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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

As the 20th century dawned, Columbus, Ohio, was on the brink of an exciting era of transformation. This period was rich with industrial growth, demographic shifts, and groundbreaking urban planning that would redefine Columbus as a modern urban hub, mirroring the larger American narrative of industrialization, societal shifts, and technological progress.

Industrial Growth and Economic Diversification

The city’s industrial scene was booming, moving beyond its established manufacturing roots into a more diversified economy. Retail, services, and the government sector began to take on more significant roles, with state government acting as a steady anchor for economic stability and growth. Not to be overlooked, The Ohio State University emerged as a key player, enriching Columbus’s economic and educational landscape with its focus on research and development.

Urban Infrastructure and City Planning

Urban planning took a visionary turn in the early 1900s, with Columbus embarking on ambitious projects to support its burgeoning population and economic expansion. The development of streetcar suburbs marked a new chapter in residential growth, fostering unique neighborhood identities. Infrastructure enhancements were crucial, from expanding the streetcar network and public utilities to developing roads and tackling flood control and water supply with the Scioto River dams and reservoir system—a testament to the era’s engineering prowess.

Education and Cultural Development

Education and culture were cornerstone elements of Columbus’s 20th-century identity. The Ohio State University’s expansion played a significant role in fostering a culture of innovation and academic excellence. Public education saw a boom, with new schools and programs meeting the needs of an expanding population. Cultural institutions like museums, libraries, and theaters further cemented Columbus’s status as a cultural beacon in Ohio.

#1 Aerial view of downtown Columbus from a balloon at an elevation of 2000 feet, 1909.

Aerial view of downtown Columbus from a balloon at an elevation of 2000 feet, 1909.

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#2 Ohio State University’s Armory and Gymnasium, built 1898, French Feudal architectural style, 1906.

Ohio State University's Armory and Gymnasium, built 1898, French Feudal architectural style, 1906.

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#3 Camp Chase Streetcar No. 632 at Camp Chase Post Office, 2800 W. Broad St., 1905.

Camp Chase Streetcar No. 632 at Camp Chase Post Office, 2800 W. Broad St., 1905.

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#4 Central Presbyterian Church, constructed 1857-1860, also known as Second Presbyterian Church, 1909.

Central Presbyterian Church, constructed 1857-1860, also known as Second Presbyterian Church, 1909.

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#5 Glass negative of a group at Olentangy Park picnic grounds, May 11, 1907.

Glass negative of a group at Olentangy Park picnic grounds, May 11, 1907.

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#6 Adrian L. Wallick’s home, Shalimar, constructed in 1909.

Adrian L. Wallick's home, Shalimar, constructed in 1909.

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#7 Aerial view from the Great Southern Hotel, looking northeast onto downtown Columbus, 1901.

Aerial view from the Great Southern Hotel, looking northeast onto downtown Columbus, 1901.

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#8 Agricultural Building on the Ohio State Fairgrounds, 1908.

Agricultural Building on the Ohio State Fairgrounds, 1908.

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#9 Alfred Kelley’s mansion, later the Governor’s Mansion, 1909.

Alfred Kelley's mansion, later the Governor's Mansion, 1909.

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#10 Allen G. Thurman’s residence, built around 1885, Queen Anne Style, circa 1901.

Allen G. Thurman's residence, built around 1885, Queen Anne Style, circa 1901.

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#11 Arlington Country Club, also known as Arlington Golf and Riding Club, later Aladdin Country Club, 1901

Arlington Country Club, also known as Arlington Golf and Riding Club, later Aladdin Country Club, 1901

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#12 Front view of the Columbus Museum of Art at 480 East Broad Street, 1900s

Front view of the Columbus Museum of Art at 480 East Broad Street, 1900s

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#13 Biological Hall at The Ohio State University, designed by Yost & Packard, built in 1898, demolished in 1924, circa 1900.

Biological Hall at The Ohio State University, designed by Yost & Packard, built in 1898, demolished in 1924, circa 1900.

