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15 facts you didn’t know about Columbus

From former NFL teams to celebrities from the city, here are 15 facts about Columbus.

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Thank you for following along the last year + cheers to 2023. | Photo via Canva

Did you know Columbus is the most populated city in Ohio?

Nah, just kidding. If you know us, you know we’re here for the deep cuts — and there’s plenty of interesting factoids to go around. As connoisseurs of the quirky and unconventional, we put together a list of Columbus history, oddest characteristics, and more. Maybe you’ve lived here your whole life and know some of this, or maybe you’ll learn something new.

Either way, test your local knowledge with these 15 interesting facts.

1.) Native Americans have a rich history with Columbus as people from the ancient Adena culture resided here from 800 B.C.-1 A.D. The Shrum Mound was constructed by this group 2,000+ years ago and is the last standing cone-shaped burial mound in the city.

2.) The Scioto River played a major role in early communities when Columbus was forming. Native Americans + settlers used the river to transport crops, or build homes and farmland thanks to its fertile soil.

3.) The Freedom Train, which helped enslaved Black people escape slavery in the 1800s, had five stops on the Ohio State University campus. The final point was a tunnel through Robert Neil’s home on Indianola + 15th Avenues where Kappa Sigma, a fraternity, now resides.

4.) Columbus has 10 sister cities, including Accra, Ghana; Genoa, Italy; and Seville, Spain. Time to visit the distant relatives?

5.) Goodale Park is the oldest park in Columbus, which opened in the 1850s.

6.) The hottest day on record was on July 14, 1936 when thermometers reached 107°. Conversely, the coldest day on record was on January 13, 1912 at -23°.

7.) When Abraham Lincoln received the telegram informing him he’d been elected president, he was giving a speech in Columbus to Ohio legislatures. How many times do we have to say this — all roads lead back to Ohio.

8.) Legendary skater Tony Hawk also has roots back to Columbus as his father, Frank Hawk, designed the skate park in Dodge Park in the 1990s.

9.) The Southern Theatre is the oldest theater in the city + one of the oldest theaters in the state. The historic entertainment hall opened in 1896.

10.) Columbus has star power as numerous athletes, actors, and authors hail from the capital city. This includes decorated Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, chef Guy Fieri, and Josh Radnor, better known as Ted Mosby on “How I Met Your Mother.”

11.) Columbus used to be where the NFL held its headquarters. From 1927-1932, the NFL occupied a building on the intersection of High and Broad Streets.

12.) During the NFL’s time in Columbus, the city launched a team known as the Columbus Panhandles. This name was later changed to the Columbus Tigers, but this didn’t last long as the team folded in 1926 after little success.

13.) In the same building as the NFL HQ was the American Basketball League headquarters. This now-defunct all-women league ran for two seasons from 1996-1998. Though a short lifespan, the Columbus Quest dominated + won the championship in both seasons.

14.) Speaking of vintage sports, the Ohio Village Muffins are keeping the spirit of base ball, not baseball, alive and well. This Columbus-based team keeps things historically accurate as they dress in sharp uniforms, play by the original rules, and act like gentlemen.

15.) According to the Columbus Ale Trail map, the city is home to 61 breweries, including home- brewed favorites like Columbus Brewing Company, or international brands with local headquarters like BrewDog.

Your turn. Think you can get one over on us? Let us know your favorite local trivia tidbit and you just might make it into the newsletter.

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