|Columbus, Ohio at a time when the Broad Street Bridge (at middle right) is made of wood.|
These two sentences give my kids' fourth great grandfather on their mom's side a lasting place in Central Ohio's history. There are ironic tie-ins to family history too.
The Broad Street Bridge is not made of wood today, but it's a landmark and a vital artery in Columbus' economic past, present, and future. Ironically, in the 1990's, their grandfather on their dad's side, John Platt, had his offices in Columbus overlooking that same bridge.
Today, the site of the "old state penitentiary" is a high-end retail and housing district. The district's place in Ohio's history, though, is more owed to a horrific fire April 21, 1930 in which 322 prisoners perished.
Ironically, a 1930 Census record taken two days before the fire, showed Richard Harper was there. Richard Harper, convicted for petty theft, died in that 1930 fire in the building built by his great grandfather.
Charles Harper's memorial stands an hour northwest of Columbus near Richwood, but his lasting impact is still right there in the heart of the Capitol City.