Sesquicentennial - 1953

Worthington's Sesquicentennial was celebrated October 5-11, 1953. Each day of the week was dedicated to a particular theme: Monday - Armed Services Day; Tuesday - Clubs' Day; Wednesday - Fraternal Orders Day; Thursday - Schools' Day; Friday - Business Day; Saturday - Good Neighbors' Day; and Sunday - Home Coming Day.

One of the main events of the Sesquicentennial was a pageant, "The Whetstone Venture", written and directed by Frank Corbin and performed by members of the community. Take a step back in time and see how Worthington celebrated its 150th birthday...

  • A parade was held Sunday, October 4, 1953 in honor of Worthington's sesquicentennial. The City's week long celebration officially began the next day and continued through the following Sunday, October 11, 1953. High school bands, antique cars, people on horseback as well as horse drawn carriages proceeded through Worthington and Colonial Hills.
  • A banner was hung over High Street at the south end of the Village Green, advertising Worthington's Sesquicetennial celebration.
  • This photograph shows opening ceremonies held on the southwest quadrant of the Village Green October 10, 1953.
  • Harold Stimmel, Harry Zimmerman, Vance Smith, George Wing, Paul Carruthers and Richard Morgan are pictured during the Worthington Sesquicentennial celebration. The first day of the week long celebration was Armed Services Day. Richard Morgan was a veteran of World War I. Harry Zimmerman served in the Navy during World War II. Vance Smith served as Chairman of the Worthington Sesquicentennial Executive Committee. Paul Carruthers served on the Executive, Finance and Special Events Committes. George Wing served as Mayor of Worthington 1945-1955 and served on the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Recreation Advisory Committee and the Sharon Township Board of Trustees.
  • This is the Sesquicentennial information booth. It was staffed by community volunteers and located on the southwest quadrant of the Village Green.
  • Local buisnesses supported Worthington's sesquicentennial celebration in 1953 with window displays. Mahlon Maxton Chevrolet displayed a 1915 Chevy in its store front at 654 High Street. Graeter's Ice Cream currently occupies that address.
  • This brochure contains historical information about the various institutions in the city of Worthington. Published for Worthington's Sesquicentennial in 1953, it contains descriptions of buildings no longer extant, such as the Griswold Inn and the Worthington Female Seminary. It also mentions basic facts about the founding of the city, education, and the Worthington Library. Also contained in the brochure are celebration events, such as a re-enactment pageant, and various tours of the old buildings. Contributors to the brochure, and members of the committee are listed at the back, as well as pictures of the various buildings throughout.
  • Antique fire trucks were displayed during Worthington's Sesquicentennial celebration in October 1953. The fire trucks wer shown in front of Snouffer Motor Sales, on the west side of High Street just south of New England Avenue. La Chatelaine currently occupies that location.
  • Vance Smith (b. 1892, d. 1965), Chairman of the Worthington Sesquicentennial Executive Committee, is pictured with committee member Mahlon Maxton (b. 1921, d. 1967). They are posing for the photograph with the special license plate commemorative for the Worthington Sesquicentennial celebrated in 1953. Vance Smith had a 44 year long career in schools, having served at one time as Worthington Schools superintendent, as church school superintendent for Worthington Presbyterian Church and as principal of Indianola Junior High School. Mahlon Maxton was owner of Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington. He was a veteran of World War II and active member of many organizations including (Ohio) Lodge F&AM, Worthington Shrine Club, Leasure-Blackston Post 239 among others.
  • This is a ticket to "The Whetstone Venture", a historical pageant produced for the Worthington Sesquicentennial celebration of 1953. The pageant, produced by the Worthington Players was written and directed by Frank Corbin, local historian. Worthington residents were used for the cast and production committees. Performances were held on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday nights the week of October 5-11, 1953. Tickets were $1.00.
  • Harry Huntley drives a horse drawn wagon for "The Whetstone Venture". Warren Insley sits beside him. The pageant took place in Hartford Park, located at Hartford and Stafford Streets.
  • Delbert Oberteuffer and Leroy Johnson were narrators for "The Whetstone Venture". The presentation utilized narration interwoven with choral speech and song.
  • Children peer out of a covered wagon with oxen team during "The Whetstone Venture".
  • Cast members of "The Whetstone Venture" are depicted here, identified as June James, Kathryn Green, Clarence James, John Young and Abner Pinney.
  • Cast members of Worthington's Sesquicentennial pageant, "The Whetstone Venture" are pictured here. Albert Proudley, left, played Ezre Griswold and Gary Wing was drummer.
  • Three cast members of Worthington's Sesquicentennial pageant, "The Whetstone Venture" are pictured here. Left to right are Helen Snouffer, Mary Virginia Harding and Ruth Evans Harding.
  • Two cast members of "The Whetstone Venture" Gayle and Albert Proudley, are pictured here. Albert played the role of pioneer Ezra Griswold.
  • Pictured here in costume are Dorothy Hoxworth Harding, Charles E. Cummins and Mrs. Buller.
  • "The Whetstone Venture" was performed at Hartford Park at the corner of Hartford and East Stafford. The building on the set represents Town Hall. Two makeup tents stand behind the set. The white building in the rear is the Old Rectory, which was located at 799 Hartford Street from 1924 - 1978.
  • This view shows the west side of the field where "The Whetstone Venture" was performed. The Griswold Inn is visible in the rear. The field is now called Hartford Park, and the Griswold Inn site is now occupied by the Huntington Bank and the Worthington Public Library.
  • Cast member Marie Pingree Moore Harrison is pictured in costume at the performance site.
  • Dorothy Hoxworth Harding and Dr. Charles Weaver Harding are pictured here in full costume for a performance of "The Whetstone Venture".
  • Cast members Gary Wing and George W. Wing Sr. are pictured here in costume with drums ready for a performance of "The Whetstone Vetnure".
  • Madeleine Wing is pictured here in costume.
  • Cast members Clara Dornbirer Owens and Bill Owens Jr. are pictured here.
  • Historic objects were displayed in the window of Worthington Hardware during the City's Sesquicentennial celebration in 1953. Worthington Hardware was located at 661 High Street, which is currently occupied by Zettler Hardware.