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Miller Farm Carriage Step

Learn about the historical significance behind this carriage step and its ties to James T. Miller, one of the founding members of Upper Arlington.


Miller Family Home, c. 1895, Courtesy of Esther H. Miller, UA Archives

In horse and buggy days, carriage steps helped you in and out of a buggy, and up and down from a horse.

This carriage step–now located at Miller Park–was originally located at the James T. Miller farm, which included a gracious 20-room home. Miller lived there with his wife, Esther, six daughters, and two sons. It was located where First Community Village is now.

James T. Miller sold 840 acres of the farm to developers King and Ben Thompson in 1913, becoming the first part of Upper Arlington to be developed. He kept a few acres for his family and went on to serve as Upper Arlington’s first mayor from 1918-1919.

To learn more about the Miller Family, visit the UA Archives.


James T. and Esther Everitt Miller were the parents of eight children, six girls and two boys. For this image, the family posed on a walkway that connected two of the three hills adjacent to the main house. (Photo courtesy of Esther Miller; caption courtesy of Upper Arlington Historical Society.)

Esther Miller saved this carriage step from the Miller farm when the house and remaining property were sold in 1961.

Esther was the granddaughter of James T. Miller and her father, Henry, was the older of the two Miller sons. Henry and his wife, Helen, lived with their five children at 1860 Cambridge Boulevard. It was one of the first homes built in Upper Arlington and is located to the south of Miller Park.

Esther learned to ride her pony, Peg, here in Miller Park and used this step each time she would visit the Miller farm barn to ride. Esther graduated from Upper Arlington High School in 1935 and was a lifelong resident.


Courtesy of UA Archives

The brick pavers in the patio at the Miller Carriage Step are Nelsonville Block and Hocking Block, manufactured in Nelsonville, Ohio during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The blocks originally formed the bed for the trolley line that, in the 1920s, ran up Arlington Avenue from Fifth Avenue.

Electric streetcar service on the Arlington line was provided by the Columbus Railway Power and Light Company and ran to and from downtown Columbus. This relatively convenient and inexpensive method of public transportation was integral to the early development of Upper Arlington. After several delays the residents of Upper Arlington were thrilled on April 24, 1921, when the streetcar line was extended to the eastern corner of Miller Park at the intersection of Arlington Avenue, Tremont Road and Stanford Road. The building in the background of the photograph, 1901 Arlington Avenue, served many functions. It was Upper Arlington’s village hall, the Upper Arlington Company’s field office, a voting location, and a shelter for streetcar passengers. In its renovated form, the building now serves as the Miller Park Branch of the Upper Arlington Public Library.

The line eventually extended to North and South Parkway near Lane Avenue where it ended. Streetcar service was discontinued in 1936 as automobiles took over, but these bricks lay beneath Arlington Avenue for another 75 years before being salvaged for reuse in various Upper Arlington Parks.

The trolley stopped at the eastern corner of Miller Park across from 1901 Arlington Avenue. The building served many functions over the years such as Upper Arlington’s Village Hall, the Upper Arlington Company’s field office, a voting location and shelter for streetcar passengers. It now serves as the Miller Park branch of the Upper Arlington Public Library.


Who were the Millers, and how did they come to live in Upper Arlington? Learn more from Upper Arlington Historical Society’s Executive Director Melanie Brown as she talks about the history of the Miller family.

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