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#14 Birdseye view north along north High St., featuring the famous arches, 1900s

Birdseye view north along north High St., featuring the famous arches, 1900s

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#15 Page Hall, old College of Business at Ohio State University, now houses John Glenn School of Public Affairs, built in 1903, renovated in 2004, 1903.

Page Hall, old College of Business at Ohio State University, now houses John Glenn School of Public Affairs, built in 1903, renovated in 2004, 1903.

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#16 Central Market looking north-northwest at Rich and 4th Streets, 1901

Central Market looking north-northwest at Rich and 4th Streets, 1901

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#17 Charles H. Hayden house, Secretary and Treasurer of P. Hayden Saddlery Hardware Company, built by Dr. Francis Carter in 1842, later Knights of Columbus, no longer stands, 1909

Charles H. Hayden house, Secretary and Treasurer of P. Hayden Saddlery Hardware Company, built by Dr. Francis Carter in 1842, later Knights of Columbus, no longer stands, 1909

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#18 Chittenden Hotel at North High and West Spring streets, opened in 1895, closed March 15, 1972, razed February 1973, 1900.

Chittenden Hotel at North High and West Spring streets, opened in 1895, closed March 15, 1972, razed February 1973, 1900.

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#19 Broad Street Baptist Church building, cornerstone laid June 1, 1898, rebuilt and rededicated October 17, 1926, 175th anniversary in 1999, Circa 1900s

Broad Street Baptist Church building, cornerstone laid June 1, 1898, rebuilt and rededicated October 17, 1926, 175th anniversary in 1999, Circa 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#20 Storefronts of Borofsky Tailoring and L.J. Seff Jewelers at 256 East Main Street, 1909.

Storefronts of Borofsky Tailoring and L.J. Seff Jewelers at 256 East Main Street, 1909.

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#21 Columbus Barracks, also known as Fort Hayes, originally Arsenal storing small arms during Civil War, construction began November 1863, completed in 1864, later became recruiting center and renamed Columbus Barracks in 1875, renamed Fort Hayes in 1922, declared excess property in 1965, now part of Columbus Public Schools, Circa 1900.

Columbus Barracks, also known as Fort Hayes, originally Arsenal storing small arms during Civil War, construction began November 1863, completed in 1864, later became recruiting center and renamed Columbus Barracks in 1875, renamed Fort Hayes in 1922, declared excess property in 1965, now part of Columbus Public Schools, Circa 1900.

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#22 Columbus Buggy Company, started by George M. Peters and Oscar G. Peters in 1875, largest lightweight buggy manufacturer in the world, later entered automotive industry but folded in 1913, photograph from 1901.

Columbus Buggy Company, started by George M. Peters and Oscar G. Peters in 1875, largest lightweight buggy manufacturer in the world, later entered automotive industry but folded in 1913, photograph from 1901.

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#23 Columbus Country Club, photograph from 1906.

Columbus Country Club, photograph from 1906.

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#24 Columbus Delaware and Marion Interurban Car #501, began service on January 24, 1903.

Columbus Delaware and Marion Interurban Car #501, began service on January 24, 1903.

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#25 Columbus Glove Company, one of four glove manufacturers in Columbus, located at 747 – 755 East Long street, William J. Frisbie as president in 1905, photograph from 1904.

Columbus Glove Company, one of four glove manufacturers in Columbus, located at 747 - 755 East Long street, William J. Frisbie as president in 1905, photograph from 1904.

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#26 Columbus Ice and Cold Storage Co. building, corner of Spruce St. and Dennison Ave., 1901

Columbus Ice and Cold Storage Co. building, corner of Spruce St. and Dennison Ave., 1901

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#27 Construction of the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s walls, 1904.

Construction of the Columbus Metropolitan Library's walls, 1904.

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#28 Construction of window arches in Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Main Library, 1904.

Construction of window arches in Columbus Metropolitan Library's Main Library, 1904.

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#29 National Steel Company’s large Columbus plant, 1900.

National Steel Company's large Columbus plant, 1900.

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#30 Early view of the Columbus Public Library, also known as Carnegie Library, 1906.

