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Bexley History

The Bexley Literary Trail

by Local History Librarian David

Sixty years ago on April 17, 1964, Jerrie Mock of Bexley, a self-described “housewife,” landed her single engine Cessna, the Spirit of Columbus, at Port Columbus International Airport. In that moment she became the first woman to fly solo around the world. That same year, Bexley High School student Bob Greene was keeping a diary. For him, April 17 was a day to leave school early, make his way to downtown Columbus, and have a doctor “drill a filling.”

What Mock and Greene have in common is they both wrote books about their experiences in 1964. Mock chronicled her famous flight in, Three-Eight Charlie, first published in 1970, and in 1987 Greene published his diary, Be True to Your School: A Diary of 1964. They are Bexley authors and part of The Bexley Literary Trail, celebrating authors who grew up in Bexley, lived in Bexley, or call Bexley home.

Among them are a few children’s authors. Lois Lenski, Newbery winning children’s book author and illustrator of Strawberry Girl, who lived with her parents in a house on what is now part of the Capital University campus while she attended The Ohio State University. Bexley’s newest children’s author is poet Maggie Smith, who recently published the picture book, My Thoughts Have Wings. And bestselling children’s book author R L. Stine, famous for the Goosebumps and Fear Street series, graduated from Bexley High School in 1961.

Stine said, “I always picture Bexley when I write.”

The Bexley Literary Trail also includes publisher Larry Flynt, journalist Charlotte Curtis, Pulitzer Prize winning author Gregory Smith, and New York Times bestseller Daniel Pink. The trail was inspired by The Ohio Literary Trail, created by the Ohioana Library Association to highlight statewide literary accomplishments with a book, map and website.

Representatives of the Ohioana Library will discuss The Ohio Literary Trail at 7 PM on Thursday June 13 at Bexley Public Library at which time The Bexley Literary Trail brochure will be available to pick up. A display of the books by authors on Bexley’s trail will also be available to view.

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Bexley History Programs

Celebrate Bexley’s 115th Birthday at the Library!

By Local History Librarian David

August 10 is Bexley Day, the day Bexley was established as an incorporated village with its first charter in 1908. For the second year, the Bexley Public Library, in partnership with the Bexley Historical Society, are celebrating Bexley’s birthday with an honorary program and cake. This year, Historical Society Trustee, Larry Helman, will present on how the community developed over time. Join us for the event at 7 PM on Thursday, August 10 in the library auditorium. It will also be an opportunity to learn about a new effort to mark and recognize those houses of 100+ years in age. 

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Bexley History BPL News & Information Online Resources

The Torch – Newly Digitized

by Public Service Associate Owen

Bexley Public Library is happy to announce that The Torch digital collection is now live and accessible to the public! The Torch, Bexley High School’s student newspaper, has been a fixture of the high school and of the greater Bexley community for nearly a century. First published in October of 1925, The Torch has since received multiple awards for its excellence in student journalism. And now, thanks to the digitization efforts led by our Local History Librarian David Distelhorst, there are hundreds of early edition copies of The Torch, now accessible to the public, that contain a bounty of fascinating insights into Bexley and its history. I hope to feature some of my personal favorite editions of The Torch from this collection, as well as share a little bit about how The Torch works and how it has affected me in a positive way.

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Bexley History Programs

Celebrate Bexley Day

by Local History Librarian David

Bexley, 1872

Bexley Day, which falls on August 10, 2022, marks the 114th anniversary of the first council meeting of the Village of Bexley. This year Bexley Public Library, in partnership with the Bexley Historical Society, is celebrating Bexley Day with the program, Mapping Bexley From Wilderness to Village.

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Bexley History

C. C. Crabbe and Bexley’s First Patriotic Parade

by Local History Librarian David

Bexley’s “Uncle Sam,” Charles Carl “C. C.” Crabbe (1878-1969) held the first of his annual Flag Day Celebrations, “by accident.” It was Flag Day, June 14, 1953, when Crabbe, chatting with six neighborhood kids, realized they were unaware of the holiday. He gave each a miniature American Flag and taught them about Flag Day, established by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777, to celebrate the birthday of the American Flag.

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Bexley History

Locating African Americans in Early Records

by Local History Librarian David

During Bexley Public Library’s March program, “Stories of African Americans in 19th Century Bexley,” I learned how different records identify African Americans. Then, while digging deeper into the life of Thomas Payton, discovered some of those records.

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Bexley History Programs

Celebrating 50 Years With Bexley’s Own Miss America 1972

by Local History Librarian David

Thousands lined the streets of Bexley for a 68-unit parade of marching bands, floats, bagpipes, and drill teams, reminiscent of the city’s annual Independence Day celebration. However, on this day, in mid October, royalty was celebrated. On the last float, cradling a bouquet of red roses in one arm and waving to the crowd with the other, sat Laurel “Laurie” Lea Schaefer, Bexley’s own Miss America 1972.

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Bexley History

Abstracts of Title Trace History of Bexley Lands

by Local History Librarian David

For much of the twentieth century, an updated Abstract of Title was required when transferring real estate. Such a document was a compilation of all the transactions made for a specific piece of real estate, thus tracing the owners back to the early 1800s. The purpose was to ensure against any encumbrances on the property, guaranteeing a clean title.

By the mid 1970s, Abstracts of Titles were becoming less common. Replaced by title insurance, many lenders dropped them as a requirement. Homeowners no longer had to update the abstract when selling their property, and many were discarded. Those that survive are valuable documents providing a glimpse into the past.

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Bexley History Programs

Bexley’s Victory Gardens

by Local History Librarian David

War time rationing of the food supply combined with shortages in production found many front yards across Bexley converted into vegetable gardens. These Victory Gardens that first appeared during World War I were encouraged during World War II by the Bexley Garden Club.

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Bexley History Programs Recommendations

Pizza in Bexley

by Local History Librarian David

One of Bexley’s oldest businesses, Rubino’s, was established in 1954 by Ruben Cohen, who adapted his Jewish name to sound more Italian as the name of his pizzeria and spaghetti restaurant. There were only ten places in Columbus for pizza at the time, and Cohen made Rubino’s special for its thin crispy crust and “fairly secret” sauce recipe.