Local Lore

Have you ever tried to locate the source of a clipping shared on Ancestry. Depending on the subject of the clipping, I sometimes try to locate the source of the clipping. While researching my Hammond line, I came across such a clipping regarding local stories from Bath, Ohio.

Intrigued by this article, I tried to locate it. Since I did not know the name of the paper or the date, I had to do a broad search. However, I did assume that the article was from Ohio. Thus, I searched Newspapers.com for Hammond “local lore” in Ohio.

And the article in The Akron Beacon Journal matches the clipping. Since the article relates a tale about the Hammond family’s move to Ohio, I’m glad I searched for this article.

The Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
Sept. 6, 1991

A look at our history
There’s lots of local lore
hidden in area’s corners
by Margot Jackson

Some names are reminders of forgotten past,
other names give way to progress, new realities

New to me a few months ago were road signs for Hammond Corners. They stand properly official on North Cleveland-Massillon Road, calling attention to the crossing of Ira Road.

Never had I seen the corner officially designated, but 50 years ago, when our home was on Ira Road, old-timers referred to the road as Ira-Hammond. History books recalling the earliest years of the township sy that its name was Hammondsburgh from 1810 to 1828. The current signs were put up last spring, when Stewart Steiner conducted a tour through the township for the Summit County Historical Society.

Theodore Hammond was the first settler of Bath Township, barely preceding his uncle, Jonathan Hale. Theodore’s father, Jason Hammond, a Revolutionary War veteran, bought 1,500 acres sight unseen from one of the shareholders of the Connecticut Land Co. and sent Theodore to claim the land and build a cabin so the family could follow.

Jonathan Hale bought 500 acres from the same shareholder, but Hammond had first choice of land. He chose land just south of the present Hale Farm and Village and extending two miles west into the wooded hills.

Settling in
Each man found squatters on the land he had chosen and each rebuilt the shanties into usable log cabins. The families then came west, eight Hales and six Hammonds, traveling together for six weeks through the wilderness by oxen and wagon for encouragement and safety. Mail reached them if addressed to Hammondsburgh or to Township 3, Range 12 of the Western Reserve of Connecticut.

But some unrecorded falling-out may have brought about a dislike of the name Hammondsburgh, for at a meeting Jonathan Hale peevisly exclaimed “Oh, call it Jerusalem, or Jericho or Bath — anything but Hammondsburgh.” and in 1828 it became Bath.

Theodore Hammond married and moved up the steep hill. Hammond Corners flourished with a school, a church, a hotel, a blacksmith’s shop and a store. Today the school has been remodeled into a private home; the church has moved to Bath Road; a bank sits where once was the hotel. Jason Hammond built a sawmill on the fast-flowing waters of Yellow Creek. His daughters marries prosperous settlers of Richfield. All are known now only through histories and the tombstones in Bath and Ira cemeteries.

Corners, Corners

Every township has its corners, but few of the names survive. Once Hurd Corners, where Hametown and Bath roads cross, was important in Bath. It was named for Asa Hurd and had a church and a school.

Montrose was earlier known as Latta Corners and then Ellis Corners for the prosperous tavern keepers thee. Bates Corners is now known as Loyal Oak. Chittenden Corners in Northampton Township was named for two farmers, but the nearby Steels Corners is better known. The road by that name has the entrance to Blossom Music Center. the corners honored Adam G. Steele, who had a mill on the present Olde 8.

Stow Township boasts a most oddly named corner. This is the crossing of Fish Creek and Graham roads known as Oregon Corners. “Turn here to get to Oregon,” some wag declared, and the joke remained.

Old street names are sometimes changed officially. James Street disappeared from the campus of the University of Akron a few years ago when Buchtel Avenue was rerouted. More recently Center Street, leading east from Main Street in downtown Akron, was renamed University Avenue.