Early view of the Columbus Public Library, also known as Carnegie Library, 1906.

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#31 Newly completed Columbus Public Library, dedicated in 1907.

Newly completed Columbus Public Library, dedicated in 1907.

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#32 Northeast view of Columbus Savings and Trust Company, also known as Ferris Building, 1909

Northeast view of Columbus Savings and Trust Company, also known as Ferris Building, 1909

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#33 Panoramic view of the Columbus State Hospital with two figures, 1903.

Panoramic view of the Columbus State Hospital with two figures, 1903.

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#34 Ground level view of the Columbus State Hospital Administration Building, 1900.

Ground level view of the Columbus State Hospital Administration Building, 1900.

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#35 Rear view of Columbus State Hospital’s south wing, 1900.

Rear view of Columbus State Hospital's south wing, 1900.

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#36 Third Columbus Union Station, designed by Daniel Hudson Burnham, opened in 1897, circa 1901.

Third Columbus Union Station, designed by Daniel Hudson Burnham, opened in 1897, circa 1901.

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#37 North High Street facade of the third Columbus Union Station, designed by Daniel Hudson Burnham, circa 1900.

North High Street facade of the third Columbus Union Station, designed by Daniel Hudson Burnham, circa 1900.

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#38 Raymond McCallum and S.W. Smith Coal, Feed, Hay & Grain company, active from 1907-1913.

Raymond McCallum and S.W. Smith Coal, Feed, Hay & Grain company, active from 1907-1913.

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#39 Conn Baker, second rider from the left in white, in a bicycle race in Independence, Iowa, circa 1900.

Conn Baker, second rider from the left in white, in a bicycle race in Independence, Iowa, circa 1900.

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#40 Corner of Gay and South Streets, Columbus, 1901.

Corner of Gay and South Streets, Columbus, 1901.

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#41 Building housing Customs, Post Office, United States Court and Pension Building, Columbus, 1909.

Building housing Customs, Post Office, United States Court and Pension Building, Columbus, 1909.

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#42 Der Munich Restaurant in the Rankin Building, Columbus, 1909.

Der Munich Restaurant in the Rankin Building, Columbus, 1909.

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#43 Derby Hall (Chemistry building) at Ohio State University, completed in 1906

Derby Hall (Chemistry building) at Ohio State University, completed in 1906

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#44 Dr. Samuel Brubaker Hartman House, completed in 1883, later a regional headquarters for the U.S. War Production Board, Circa 1901

Dr. Samuel Brubaker Hartman House, completed in 1883, later a regional headquarters for the U.S. War Production Board, Circa 1901

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#45 Downtown Columbus area with children, 1908.

Downtown Columbus area with children, 1908.

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#46 East Broad Street with landmarks including First Congregational Church, 1902.

East Broad Street with landmarks including First Congregational Church, 1902.

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#47

What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#48 Edward F. Fisher & Company, funeral directors and ambulance service, established 1870, out of business 1961. Circa 1901.

Edward F. Fisher & Company, funeral directors and ambulance service, established 1870, out of business 1961. Circa 1901.

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#49 First Church of Christ Scientist building, established in 1896 and completed in 1903, Circa 1909.

First Church of Christ Scientist building, established in 1896 and completed in 1903, Circa 1909.

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#50 First Congregational Church at 74 E. Broad St., established 1852, Circa 1903.

First Congregational Church at 74 E. Broad St., established 1852, Circa 1903.

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#51 First Methodist Church, dedicated in 1900, later First African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Circa 1901.

First Methodist Church, dedicated in 1900, later First African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Circa 1901.

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#52 First Presbyterian Church, moved to Bryden Road and Ohio Avenue in 1900

First Presbyterian Church, moved to Bryden Road and Ohio Avenue in 1900

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#53 Franklin County Courthouse at High and Mound Streets, dedicated in 1887, razed in 1974, Circa 1909.

Franklin County Courthouse at High and Mound Streets, dedicated in 1887, razed in 1974, Circa 1909.

