“Father of Ohio Statehood” describes Thomas Worthington, original owner of Adena Mansion near Chillicothe, Ohio. Before visiting the Mansion, an interesting tour of the Education Center there provides background information.
A short film, “Debate for Statehood” at the Adena Mansion and Gardens Education Center, describes the battle for Ohio becoming a state starting back in 1801. Many of the discussions for and against statehood were held at Gregg’s Tavern, which has been reproduced here. The tavern provided food, drinks, entertainment and a place to sleep. This is where people heard all the news from travelers and locals, and even read the newspaper.
Protests were held at Gregg’s Tavern to oppose Northwest Territory Governor Arthur St Clair’s proposition to divide the land, which we presently know as Ohio, by an entirely different plan than originally proposed by the Northwest Ordinance. Opposition, led by Thomas Worthington, was so strong in the Chillicothe area that St Clair was burned in effigy outside Gregg’s Tavern on Christmas Eve. Eventually St Clair’s plan was not accepted and in 1803, Ohio became the 17th state with its capital located in Chillicothe.
A tomahawk ceremonial pipe belonging to Tecumseh, Shawnee Indian Chief, is featured in The Tomahawk Room. When Tecumseh visited Thomas Worthington at Adena in 1807, he found that Worthington was a man of peace and said he would never raise his tomahawk toward him. He presented the ceremonial pipe to Worthington for his efforts to bring peace between whites and Indians. Blue Jacket, warchief for the Shawnees, and Tecumseh were frequent guests at the Worthington home. Mrs. Worthington was actually afraid of the Indians and often stayed in a different area of the house when they arrived. Even though the Indians were friendly, they always slept outside.
Another area of the Education Center replicated the Dry Goods Store of that era. Merchandise here was usually paid for either by trading another item or put on credit. There was a ledger on the counter to track the credit purchases. At this time people were lucky if they received fifty cents a day in pay, so prices of goods were considerably lower also. For example, a chicken cost about six cents, while you could get a barrel of flour for four dollars. The Dry Goods Store was also the post office where you paid twelve and a half cents to pick up a letter.
Before leaving the center to tour the Adena Mansion, had to stop and play a video game…which definitely wasn’t around then. An interesting game, River Trader, let you load your boat with products of your choice and transport them to a final destination. There were problems and choices along the way as you might get stuck on a sandbar or have your produce spoil. But at the end of the journey, you were given a profit for your trip. Made $6,381 profit on my first trip and became a Great Trader. The caption said: You should run for County Commissioner. What fun!
Stop by to learn more about early Ohio history as well as the influence of Thomas Worthington, one of the founding fathers and first United States Senator from Ohio. See how early pioneer families lived, worked, and played.
Adena Mansion and Gardens Education Center is located Northwest of Chillicothe, Ohio just off State Route 35. Directions are well posted to the Adena State Memorial, which includes the Mansion and Gardens. Admission is reasonable but you need to check their schedule for hours opened.