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9 fascinating things you never knew about the history and places of Miami County

Historic communities, a dazzling waterfall and painted barns just scratch the surface of reasons to visit Miami County. 

Here are 9 things to know about the county: 

1. State recognition. The state of Ohio officially recognized Miami County Jan. 16, 1807, according to the Ohio History Connection. The county was named to honor the Miami Indians. 

2. Luxurious layover. The Fort Piqua Hotel, built in 1891, was a luxurious layover for travelers with 103 rooms to choose from. Notable figures who stayed there included Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson and Harry Houdini, according to Grow Piqua Now website. It reopened as the Fort Piqua Plaza in 2008 after a $22 million restoration. The beautiful building now houses a restaurant, a chocolate and coffee shop and the Piqua Public Library. 

3. Seat of justice. The Miami County Courthouse, located in Troy (the county seat), was completed in 1888. The structure’s design is influenced by Greek and Roman architecture and stands 185 feet high. A copper statue representing “Lady Justice” stands at the very top. The five cast iron domes on the building were influenced by the U.S. Capitol dome. 

4. Painted quilts. Sixty barns in Miami County have been painted with colorful barn quilts. A tour has been designed, according to the State of Ohio’s tourism site, which encourages visitors to take a driving tour to “connect the rural countryside with a colorful array of painted Barn Quilts.” Each quilt pattern is painted in 8-by-8-foot squares with names like Pride of Ohio, Tippecanoe and Aviator’s Compass. 

5. Political slogan. Tipp City, known as Tippecanoe City when it was founded in 1840, was named after the moniker given to then-governor – and later president - William Henry Harrison, who fought in the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe. “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,” was a campaign song and later a slogan that helped propel Harrison to win the presidency. 

6. Over the falls. Charleston Falls Preserve is made up of 216 acres of prairie and forests in Miami County. A waterfall, known as “Miniature Niagara” because its rock strata is the same as Niagara Falls is a unique spot to visit. The falls originate from an underground spring and fall 37 feet. 

7. Ohio paradise. West Milton was settled by Quakers in 1796. Joseph Evans, one of the settlers, first named the town Milton to honor his daughter’s favorite author, John Milton, the author of “Paradise Lost,” according to the Miami County Visitors & Convention Bureau. 

8. Rough and tumble. Before the community of Covington gained that name, the town was named Fort Rowdy. The fort was an encampment for Gen. “Mad Anthony” Wayne’s “rowdy” troops during the Indian War, according to the Miami County Visitors & Convention Bureau. The Fort Rowdy Gathering, a celebration of the frontier, is held each fall. 

9. Historic covered bridge. At 224 feet, the longest “long truss” covered bridge in the United States is in Miami County. The Eldean Covered Bridge, located on Eldean Road in Troy was built in 1860 and awarded National Historic Landmark designation in 2017. The bridge follows an 1830 Stephen H. Long patent which is considered America’s first science-based bridge design according to the Ohio Historical Society.

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