Amesville, Ohio (voted Best Small Town in Athens County: for the fourth straight year)
Amesville has been the home to many people. Slaves escaping the South walked through Amesville as part of the Underground Railroad. Its landmarks -- such as the Masonic Hall on Franklin Street -- are important to families living there, as well as visitors to the village. Other landmarks, such as the old Clover Farm Stores building, have been abandoned or torn down, but new landmarks and memories are taking their place.
Amesville is perhaps best known for the Coonskin Library. At an 1803 town meeting -- held to discuss roads -- settlers talked about their desire for books and their lack of money to pay for them. Most of the business was done by barter, so little money was in circulation. However, the surrounding forest had pelts that could be sold in the East to buy books. In the spring of 1804, Samuel B. Brown was given the pelts and, accompanied by Ephraim Cutler, went east to bring back books for the town. Fifty-one books -- mostly on religion, travel, biography and history -- were purchased for $73.50. These books were passed from home to home until Ephraim Cutler was elected librarian in 1804.
The original books can be found at the Ohio Historical Society, as well as Ohio University's Alden Library. A commemorative marker, placed by the Nabby Lee Ames D.A.R. Chapter of Athens in 1925, is located near the Community Bank on State Street. The Coonskin Library Museum opened in May of 1994 in the former cafeteria of the Amesville Grade School.
Amesville is a village in Athens County, Ohio. The community was named after Sylvanus Ames. The latitude of Amesville is 39.400N. The longitude is -81.955W. It is in the Eastern Standard time zone. Elevation is 633 feet. The estimated population, in 2003, was 190.
Amesville is located in the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau. Athens County extends west from the Ohio River, mostly centering around the lower Hocking River watershed. The underlying geology is mostly sandstone and shale, including "redbed" shale that presents a severe slip hazard when structures are built over it on hillsides. Most hillsides, though, are solid sandstone and present very little slip potential.
The plant habitat around Amesville is that of mixed hardwood forests. The dominant species are oak, hickory, maple, beech, poplar and various nut trees (walnut, butternut and others). The under story plants include dogwood, redbud, spice bush, paw paw, viburnums, mountain laurel and other small shrubs. The floor species contains hundreds of herbs and wild flowers: wild ginger, ferns, various mints, jack in the pulpit, trilliums, mayapple, trout lily and hundreds of other varieties. Numerous other fora include lichens, club mosses, liver worts and dozens of mushrooms prevalent in the fall each year.
We continue to seek Sister City status with the Village of Roadwater, Somerset, Enland. For more information check out their activities:
You can get a brochure on the planned shelter and history kiosk honoring Frank and Catherine Hare by clicking on the link below.
Check us out on Facebook (click image below).