Big Walnut Area
Historical Treasures

                 take a self-guided
   Auto Tour

When the early settlers came to Sunbury they followed Zane’s Trace then the well worn Indian trails through Ohio. Many were not wide enough for wagons and ran around obstacles Indians had not bothered to move. Moses Byxbe who brought the settlers to Berkshire Corners and eventually to Delaware knew the value of roads and sent Azariah Root to survey the route to what is now Granville on St. Rt. 37.

When moving to a new area, one asked the neighbors for the best place to shop, worship, find a doctor or sell your goods. Thus new folks tended to follow the same route. Delaware may have been closer than Columbus but the lack of bridge over the waterways led the early settlers east or south - not west.

Before road maps, an itinerarium was a listing of towns, the distance between them and little else to aid the traveler. To help people began adding geographic notes suggest as "cross two streams then turn at the red barn." While looking at a page of written instructions may be daunting, one would reach the right destination.

In 2003 for the Ohio Bicentennial a BWAHS team of Maxine Longshore, Joyce Hall, Janet MacKenzie and Polly Horn created an Auto Tour booklet to use as a guide to see some of the little known historic sites in the Big Walnut Community. The trip is based on using your eyes and your car odometer not a map or GPS. A vignette is provided for each site. More detailed information about the site may be found under Local History on this site.   Even lifelong residents were surprised to see things they had driven by for years. BWAHS is offering the booklets again for Sunbury’s Bicentennial

Buy your Tour Booklet in the Myers Inn Museum Gift Shop for $5 per vehicle. Allow a half day for the tour so you can see all of it.

Try not to turn the page until you have completed all instructions and read the vignette about each site. You may have driven by some of the neatest things and did not even know they were there.

After you finish the Auto Tour,  take your booklet to the Sunbury Fall Festival  between 3 and 6:00 on Sunday, October 16 and if you are one of the first twenty to complete the Auto Tour, the Town Crier, Roger Roberts, will tell you where to take your booklet for a surprise.


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