Monday, October 6, 2014

Postcards of Local Places of Interest

Since October is American Archives Month, its a good time to emphasize that archives typically contain a wealth of interesting materials, and not just sheets of paper with writing on them.  Here in the Records & Archives Department we have items ranging from a photograph of a grand jury which indicted a murderer in 1956, to bricks from the Licking County Children's Home, to early-1800's court documents.

Another interesting collection in our Department is a set of 20th-Century postcards, which show scenes in Licking County and nearby.  Sadly, the pleasure of sending and receiving postcards seems to be dying out nowadays.  In decades past one could find a wide variety of postcards for sale at small-town drug stores and restaurants.  Postcards showed scenes of natural beauty or historical significance, and other places that were sources of pride or nostalgia in the community, such as streets, schools, churches, hospitals and businesses.  Following are a few examples from our  collection.

The current Licking County Courthouse, shown left, was built between 1876 and 1880.  It was designed by architect Henry E. Myer in the Second Empire style, which originated in France.  In addition to courtrooms and county government offices, the Courthouse provided space for public meeting rooms and a library over the years.  Currently it is the home of the Licking County Common Pleas, Probate and Juvenile Courts.

The Mohawk Dam, shown right, is not in Licking County, but it is close by, near Nellie, Ohio.  It was built in 1935-7 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to control flooding along the Walhonding River.  It is known as a dry dam, since it does not have a large pool of water associated with it, except in times of flooding.

Moundbuilders State Park is the site of a large network of earthworks, which were built ca. 250-500 AD by the Hopewell People.  Archaeologists believe the these mounds were used for ceremonies and astronomical observations.  Located between what are now the cities of Heath and Newark, the park was also the site of fair grounds and an amusement park in the 19th and early-20th centuries.

Although it is not as easy to find new postcards for sale as it once was, you can still find many interesting older postcards in archives, museums and private collections.  If you are interested in seeing our postcards, please contact us at tel. 740-670-5121.