Friday, August 19, 2016

Rare Opportunity to Tour Historic Buildings

On September 10, four interesting old buildings in downtown Newark will be open for free public tours:  the County Courthouse, former Pennsylvania Railroad Station, Fifth Street Gymnasium and Historic Jail.  Take advantage of this special opportunity to see these buildings, which are not normally so accessible.  Details about the tours are below, following the descriptions of each building.

Construction of the County Courthouse was completed in 1878.  Trials of many infamous criminals
have occurred there, and the west courtroom contains beautiful, impressive works of art.  The Courthouse is still the scene of Common Pleas trials and Juvenile/Probate hearings.  It is located on
the Newark city square.
Andrew Jackson and other decorative work in the
West Courtroom of the Licking County Courthouse

An office in the County
Courthouse, ca. 1925

The building which was formerly the Pennsylvania Railroad Station is now the home of the Thomas J. Evans Foundation.  It was built in 1876, and is where untold numbers of people embarked and arrived in Newark on trains, well into the 20th Century.  U.S. presidents and presidential candidates gave public speeches there.  The address of the building is 25 Walnut St.
Once the Pennsylvania Railroad Station

Newark High School had its Gymnasium at 9 N. Fifth Street from 1926 to 1961.  It was the home of the 1936, 1938 and 1943 state-championship-winning boys' basketball teams.  The Gym was dedicated to the memory of a 1913 NHS graduate who became a hero and died in World War I.  It is now used by the Granville Christian Academy for games, athletic practices and meetings.

The 1943 NHS boys' basketball starters and coach

Fifth Street Gymnasium--scene of many NHS basketball
games, and now used by the Granville Christian Academy

The Historic Jail was built in 1889, and it served as the Licking County Jail until 1987.  It was considered a state-of-the-art facility during its early decades.   In addition to cells for inmates, it included the living quarters for the sheriff and his family.  In 1910 it was assaulted by a mob which dragged Deputy Carl Etherington from his cell and lynched him nearby.  The Historic Jail is at 46 S. 3rd Street.
The Licking County Jail, from 1889-1987
Admission to all of these buildings will be free.  The event is part of the Ohio Open Doors program of the Ohio History Connection in Columbus, which is encouraging historic sites to open for free in September.  Following is the schedule for when the downtown Newark buildings will be open on the 10th:

County Courthouse............................Noon to 2:00 PM
Pennsylvania Railroad Station.......1:00 to 3:00 PM
Fifth Street Gymnasium...................2:00 to 4:00 PM
Historic Jail.........................................3:00 to 5:00 PM

This staggered schedule will allow you to visit each building that day.  All of the buildings are in walking distance from each other.  Maps and directions will be provided at the sites.

Please register with Sophia McGuire to attend this event, at tel. 740-670-5122, or email us at