What is the capital of Ohio?

View of downtown Columbus Ohio Skyline at Sunset
View of downtown Columbus Ohio Skyline at Sunset

Ohio is a state centered in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is the 34th largest city in the country and is known as a cosmopolitan experience for travelers seeking an escape to nature or small towns. Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton offer many of the state’s cultural attractions. 

The capital of Ohio is Columbus, a city that was chosen as the permanent capital in 1816. The city of Columbus was selected as the capital because it was deemed close to the state’s geographical center.

In this article, we will discuss what the capital of Ohio is. So keep reading! We have everything you need to know about the capital of Ohio.

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Where Is The Capital Of Ohio Located?

Where Is The Capital Of Ohio Located
Where Is The Capital Of Ohio Located

The capital of Ohio is Columbus, located in the middle of the state, where the Olentangy and Scioto rivers meet. It’s situated on the flat Ohio plains in the central part of the state. Its area comprises the Fairfield, Franklin, and Delaware counties and is the seat of Franklin county.

Columbus city’s slogan is ‘the heart of it all, a reference to forty-eight percent of the United States population living within 500 miles of the town. Columbus is known for its love of sports and great universities.

A Brief History of Columbus, Ohio

The skyline of downtown Columbus, Ohio along the Scioto River
The skyline of downtown Columbus, Ohio along the Scioto River

The history of the Columbus area dates back thousands of years and was a center for a group of cultures we now call the mound builders, made up of the Hopewell Adena and Fort Ancient peoples. 

The remains of these peoples include multiple burial mounds, often containing artifacts and human remains. Most of central Ohio’s mounds are located around the city of Columbus, with the Shrum Mound being looked after by the local government and is now a historic site and public park.

The Native Americans set up settlements after the mound peoples had moved on, living on the banks of the Scioto river. The Virginia Military District officially became a part of Ohio Country as a territory of Virginia after the American Revolution. When the Colonists from the East arrived, they were met with resistance by the Delaware, Miami, Shawnee, and Mingo nations. 

But after the battle of Fallen Timbers that resulted in the treaty of Greenville in 1795, new settlements were popping up in the Ohio area. By 1797, a young man from Virginia named Lucas Sullivant founded a small town on the western banks of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers.

The city of Columbus was founded in 1812, centered on the Scioto and Olentangy rivers, and was laid out in preparation for becoming the state’s capital. The city was named in honor of the Italian-born explorer Christopher Columbus.

It was chosen after a group of surveyors found a suitable spot amongst the shrubs and forests that filled the high side of the Scioto river. Originally the city was to be named Ohio City, but after a discussion in a tavern in Franklin, Joseph Foos, a militia leader, convinced fellow legislators to name the town in honor of Christopher Columbus.

Columbus was officially named the state of Ohio’s capital in 1816, and eight years later, it was named the county seat. By the 1860s, as the civil war broke out, Columbus became an army town, with 1000s of soldiers coming here for training.

Over the next 100 years, floods, recessions, and industrialization shaped the city’s growth. In the 1950s, a boom had started that led Columbus to become the largest city in Ohio both by land and population by the 1990s.

When Did Columbus Become the Capital of Ohio?

Beautiful Hayden Run Falls splashes down a rocky cliff in Columbus, Ohio
Beautiful Hayden Run Falls splashes down a rocky cliff in Columbus, Ohio

Ohio legally joined the United States on February 19, 1803, and became the 17th state to do so; Ohio’s statehood is celebrated on March 1. In the early years, Chillicothe was Ohio’s original capital until 1810, before it was briefly moved to Zanesville.

Zanesville only remained the capital of Ohio for two years before it was moved back to Chillicothe. By 1816, however, it was announced that Columbus was to become the permanent capital of the state of Ohio.

Why Is Columbus The Capital of Ohio?

Skyline of Columbus, Ohio from Bicentennial Park bridge at Night
Skyline of Columbus, Ohio from Bicentennial Park bridge at Night

After officially becoming a state in 1803, Ohio was under stress from internal political fighting between some of its leaders. This led to the state capital being moved from Chillicothe to Zanesville for two years.

The leaders were not satisfied with the positioning of the capital and started conjuring up ideas as to where would be the most beneficial location. Dublin, Delaware, Franklinton, and Worthington were all considered possible locations before the leaders decided that a new city in the state’s center would be the best option.

This led to Franklinton landowners donating two ten-acre plots in an attempt to move the new capital there. On this donated land, we find the modern Capitol Square and the Ohio Penitentiary. By February 1812, the city of Columbus was founded on the high banks that look across to Franklinton, nestled perfectly near major transportation routes and rivers. 

Best Places To Visit in Columbus

The city of Columbus has plenty to offer both tourists and people who are searching for a city to relocate to. Here are the five best places to visit in Columbus.

  1. Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: If you have an interest in exotic plants and special nature exhibitions, then the Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are not to be missed
  2. Easton Town Center: The trendy neighborhood of Easton is a sight to be seen. Its contemporary architectural buildings are full of shops and restaurants that are not to be missed by tourists.
  3. C.O.S.I: The Center of Science and Industry is one of the best science museums in the country and has been voted number 1 on multiple occasions. If you’re someone with love for science, this is a must.
  4. Scioto Mile: If you’d like to stroll along the iconic Scioto river, a path runs parallel to it. Along this path, you’ll enjoy an urban green area where you’ll find the Bicentennial park, restaurants, and a splash pad for kids.
  5. Ohio Theater: If you want to enjoy a night out in the city, then the Ohio Theater is a great option. Broadway shows are performed in this historical theater year-round, and you’ll find one you like.

See Also

Capital Cities 

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!