The Way We Were

With 30 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s no secret that Worthington values preserving its past. But though the community holds history in high regard, change is inevitable, and over the decades many of its well-known buildings and businesses moved or closed. Visit our June exhibit to explore these iconic places from Worthington’s past.

For decades, several Worthington businesses were a familiar presence in the city’s downtown. These included the Griswold Inn, which was built by Ezra Griswold in 1811 and hosted countless visitors until it closed in 1964. Worthington’s residents bought their groceries from the Home Market from 1930 through 1986. For hammers and nails, locals needed look no farther than the Worthington Hardware store, which opened in 1890 and operated under various owners until its closing in 2014. A few blocks from downtown, the Worthington Foods plant at 900 Proprietors Road produced meat-analogue foods, such as Choplets, that were sold throughout the country.

In some cases, buildings and organizations didn’t close, they simply switched locations. The Old Rectory created quite a stir when it was moved from 799 Hartford Street to 50 East New England Avenue; over 200 residents stood outside in the middle of the night to watch the event. Another building that took a short trip was the “Bird Song” cottage, which journeyed from 558 High Street to 38 Short Street. From 1970 to 2002, the Worthington Police Department operated out of the Safety Building on Highland Avenue before moving to its current location on Worthington Galena Road.

Before leaving this month’s exhibit, take a moment to ponder a few views of Worthington from bygone days. From a bucolic 1912 vista of West Dublin Granville Road to a 1974 aerial shot of the I-270 and Route 23 interchange, it’s clear that much has changed about the city. One constant, though, has been the dedication of its residents and organizations to preserving these mementos of the past.