A new book by a Carroll County historian could have been titled “Centreville,” save for a single event in 1833: The name of the town was changed to Carrollton.
“Just as the name has changed, so have many of the sites,” notes Arcadia Publishing in publicity material for a new book in the publisher’s “Then & Now” series, “Carrollton,” by Janice Van Horne-Lane.
“With the help of vintage images from private collections and current photographs taken by Nicole K. Taggart, lifelong resident Janice Van Horne-Lane hopes to tell the story of this quiet Midwestern town before the now becomes the then of future generations.”
The “then” era of Carrollton began only a few years after settlers came to the area at the turn of the 19th century. Peter Bohart founded the village in 1815. Isaac Atkinson urged that the name be changed to Carrollton when he helped develop the county of Carroll 18 years later.
Where it all began is on Public Square in Carrollton, and that is where the author starts her book, as well. A picture of the tree-laden square occupies the first page of the first chapter.
“In 1814, Peter Bohart built a tavern at the crossroads on the north end for travelers coming from Steubenville, Lisbon, Canton and New Philadelphia,” she explains.
Pictures of a multitude of other buildings follow. In fact, most of the images are photographs of structures, since Van Horne-Lane is attempting to capture the changing face of Carrollton, not the faces that have necessarily changed over the decades in the village. Besides, the names, or at least the families of those residents, likely already are known to many of those who might read this book.
“Many residents have lived in Carrollton most of their lives, and, in a sense, it is more like a big family,” she writes. “That is why the residents care so much about the surroundings. If a building has to come down, the entire family mourns its loss.
“I write this book in memory of all the buildings we have lost and to all those still standing, so if one day they too have to be removed, future generations will look back with the fond memories we, the current generation, have.”
Van Horne-Lane pictures Bohart’s original tavern, now a home — “probably the oldest building still standing in Carrollton.”
“It was moved from the corner of East Main and North Lisbon streets at the end of the Civil War, and now occupies an address at 256 Second St. NE.”
Still standing as well is a building built in 1841 by Henry A. Stidger.
“It was billed as ‘the Store in the Hollow’ and was especially known for its ballroom on the third floor, which served for a time as the Carrollton Academy,” the author writes in a caption that divides the vintage image from a picture showing how the building looked in more recent times. “It was here that John McTammany manufactured his player pianos and created the punch card voting system.”
Van Horne-Lane mixes such interesting detail with historical fact in each of her captions. When writing about “then and now” photos of the “McCook house,” for example, she notes a bit of trivia about the construction of a house better known for being the home of Carrollton’s most famous family.
“In 1837, Daniel McCook built this large home for his family with bricks made just at the other end of the block,” she writes. “He fought during the Civil War along with eight of his sons and six of his nephews. George Butler later purchased the house and used it as a storefront. It is now owned by the Ohio Historical Society and is operated by the Carroll County Historical Society as a museum.”
Collectively, the captions, with their images, tell the story of the village.
But, it is not a story intended to end with the final pages of “Carrollton.” The author notes in her introduction that she hopes future generations who read this book might “add their memories to these pages.”
“These memories have accrued since the town was first settled in 1800,” the author writes. “I feel it is only right to continue their story by sharing it with you.”