, on hilly terrain and flat grassland.

Many historic farms have been preserved and can be visited to catch a glimpse of daily chores, handcrafted tools and furnishings, and the cultural heritage communicated there. These historic sites range from small family farms managed by recent immigrants, like the Schumaker Homestead, to sprawling estates owned by wealthy Ohioans like Adena Mansion and Malabar Farm. Many of these sites offer living history experiences that invite visitors to try their hand at various farm tasks including caring for livestock and grinding corn. The Historic Farm Trail includes sites from across the state, which can be visited in any order. Every region of Ohio still maintains a farming community and these historic sites connect Ohio’s past to its current agricultural sector. Each farm offers a different perspective on an Ohio life tied to the soil.

Rebekah Brown