Delaware County Scavenger Hunt

Tom and I have been working on the Delaware County Scavenger Hunt.  We have been trying to find interesting, socially distanced things to do.  The winter vortex has made this more difficult because we don’t feel like getting out much in the cold.  I get up and take my morning walk, and then I just want to huddle under blankets the rest of the day.

The Delaware County Scavenger Hunt has given us a push to get out and continue to explore even in the super cold.  Tom found the scavenger hunt online.  The scavenger hunt has a description of each of the 18 townships in Delaware County with something in the township that you are supposed to find.  Once you find it, you take a letter and place it in the secret phrase line.  Eventually the line is filled in and you can can decode the secret phrase.

Before I describe how we are doing the Delaware County Scavenger Hunt, I want to describe a township.  One of the first acts of the United States Government was to survey the land that it owned.  The Land Ordinance of 1785 surveyed the Ohio territory and divided it up in to townships that were 36 square miles, or 36 sections.  Each section had 640 acres.  In each township, one section was set aside for a public school and four sections were reserved for veterans of the American Revolution.  The other sections were sold for $1 per acre.

The townships in Delaware County are a little different because Delaware County was “military land.”  The sections in Delaware County were all set aside for Revolutionary War Veterans.  Consequently, the townships were only 25 square miles.  Tom wanted me to be sure to add this because it makes the townships in Delaware County a different size.

Counties were more fluid than townships.  Counties changed boundaries and size as the population in Ohio grew.  Surveyed townships remained the same.  At first the township was the basis for government.  When Ohio became a state, each township was responsible for caring for the poor, providing a school, preserving the peace, and maintaining roads.  Today more rural areas are governed by civil townships but cities increasingly govern the majority of the population.  Although our address is Westerville, Tom and I live in a civil township between Westerville and Sunbury.  We elect township trustees who take care of the parks, maintain the roads, and provide law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services.

Our township is Genoa Township and the thing we needed to find in Genoa Township was right down the street in McNamara Park.  Here is the description in the scavenger hunt:  Named for the village (now Italian city) in which Christopher Columbus is said to have been born, this township was officially recognized in 1816. This 29.76-acre park is operated by the township. With two separate entrances, one being off Old 3C Highway, it is a great place to exercise and have a picnic. The property also has an historic building, over 200 years old! It’s a bicentennial barn! Take the last two digits of the years listed on the township barn and collect the corresponding letter of the alphabet. Then put it in the 12th spot of the secret phrase.

I’m not going to include that paragraph for each of the townships, but I thought you might enjoy seeing what kind of thing we get to decipher.  We found the barn in McNamara park and put the 16th letter of the alphabet in the 12th spot of the secret phrase.  With this, and the clue from Delaware State Park (Troy Township), we are on our way!

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