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#54 Front Street School, later Trades School, 1909

Front Street School, later Trades School, 1909

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#55 Oxley Hall, Women’s Dormitory at Ohio State University, opened September 1908

Oxley Hall, Women's Dormitory at Ohio State University, opened September 1908

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#56 Glick Furniture Company and neighboring businesses on East Long Street, Columbus, 1907

Glick Furniture Company and neighboring businesses on East Long Street, Columbus, 1907

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#57 Goodale Park, donated by Dr. Lincoln Goodale in 1851, Circa 1901

Goodale Park, donated by Dr. Lincoln Goodale in 1851, Circa 1901

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#58 Great Southern Hotel, opened in 1897 with originally 250 rooms, 1901.

Great Southern Hotel, opened in 1897 with originally 250 rooms, 1901.

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#59 Great Southern Hotel, a hub for political managers during state convention season, 1909.

Great Southern Hotel, a hub for political managers during state convention season, 1909.

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#60 Greer Cottage, named after H. H. Greer, President of the Board of Trustees, 1900s

Greer Cottage, named after H. H. Greer, President of the Board of Trustees, 1900s

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#61 Exterior view of Mendel Trope’s grocery store and John Baltz and Charles Amend’s saloon, 1909.

Exterior view of Mendel Trope's grocery store and John Baltz and Charles Amend's saloon, 1909.

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#62 The Gymnasium and Armory at Ohio State University, opened in 1898 and burned in 1958, Circa, 1900.

The Gymnasium and Armory at Ohio State University, opened in 1898 and burned in 1958, Circa, 1900.

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#63 Hardesty Brothers Flour Mill, Circa 1901.

Hardesty Brothers Flour Mill, Circa 1901.

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#64 Hartman Hotel, a favorite for private dinners, opened in 1901 and became the Ohio Building in 1921, Circa 1909.

Hartman Hotel, a favorite for private dinners, opened in 1901 and became the Ohio Building in 1921, Circa 1909.

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#65 Hartman Hotel, owned by Samuel Hartman, opened November 16, 1901

Hartman Hotel, owned by Samuel Hartman, opened November 16, 1901

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#66 Hayden Building on Broad Street, opened in 1901

Hayden Building on Broad Street, opened in 1901

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#67 Hayden Homestead, formerly the Governor’s mansion and later Knights of Columbus property, 1901.

Hayden Homestead, formerly the Governor's mansion and later Knights of Columbus property, 1901.

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#68 Hayden-Clinton National Bank, established in 1900, oldest building on Capitol Square, 1901.

Hayden-Clinton National Bank, established in 1900, oldest building on Capitol Square, 1901.

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#69 Hayes Hall at The Ohio State University, built in 1893, named after Rutherford B. Hayes, 1903.

Hayes Hall at The Ohio State University, built in 1893, named after Rutherford B. Hayes, 1903.

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#70 Heber Brother’s Greater Show Circus tent with band and performers, including the Heber family members, 1907.

Heber Brother's Greater Show Circus tent with band and performers, including the Heber family members, 1907.

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#71 Open Type Summer Streetcar on High and Schiller Streets, 1906.

Open Type Summer Streetcar on High and Schiller Streets, 1906.

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#72 South High Street between Broad and State Streets, with horse-drawn buggies and a streetcar, 1900.

South High Street between Broad and State Streets, with horse-drawn buggies and a streetcar, 1900.

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#73 South High Street looking north with the Great Southern Hotel, 1903.

South High Street looking north with the Great Southern Hotel, 1903.

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#74 North High Street at Spring Street during the snowstorm of March 4, 1906

North High Street at Spring Street during the snowstorm of March 4, 1906

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#75 Horticultural Hall with university farm, 1900

Horticultural Hall with university farm, 1900

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#76 Hotel Elmont, 1908.

Hotel Elmont, 1908.

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#77 Indianola Park Bandstand, 1908.

Indianola Park Bandstand, 1908.

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#78 Main building of the Institution for Feeble-Minded Youth, completed in 1868, rebuilt in 1881, and demolished on August 17, 1987, Circa 1901.

