The 1700s internet: Buying and selling in frontier Ohio


SPRINGFIELD – What our pioneer ancestors could not make themselves, they bought. A vast “internet” of trade routes, including rivers and canals, brought goods from far away – even Europe.

On Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. in the clubhouse of the Ohio Masonic Home in Springfield, Andrew Richmond of Ohio Humanities will present “Buy Local or By River: Furnishing Early Ohio.”

Contrary to popular beliefs, the Ohio frontier was not a remote backwoods devoid of style. Trade via the rivers and lakes, and later the canals, provided easy access to all manner of goods produced in eastern urban centers and in Europe. While early Ohioans did import great quantities of goods, they also produced equally great quantities of goods. Using both documentary evidence and surviving objects, the presentation will examine the wide range of goods both made and used in the Ohio frontier and how trade networks and consumer choice played key roles in the furnishing of frontier homes.

This program, part of the George Rogers Clark Heritage Association’s ongoing mission to bring the history of the area alive, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available. Signs placed at the entrance to the Masonic Home, 2655 W. National Road, will direct visitors to the clubhouse. Visit the association’s Facebook page for updates and more information.

Submitted story

Submitted by the George Rogers Clark Heritage Association.

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