The 1700s Internet: Buying and Selling in Frontier Ohio

What our pioneer ancestors could not make themselves, they bought. A vast “internet” of trade routes, including rivers and canals, brought goods from far away—even Europe.

On February 4 at 2 p.m. in the clubhouse of the Ohio Masonic Home, Andrew Richmond from Ohio Humanities will present “Buy Local or By River: Furnishing Early Ohio.”

Contrary to popular beliefs, the Ohio frontier was not a remote backwoods devoid of style.

Trade via the rivers and lakes, and later, the canals, provided easy access to all manner of goods produced in eastern urban centers and in Europe. While early Ohioans did import great quantities of goods, they also produced equally great quantities of goods as well. Using both documentary evidence and surviving objects, we will examine the wide range of goods both made and used in on the Ohio frontier, and how trade networks and consumer choice played key roles in the furnishing of frontier homes.

This program, which is part of the George Rogers Clark Heritage Association’s ongoing mission to bring the history of our area alive, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available. Signs placed at the entrance to the Masonic Home will direct you to the clubhouse.

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