A BRIEF HISTORY OF UPPER ARLINGTON
The land on which Upper Arlington was established was first inhabited by the Adena people, from 800 BC to 100 AD. In the 1700s, the Wyandot tribe called this land home and would often trade with the Delaware to the north and the Shawnee to the south.
By the 1800s, this area became part of the United States Military Lands, and the US government granted Elijah Backus, Jonathan Dayton, and Andrew Marker large parcels for their service in the Revolutionary War. Over the next century, a number of farming families settled in the area, which became part of Perry Township.
In 1913, brothers King and Ben Thompson purchased 840 acres from James T. Miller, which they began developing into the original Upper Arlington. The Miller farm boundaries laid approximately where Fifth Avenue, Riverside Drive, Lane Avenue and Northwest Boulevard are today. The site enjoyed westerly winds, shielding future residents from the fumes of the factories in Columbus, while still conveniently located close to downtown and accessible by streetcar. Upper Arlington was incorporated as a village in 1918.
In the decades that followed, the population of Upper Arlington grew rapidly. After World War II, many returning servicemen and their families made the suburban areas of Columbus their homes, including Upper Arlington. Over the years, as the population grew, Upper Arlington annexed surrounding land to reach its current boundaries of 9.67 square miles and a population estimate of 35,366 (reported July 1, 2019 by the U.S. Census).
HISTORY TRAIL SITES
Founded in 1976 as a not-for-profit volunteer organization, the Upper Arlington Historical Society collects archival materials, shares historical information, conducts educational programs, sponsors commemorative activities, promotes historic preservation, and serves as a community resource.
The UA Archives digital collections are provided as a service of the Upper Arlington Public Library. Through the UA Archives initiative, the library partners with local organizations and individuals to digitally preserve our community’s historical resources and make them available online.
The Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio’s stories. The Ohio History Connection carries out history services for Ohio and its citizens focused on preserving and sharing the state’s history.