Main building of the Institution for Feeble-Minded Youth, completed in 1868, rebuilt in 1881, and demolished on August 17, 1987, Circa 1901.

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#79 Views of the Institution for the Education of the Blind, also known as the Ohio State School for the Blind, 1908

Views of the Institution for the Education of the Blind, also known as the Ohio State School for the Blind, 1908

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#80 Columbus, Ohio, from the court house, 1903

Columbus, Ohio, from the court house, 1903

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#81 Insane Asylum, Columbus, 1906

Insane Asylum, Columbus, 1906

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#82 Campus, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, 1906

Campus, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, 1906

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#83 Olentangy Park bowling alleys, Columbus, 1907

Olentangy Park bowling alleys, Columbus, 1907

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#84 Spring and lake, Ohio State University, Columbus, 1904

Spring and lake, Ohio State University, Columbus, 1904

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#85 Hotel Star, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Hotel Star, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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#86 Lake in the park, Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

Lake in the park, Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

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#87 High Street South From Chestnut Street, Columbus, 1905

High Street South From Chestnut Street, Columbus, 1905

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#88 High Street, Columbus, Ohio, 1900

High Street, Columbus, Ohio, 1900

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#89 Page Hall, Ohio State University, Columbus, 1904

Page Hall, Ohio State University, Columbus, 1904

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#90 State Capitol, Columbus, Ohio, 1900

State Capitol, Columbus, Ohio, 1900

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#91 High and Broad Streets, Columbus, Ohio, 1905

High and Broad Streets, Columbus, Ohio, 1905

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#92 Insane Asylum in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Insane Asylum in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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#93 Rustic bridge in Schiller Park, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Rustic bridge in Schiller Park, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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#94 Memorial in Capitol grounds, Columbus, Ohio, titled “These are my jewels”, 1900

Memorial in Capitol grounds, Columbus, Ohio, titled "These are my jewels", 1900

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#95 View of High Street north from State Street in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

View of High Street north from State Street in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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#96 Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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#97 View of Columbus, Ohio from the courthouse, 1900s.

View of Columbus, Ohio from the courthouse, 1900s.

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#98 High Street in Columbus, Ohio, 1906

High Street in Columbus, Ohio, 1906

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#99 Harrison Building in Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

Harrison Building in Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

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#100 Great Southern Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

Great Southern Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#101 Deaf and Dumb School in Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

Deaf and Dumb School in Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#102 Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#103 Schiller statue in City Park, Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

Schiller statue in City Park, Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#104 The campus of Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

The campus of Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#105 Hayes Hall at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

Hayes Hall at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#106 Brown Hall at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

Brown Hall at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#107 Orton Hall Library at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

Orton Hall Library at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#108 Lake in a park in Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

Lake in a park in Columbus, Ohio, 1906.

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#109 State House in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

State House in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#110 Ohio State University’s lake in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Ohio State University's lake in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#111 Columbus Savings & Trust Company building in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Columbus Savings & Trust Company building in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#112 Storage dam in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Storage dam in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#113 Union Station in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Union Station in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#114 Capitol grounds in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Capitol grounds in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#115 The Lake in Franklin Park, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

The Lake in Franklin Park, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#116 Goodale Park in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Goodale Park in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#117 The Lake in Goodale Park, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

The Lake in Goodale Park, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#118 Theatre in Olentangy Park, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Theatre in Olentangy Park, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#119 Olentangy River in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Olentangy River in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#120 East Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

East Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#121 East Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

East Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#122 Northeast corner of Broad and High streets, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Northeast corner of Broad and High streets, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#123 High Street south from State Street, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

High Street south from State Street, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#124 The Hartman residence on East Town Street, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

The Hartman residence on East Town Street, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#125 Ohio State University’s spring in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Ohio State University's spring in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#126 The armory at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

The armory at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#127 Hotel Star in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Hotel Star in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#128 Ohio State Capitol, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Ohio State Capitol, Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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#129 Courthouse in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

Courthouse in Columbus, Ohio, 1900s

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What Columbus, Ohio looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

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