Self Guided Tour of the Village of Mesopotamia

The historic village of Mesopotamia is located in the heart of Amish Country in Trumbull County. It features 28 buildings, 21 of which were constructed before the Civil War.

The village of Mesopotamia has earned them a place on the National Register of Historic Places. The village is a hub for local artisans and crafters, highlighted by the Between Two Rivers Trading Co., and is also home to one of the oldest general stores in Ohio, the End of the Commons General Store, operating continuously since 1840.

About Mesopotamia Ohio

Mesopotamia, a quaint village in Trumbull County, Ohio, sits at the convergence of Trumbull, Geauga, and Ashtabula counties. It hosts a significant Amish community, part of Ohio’s second-largest settlement and the fourth-largest in the nation. The village center, known as the Commons, boasts 28 buildings, 21 predate the Civil War and hold a place on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1798, Pierpont Edwards purchased 25 square miles (5 miles by 5 miles) of land, now Mesopotamia, for $2,500, offering free land to early settlers. Initially named the District of Troy. The town later adopted the name Mesopotamia in 1819. Reflecting its location between two fertile streams, the Grand and the Cuyahoga, reminiscent of the biblical land of Mesopotamia.

1. Town Hall

The historic Town Hall, constructed in 1902 by the Mesopotamia Improvement Association, stands tall as a symbol of community gatherings and heritage. Despite a fire in 1977, citizens rallied to restore its roof, tower, and interior, leading to its inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. This beloved landmark hosts a variety of events, from theatrical productions to organizational meetings, fostering community unity and enjoyment. With a rich century-old history, the Town Hall remains a cherished and enduring local treasure.

2. The Newcomb House

The Newcomb House, built in 1859 by Z.O. Newcomb, a prominent businessman, showcases mid-19th-century architecture with elaborate gingerbread scrollwork crafted by Newcomb himself. Despite its architectural beauty, Newcomb’s financial struggles led to his stepdaughter Nellie working at a nearby hotel to help pay debts. The house is rumored to be haunted by Nellie’s ghost, adding to its intrigue for visitors who report hearing mysterious sounds within its walls.

3. The World’s Largest Amish Horse and Buggy

The World’s Largest Amish Horse and Buggy is a remarkable roadside attraction with a larger-than-life presence. This piece, sculpted by artist Chris McConnell, stands at an impressive height of 14 feet, with wheels that measure a staggering 7 feet in diameter. Installed in 2008, this structure not only serves as a unique focal point but also acts as a gathering spot, providing a place for people to meet, take memorable selfies, and create lasting memories.

4. Spiritualistic Church: Home of the Mesopotamia Historical Museum

The Spiritualist Church, constructed in the late 19th century for followers of Spiritualism, featured a simple wooden structure. Despite attracting visitors keen on spirit communication, the religion faced decline in the early 20th century due to increased skepticism and competition from other denominations like the Universalists. Sold to the Universalists in 1910, it later became a multifunctional space including a Town Hall and museum, curated by the Mesopotamia Memorial & Historical since 1976. Among its notable exhibits is a hog trough carved by local artist Howard Brigden in 1902, displaying his humorous satire towards influential businessmen of the time.

5. Fairview Cemetery

Fairview Cemetery, established in 1818 behind the United Methodist Church, is a historic burial ground holding early settlers and veterans from conflicts like the War of 1812, the Civil War, and the Spanish American War. Reflecting Mesopotamia’s history since its 1802 founding by Connecticut religious dissenters, the cemetery’s markers range from simple to ornate, showcasing the community’s faith and values. Notably, it features the craftsmanship of Mesopotamia-born sculptor Howard A. Brigden (1841-1913), seen in three granite monuments, including a spiral seashell and a life-sized dog statue. These sculptures and Brigden’s stone eagle atop the Civil War Memorial honor his legacy and the memory of those interred.

6. United Methodist Church

The United Methodist Church, established in 1830, stands as one of the area’s oldest churches. Originally a log cabin, it was replaced by a brick structure in 1848 and has undergone three significant renovations since. Adjacent to the church lies a cemetery, containing the graves of early settlers and veterans. A stone schoolhouse once stood nearby until its closure and demolition in 1929, serving as the township’s educational center at the time.

7. The Lyman House

The Lyman House, constructed in 1833 by Elias Lyman, boasts Federal-style architecture with six rooms, two fireplaces per floor, symmetrical windows, a fanlight over the entrance, and decorative moldings. Inherited by Elias’s son, Captain Carlos Lyman, who fought in the Civil War, the house underwent renovations for his fiancée, a Cleveland society woman who ultimately declined to move to Mesopotamia. Despite heartbreak, Carlos found happiness with another who shared his love for rural life, and they resided there until his passing in 1904.

8. The Fountain

The Fountain is a historic landmark at the town center known as the Commons. It’s surrounded by the 28 buildings, 21 predating the Civil War. Originally a stone trough fed by a spring, it served as a watering place for horses and travelers, likely existing before March 1867 when a lead pipe was installed. In 1868, a 99-year lease was signed for its spring. Stone work by Howard Brigden for the foundation was completed in 1873, and the Fountain remains in use today.

9. End of the Commons General Store

This historic landmark, serving since 1840, is Ohio’s oldest operational general store, with national historic recognition. Originally established by pioneer settler Peter Schmucker, the store evolved through ownership by several families until 1982 when it was restored by Ken and Margaret Schaden and their family. They expanded its offerings, restored its original appearance, and added a cafe. Today, it remains a living museum of Northeast Ohio’s heritage, offering a sense of community alongside its diverse product line and antique memorabilia.

10. The Civil War Monument

The Civil War Monument, located at the intersection of State Routes 87 and 534, stands as a proud tribute to Union soldiers’ courage and sacrifice. Sculpted in 1867 by local artists Howard Brigden and Walter Supple, who were veterans themselves, it was funded by community donations and dedicated on July 4, 1868, with General James A. Garfield (Later U.S. President) as the keynote speaker. Preserved over the years through dedicated efforts, the monument serves as a poignant reminder of the bravery and patriotism exhibited during a tumultuous period in American history.

11. Clark Family Cemetery

The Clark family cemetery, established in 1806 by War veteran Isaac Clark, houses some of the township’s earliest settlers. Isaac, a prominent citizen and one of the township’s first trustees, alongside his wife Lydia and descendants, rests in this historic burial ground. With approximately 24 graves dating back to the early 1800s, it stands as one of Trumbull County’s oldest cemeteries, enclosed by a stone wall.