Ostrander and Scioto Township History

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Early settlers to Scioto Township did not have the convenience of the kitchen faucet.  They relied heavily on the natural water sources.

The earliest settlement is called the Boke's Creek Settlement.  A short time later, Fairview on Blue's Creek, and with the building of the railroad through the township, it is no surprise the location for the station at Ostrander was chosen where the railroad crosses Blue's Creek as water was needed.  The station at White Sulphur is strategically placed at the Scioto River.  Warrensburg's location on the Scioto River provided for basic water needs and commerce.


Citizens of the Village of Ostrander did not have to walk far to get water for cooking and bathing.  Wells were placed strategically throughout the village.  Many of these wells still exist today.

A network of cisterns were dug for ready-access to water in the case of fire.  The minutes of the council meetings reference a cistern near the Baptist Church.  Downspouts from the church would keep the cistern filled.  Until recently a cistern existed at the very west end of High Street when it was filled in for safety reasons.


From the Delaware Gazette or the Columbus Dispatch (source says both), April 17, 1923, we learn the following about Bokes Creek:  Columbus people who while at Magnetic Springs may have rowed on Bokes Creek or hiked along its banks, probably guessed that it took its rather rough-sounding name from some early pioneer who once lived along its course, but the fact is that the person after whom the little creek was named never lived in the vicinity and his body was interred when he died in Columbus and now lies in Green Lawn Cemetery.  His name was Arthur Bokes.  Who was Arthur Bokes and how did his name come to be given to the little stream that enters from the Scioto from the west nearly due west of Delaware?

A little story of the Sullivant family - the family of Lucas Sullivant who was the founder of Franklinton written by Joseph Sullivant carries the explanation.  Arthur Bokes was the son of a female slave that belonged to the Sullivant family when it was still living in Kentucky, his father being a white man.  As rarely happened in cases of this kind, the slave mother of this boy abandoned him in infancy aand he was cared for by the Sullivants, Mrs. Sullivant nursing him with her own baby.

He grew up into an intelligent and exceedingly valuable member of the household and finally served Lucas Sullivant on his surveying trips as a scout most satisfactorily.  He remained with the Sullivants to the end of his days and at death was buried in the Sullivant burying ground.

Lucas Sullivant surveyed much of the land west of the Scioto River here as far north as Delaware, and on one of his trips he came to the mouth of Bokes Creek and entering it with his canoe, camped for several days on its banks.  It was on this occasion that he gave to the stream the name of Arthur Bokes, whose services in the field had been of great value to his.

The area in the vicinity of present day Burnt Pond Road was a wetlands area.  A farmer irrigated this and after drying it was heavily covered with vegetation.  The vegetation was burned and hence the name; Burnt Pond Road.
This creek enters the township from the west and meanders southeast, passing Ostrander, and spilling into Mill Creek.  Old maps call it Little Mill Creek.  Today, we call it Blue's Creek.  The field notes of James Galloway Jr., a deputy surveyor for the Virginia Military District may shed light on the name; Blue's Creek.  They are taken from the History of Union County, 1883:

February 16-" Set out from home in company with David Blue, David Sroufe and Ephraim Myers."
February 20--"Crossed a creek where David Blue and the pack-horse he was riding fell in through the ice and got completely wet. Called the creek Blue's Creek."

Blue's Creek was instrumental in Ostrander's early development.   Mills operated on the north side of High Street on the east bank of the creek.  

This small creek is named for Stewart Smith who settled in the area about 1808.
The Scioto River runs north to south through Scioto Township.  The earliest settlers to Scioto Township settled near the river on the Scioto Trail beaten long ago by the Indians.  The river was the source of energy to fuel the mills of the time.  The river was used to float timber to Franklinton before the construction of damns.
This run ran in a southwesterly direction to the Scioto River.  It passed through the eastern peninsula of Scioto Township and no longer exists due to the quarry.  (43)
The bridge crossing Blue's Creek on Ostrander Road just south of the Village of Ostrander was called Slaughterhouse Bridge on account of the slaughterhouse that sat in this vicinity.

pumpplaquen2nd.jpg (672538 bytes)
Ostrander Pump on Loveless St Ostrander Pump
3rd and North St
Ostrander Pump
2nd and North St
Historical Plaque at Pump at 2nd and North St
Little Mill Creek Bridge 1.jpg (150266 bytes) Little Mill Creek Bridge 2.jpg (124586 bytes) SlaughterhouseBridge.gif (109083 bytes)
Stone Trestle
west of Ostrander
built 1870
Bridge on Little Mill Creek at Ostrander Bridge on Little Mill Creek at Ostrander Slaughterhouse Bridge
Christina Gabriel Johnson included notes with the pictures of the covered bridge indicating this bridge spanned Blue's Creek at Ostrander.  There are 3 crossings over Blue's Creek in Ostrander.  Which crossing was served by this covered bridge?