Long ago the Delaware, Shawnee, Wyandotte, Miami, Chippewa, and Mingo Tribes traveled the forest trails that spread throughout Guernsey County. Sites used by the Indians for camps in the county included Trail Run, Salt Fork, Fish Basket, and Indian Camp.
In 1796 Ebenezer Zane received funds to cut a road from Ohio to Kentucky. He responded, naming one of the first settlements in honor of Cambridge, Maryland. Actually, the land on which part of Cambridge stands was granted to a Zaccheus Biggs and Zaccheus Beatty by the government in 1801. Another group of early settlers from the Isle of Guernsey in the British Channel pitched camp in 1806 in Cambridge because the women in the party refused to move on.
Thus, the new County of Guernsey was formed a few years later in 1810. Central to the history of the area was the building of the National Road (U.S. Route 40) through Cambridge in 1827. Many bridges were built in that era, including construction of the first bridge authorized in the Northwest Territory. Some of the bridges curved, as evidenced by several 'S' bridges which still survive.
Early in the 1900's, the county, and particularly Cambridge became synonymous with quality glass. Production of Cambridge Glass ceased many years ago but collectors who appreciate quality glass still visit Cambridge for Mosser Glass, Boyd's Crystal Art Glass, Degenhart Paperweight & Glass Museum, and the National Museum of Cambridge Glass. Collectors also look for antiques which reflect the great glass industry that once flourished in Guernsey County.
National Road, An All American Road, National Scenic Byway
Situated along the western edge of America's early national frontier, historic Guernsey County, Ohio, has been welcoming travelers to the area for two hundred years. Nestled in the lush, rolling foothills of Southeastern Ohio's Appalachian Mountains, Guernsey County is a place of verdant forests and pristine lakes. Life moves at a more relaxed pace here, much as it did when the area was first settled two centuries ago. A launching point for pioneers headed west, Guernsey County took its name from an early group of settlers from the Guernsey Isle in the English Channel.
Most early travelers reached this area by traveling along Zane's trace, a trail cleared out of the wilderness in 1796, linking Kentucky to Ohio and points West. This historic footpath was replaced in 1827 by the Old National Road 21 years after President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation to build the nation's first interstate highway linking the eastern seaboard with the western frontier. Crucial to the area's economic development, the National Road was wide enough for transporting livestock and produce to markets back East, while wagons filled with dry goods and other necessities made the return trip West. A unique feature of the National Road, "S" bridges were built to span the county's numerous creeks and streams. Their stone-arch spans, built at right angles to the stream flow, were less costly and easier to construct.
Designated as an All-American Road, National Scenic Byway in June 2002, the National Road (Route 40) runs through the very heart of Guernsey County, leading visitors to pristine lakes, luscious golf courses, fine dining, antique shopping, museums, glass factory tours, exciting festivals and events, and of course, lodging to meet any traveler's needs.
For more information on Ohio's Byways, visit the Ohio Department of Transportation's website: www.ohiobyways.com
John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail
From July 13 – July 26, 1863, John Hunt Morgan’s Confederate cavalry pillaged towns and villages in Ohio until they were finally forced to surrender near West Point in Columbiana County. During that time, Morgan and his raiders left their mark in Guernsey County, making quite an impact on its citizens. On the evening of July 23, 1863, they entered Cumberland and confiscated horses and supplies. Leaving around 10pm, they traveled all night and arrived at the crossroads near Senecaville.
Following the directions of citizens, the raiders proceeded northward to present day Lore City, arriving near dawn on July 24. They laid a hand of heavy destruction in that town. Hot pursuit by Union Cavalry kept the Confederates moving northward where they took respite in the village of Washington (now known as Old Washington). By mid-morning, Union Cavalry had reached Morgan and his band of resting raiders, and a significant skirmish ensued.