Franklinton – The Origin Of Columbus

Written & Photos by:
Andrew Livelsberger


Lucas Sullivant lead a team of 20 men in 1795, commissioned to survey the west side of the Olentangy and Scioto river confluences.  Sullivant was paid in land, receiving 6000 acres.  Sullivant went to Kentucky, where he courted/marries the daughter of his mentor, Colonel William Starling(American Revolution).

After the marriage, he returned to Ohio and started laying out 220 plots of land in what is now Franklin County.  He named the settlement Franklinton, in honor of the recently deceased Benjamin Franklin.
Further information about the history of the settlement can be found here:

Briefly, the area flooded a few years later and the settlement was moved a mile away.  The area was frequent to flood as that area was geographically in a lower elevation than the river.  Eventually, flood walls and better water management in the rivers have mitigated this flooding.

A once thriving part of Columbus, the Franklinton area is now referred to as “The Bottoms”, not because of it’s lower elevation, but because it became a destitute area.  There is a community organization in cooperation with the city of Columbus that is working to get the neighborhood revitalized.  Many of the condemned structures are in the process of either being re-built or torn down.  Business and artists are taking over some of the buildings and inviting all to come and bring the Franklinton area out of the slum like conditions it is in.

The included images in this article show some of the art work that the artists are putting up.  There are also some images of the state of some of the buildings as well.  Definitely a work in progress.

When I was down there, I could feel the energy of the city, it was all around you.  The businesses bustle with activity and you can tell that the revitalization efforts are working wonders to help bring this part of the city back to prominence.  These kinds of projects are never going to happen quickly.  If the surrounding communities support the activities, Franklinton can be a prospering mecca of arts and business.

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