West Liberty History
West Liberty's Origins
Established in 1817, the historic village of West Liberty is located within an hours' drive of Columbus, Lima, and Dayton, Ohio. The village is positioned midway between Bellefontaine and Urbana, on U.S. Route 68, in the heart of the "Simon Kenton Corridor."
The scenic, peaceful setting offers a blend of both the present and those cherished days gone by. Ancient caverns and castles, zip lining, downhill skiing, horseback riding, camping, canoeing, and fishing in one of Ohio's few freshwater trout streams, are all located just minutes away.
West Liberty and the neighboring landscape are rich in Native American history. The Shawnee Indians once had a number of settlements along the Mad River and called them Mac-A-Cheek towns.
West Liberty itself originated with the establishment of a gristmill on the Mad River in 1816. Pioneers from many miles around visited and soon a store arose just north of the mill. This store expanded to also house a hotel and town post office. in 1817, West Liberty was founded as a village and in 1834, was incorporated.
On Thursday, May 13, 1880, most of the downtown business district you see today was lost to what will long be remembered as the "Day of the Fire." The blaze began in the stable of Mrs. Lyman Cook and soon spread to the main part of the town. Each May, the village marks the occurrence with a village-wide garage and sidewalk sale, known as "The Annual Fire Sale."
Submit a History Story!
We love West Liberty History, and we love sharing it with the community! If you have a West Liberty history story you'd like to share with the Historical Society and the community, please submit it below!