While Dublin has come a long way and now offers the perfect mix of quaint and modern, we still love looking back on our rich history. Dublin is one of the oldest communities in the Central Ohio area as the first settlers began to arrive in 1801.
Coming from Pennsylvania via Kentucky, Ludwick Sells and his eight children were among the first to settle in Dublin. The family acquired several parcels of land and built on it, a small settlement near a spring along the riverbank. To this day, that spring is still a source of clear, cool water.
John Sells, another of Dublin's earliest settlers, owned a small parcel of land where Historic Dublin now stands today. In 1818, he had a portion of this land surveyed into lots and offered a new town for sale. John Shields, the surveyor of the land and an Irishman was then asked to name the town. Upon this request, legend has it that his response went something like this...
"If I have the honor conferred upon me to name your village, with the brightness of the morn, and the beaming of the sun on the hills and dales surrounding this beautiful valley, it would give me great pleasure to name your new town after my birthplace of Dublin, Ireland."
When the National Road reached Columbus in 1833 and the canals were completed, early Dublinites shipped products like lumber, flour, and bacon to Columbus and even further south to Kentucky. New settlers began to pour into Central Ohio and Dublin boomed. Between the years of 1830 and 1850, Dublin was the fastest growing area in Central Ohio.
Just a few miles from Downtown Dublin, you will find the Coffman Homestead. Built between 1862 and 1867, the simple two-story building was home to Fletcher Coffman and his family. Coffman was a close relative of Ludwig Sells, among the original settlers in Dublin. This simple, two-story house has been restored to interpret the lifestyle and tastes of a middle class farm family of that era. Furnished with the original furniture and pieces which belonged to other Dublin families at the time, the Coffman House typifies farm life in the 1800s. The Coffman Homestead, situated on the edge of Coffman Park, can still be visited today and is open to the public on the first Sunday of May to September, from 1PM to 4PM.
On the heels of this growth, Dublin's stores and cottage industries continued to flourish and Dublin was ultimately incorporated as a village in 1881. Local legend has it that there is hardly a single building in Dublin that did not as one time house a tavern.
By 1970, Dublin was still a village of only 681 residents. The completion of the outerbelt had, at this time, firmly cemented Dublin into the Columbus Metropolitan area. In the coming years, Dublin would see exponential growth. In the 1970's explosive growth can be attributed to the arrival of corporate headquarters such as Ashland Chemical Company and the development of Jack Nicklaus' Muirfield Golf Club. In 1987, Dublin was officially named a city.
Today, Dublin boasts a population of more than 47,000 residents and is home to corporate headquarters like the Wendy's Company. Events like the Dublin Irish Festival and the Memorial Tournament alone now attract over 100,000 people to the City of Dublin.
Development in Dublin's Downtown with the addition of Bridge Park has brought a modern feel to the East side of the Scioto River, whereas on the West side you will find that you can still feel the ambiance of Dublin's history. 19th century architecture still fills the streets of Historic Dublin, with many of the buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Dublin Historical Society offers a Self Guided Walking Tour for those wishing to learn more about Dublin's Historic District and all the buildings that call it home! Stop in to the Dublin Visitor & Information Center at 9 S. High Street to pick up a copy.