Home. Grown. History.

Troy celebrates 200 years

by Janell Ward

Photo: A group of friends spends time in Troy in 1888; photo: Troy Historical Society


On Feb. 7, 1814, the State of Ohio officially made Troy a town. For the past eight months, Troy has been celebrating its 200-year anniversary through concerts and historical tours. On Sept. 20, the city of Troy will see the culmination of 200 days of its bicentennial celebration, beginning with a parade that will be fun for the entire family.

“There will be five high school bands, antique cars, a horse drawn antique hearse, antique bicycles, horses, service clubs, fire trucks, the corvette club of Troy, antique Troy Trailer and lots more,” Doug Tremblay, a member of the City Council, said. The bicentennial committee is still seeking entries for the parade.

After the parade, you must head over to Hobart Arena, where you can see a fantastic show from the Cincinnati Circus. There will be stilt walkers, trapeze artists, wire acts, clowns, jugglers and much more. If you are already at the circus, stay put; you do not want to miss the laser light show at Hobart Arena. The laser show will be displayed by Audio Visual Imagineering (AVI). AVI is renowned for their laser light shows, which have entertained thousands at global science centers, Disney World and even at the United States Presidential Committee.

To celebrate the history of Troy, intriguing stories and fun facts have also been shared on a segment called “The Bicentennial Minute,” featured on the Troy Public Broadcasting TV5.

Troy has a fascinating history; what began as a small town with only 150 inhabitants is now the home of over 25,000 people. Military families, including Revolutionary War soldiers, were among the first settlers in Troy, arriving in the late 1700s. Judy Deeter, the president of the Troy Historical Society, gave her insight on the people who first settled in Troy from the Eastern states.

“At that time, people lived off the land,” Deeter said. “They raised their own food and fended for themselves. It was a scary time for those moving west; everything they had they were required to create. They built their own homes and weaved fabric for their own clothing.”

Today, you can see the pioneers’ works at the Brukner Nature Center, which offers a tour of a renovated log house owned by the Iddings in 1804. The Museum of Troy History also leads tours, including a visit to the Underground Railroad at the Trinity Episcopal Church, built in 1833. According to “Troy, the Nineteenth Century” by Thomas Bemis Wheeler, the name “Troy” allegedly originated from the city of Troy found in Homer’s “Iliad.” Asa Coleman, a man well acquainted with the townspeople in the early 19th century, said, “If a pioneer had brought but one book with him, it was the Bible … the second was ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ and … the third was the ‘Iliad.’”

If you get the chance to visit Troy, you do not want to miss the beautiful Georgian Revival architecture on the Court House, which opened in 1888.

The oldest building in Troy is the Overfield Tavern. This 206-year-old tavern was owned by Benjamin Overfield, and it served as the second court house for Miami County. It also functioned as a place where locals could enjoy fun conversation, comfortable lodging and good food and drink. Today, this historical landmark serves as a museum of the old frontier, and it is open for tours. Visitors can experience life as it was 200 years ago. There is a collection of crafts and materials early settlers would have brought with them. It also holds 19th century furniture and unusual domestic items.

Among the downtown cafes, bars and restaurants sit several buildings that were used during the Civil War as housing and training centers for the military. Mayo Hall was originally an entertainment and fundraising center for the soldiers; today it is an antique store. Allen’s Hall, now known as the Coleman-Allen-Saidleman building is one of the only places left in Ohio that was once a Civil War recruitment center. The Morris House, next to City Hall, served as a hotel for soldiers before Camp Todd was completed. Today, Morris House is an apartment complex for senior citizens.

And the legacy of Troy is not limited to the city’s boundaries. A few globally recognized companies began their commerce here. The oldest company in Troy is the Hobart Corporation, started in 1894 by C.C. Hobart. Hobart also founded the Hobart Brothers Company, which began in 1917. Both of these companies are now owned by Illinois Tool Works. Additionally, Goodrich, which makes brakes for space shuttles, has been around since 1946. Goodrich is now owned by United Technologies Corporation.

The city of Troy invites you to join in the festivities, as they celebrate 200 years of homegrown history and innovation.

The Troy Bicentennial Celebration will begin with a parade at 4:30 p.m., starting at the intersection of South and West Market Streets and ending at the intersection of West Main Street and Monroe Street. The circus will begin at 7:30 p.m. and the laser show will start at 9 p.m. at Hobart Arena, located at 255 Adams St. For more information, please call 937.335.1725 or visit troyohio.gov/397/Troy-Bicentennial.


Reach DCP freelance writer Janell Ward at JanellWard@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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