In 1812 two distilleries were built near Ashville and were owned by William and Richard Staige (Stage). The land that is now Ashville was at that time primarily the property of Richard Staige. After many years he sold his distillery to Mahlon Ashbrook, who did a large business with his brother Absolom. He also built a grist mill on Walnut Creek about 1845 and owned a large store that was run by his sister Idy and her husband Daniel Kellerman. Kellerman was the first postmaster in Ashbrook (later Ashville). The Ashbrook’s enterprises failed in 1855. From that time, until the construction of the Scioto Valley Railroad through Ashville and the advent of a depot in 1876, business was slow. Ashville was incorporated in 1882, with the first mayor being W. R. Julian.
A historical museum, Ohio’s Small Town Museum, is operated in the community. The museum, established in 1975, claims to be home to America’s oldest working traffic light, which directed traffic in downtown Ashville until the 1970s. This signal was designed by local resident Teddy Boor.
Ashville is featured in the Together Concepts video production “We Are..Teays Valley“. The video depicts a surprising number of achievements and innovations, as well as connections to American and world history.
The Puppeteers of America organization was first incorporated in Ashville in 1961 and the Puppetry Journal was published by the Pickaway Publishing Company in Ashville.
Ohio’s oldest surviving 17-star U.S. flag representing Ohio’s entry into the Union of States was found in an attic in a house on Long Street in Ashville.
Ashville also is home to Ohio’s oldest traffic light
Despite grumbles from envious rivals, Ashville sticks to its claim that it has the World’s Oldest Traffic Light. The light is now on permanent display inside Ohio’s Small Town Museum, along with marvels such as the world’s biggest scrapbook, a buoy from the ill-fated warship Maine, and a tribute to James Hulse, the only Ohio Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz. But it’s the traffic light — designed by Ashville resident Teddy Boor — that people always want to see.
Museum director Charlie Morrison, a former Ashville mayor, told us that the Light has never stopped working since 1932, which is when it was installed at the corner of Main and Long Streets (Continuous operation also entices fans of the world’s oldest working light bulb). The light looks like a silver, Buck Rogers-era football, and operates like a radar screen, with green and red alternately wiping in a circle across its face. According to Charlie, the light was retired from active duty in 1982 only because color-blind people couldn’t tell if it was green or red.
For decades after it found a home in the museum, the traffic light was re-hung outside during Ashville’s annual 4th of July celebration. That ended in 2005 with fears that the light might be stolen at night. Now it directs foot traffic inside the Museum, permanently protected, and still always on. We asked Charlie if the museum wanted to hedge its bet by calling it the world’s oldest existing traffic light, or the world’s oldestworking traffic light. He said no way. They’ve done research, he told us, and all of Ashville’s rivals have failed to prove their claims. This one is the oldest, and that’s that.
Real Estate Market Stats
Home Size in Square Feet
|Zillow Home Value Index||$181,800||$226,800|
|Median Single Family Home Value||$182,200||$226,300|
|Median 2-Bedroom Home Value||$124,400||$174,800|
|Median 3-Bedroom Home Value||$180,300||$220,000|
|Median 4-Bedroom Home Value||$207,000||$348,700|
|Percent Homes Decreasing||38.4%||27.6%|
|Median List Price Per Sq Ft||$109||$140|
|Median Sale Price||$190,200||$234,500|
|Turnover (Sold Within Last Yr.)||62||2,662,740|