Scioto County History: 5 Things Most People Don’t Know About Scioto County
Scioto County’s Little League Legacy
Over the years, Scioto County has experienced unprecedented success when it comes to little league. Over 50 years ago, the Sciotoville Little League boys team won the Ohio State Championships and played in Chicago, Illinois. Then, in 2016, Minford’s Little League All-Stars played in the State Championship in Youngstown, Ohio. Finally, in 2018, the Wheelersburg Little League Softball team won the Little League World Series, making them the first team from Ohio to ever do so.
The Name Origins of Scioto and Portsmouth
Portsmouth is a town name that has existed since Romans originally built a settlement with the same name during the late third century. It is derived from the Old English word “Portesmuða” which means “a haven by the port.” The name spread to various towns all across the world until eventually, it reached Ohio in 1803. This name is quite fitting for the town of Portsmouth, Ohio, since it serves a port for both the Ohio and Scioto Rivers. Scioto is named after a Native American word that means deer. The Scioto River was given this name because there were so many deer in the local area that when Native Americans went to drink from the river, it would have visible amounts of deer fur floating in it.
Millbrook Park was an ambitious project launched in 1899 by Levi York, New Boston town developer and founder of the steel mill. When Millbrook park opened up in 1910 it was one of the top three amusement parks in the state of Ohio. The park featured attractions such as boat rentals, a large theater named The Casino, and a rollercoaster purchased from Cincinnati. Sadly, the flood of 1913 led to the start of the Park’s downfall, and it officially closed down in 1935.
Rich Musical History
Scioto County has been the home to many popular musicians over the years. These include Kathleen Battle, who sang opera throughout the 1970s up to the present; Stuff Smith, a jazz violinist; Martin Dillon, a musician who went on to teach at Rutgers University; Roy Rogers also lived in Portsmouth during his youth, and later went on to star in the Roy Rogers Show. One of the most famous musicians to come from the Scioto County area was Earl Thomas Conley, who recorded over ten albums throughout his career. You can see a sample of our local talent on the Home Grown Music Page.
The Creation of the Portsmouth City Floodwall Murals
During the 1990s, city leaders in Portsmouth launched an ambitious project to have historical murals created along the city’s floodwalls. The artist Robert Dafford was hired to complete this project, which would cover nearly 2000 years of history on 2000 feet of the floodwall. Dafford was well known at that point for his work on projects in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Northern Ohio. The hope for this project was that it would draw tourists to the town of Portsmouth, and it evidently worked since hundreds of travelers come to visit the artistic masterpiece every year.