Westerville Ohio's History and Heritage

While you walk along the city’s brick streets, it is important to remember who laid the foundation where we roam. Westerville’s history is thick with tales of the Westerville Whiskey Wars, a secret Underground Railroad stop and the legacy of William Henry Fouse – the first African American graduate from Otterbein College. We invite you to flip through the pages of Westerville’s history, hear the stories, listen to the secrets and discover the past.

Historical Tours

Explore the rich and varied history of Westerville, Ohio with self-guided tours of the city’s cultural, historical and architectural heritage. The Westerville History Center tours are available on iOS, Android or desktop and are free to download and use. Available tours include Main Street Walking Tour, State Street Walking Tour, College Ave. Walking Tour and Uptown Industry Tour. Uptown Westerville is listed on the National Registrar of Historical Places and each building tells a story. Take a self-guided tour and explore the history beautifully displayed on each plaque.

Take a Walking Tour at the Everal Barn & Homestead at Heritage Park to tour a historical 19th-century Barn and House in the heart of Westerville, also listed on the National Registrar of Historical Places.

Everal Barn and Homestead in Westerville

Historical Places

The Westerville Historical Society aims to educate the public as to the historical importance of Westerville and its surrounding area as an early farm community, educational center, home to several Underground Railroad stops, an early manufacturing and commercial center, and a bastion of the temperance movement through the Prohibition era. It also manages the historic Hanby House State Memorial, offering tours of the home of William Hanby and his family and furnished with items depicting the lifestyle of a family of modest means in the 1850s.

A historical picture of Uptown Westerville

Listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places, Westerville’s Temperance Row Historic District is, recognized by the National Park Service as the nationally significant enclave where leaders of the Anti-Saloon League of America lived, raised their families and in 1919 won Prohibition against the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquor. Visit the area and head to the Anti-Saloon League Museum at the Westerville Public Library.

Westerville’s First Responders Park was first dedicated in 2010 to honor the service and sacrifice of all first responders. The centerpiece to the park was a section of steel known as “C-40” from the north tower of the World Trade Center that fell during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The Westerville Veterans Memorial at the Westerville Sports Complex blends history, culture, art and recreation with the existing sports environment at the Westerville Sports Complex to create a new signature space to honor and celebrate those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

First Responders Park in Westerville

Many of Westerville’s history is available through tours and collections at the Westerville History Museum, Westerville Public Library and through the Westerville Historical Society.