It’s the belt that connects the two cities of Crawford County, and until the somewhat recent arrival of the new US30, it has been the usual means of travel to and from the county seat.
It’s Ohio Route 19. Along its 86.48 miles, it passes in or through Galion, Bucyrus, Bloomville, Republic, Green Springs, Fremont, and Oak Harbor. As it goes north it is full of 90 degree turns as it follows improved county roads.
State Route 19 was established in 1932, and originally went from Galion on the south to Oak Harbor on the north. It went through Fremont until a bypass was built. To the south, it was extended from Galion to US Route 42 in 1939.
Today, its southern terminus is at US Route 42 in Williamsport, and its northern terminus is at State Route 2 north of Oak Harbor.
As it goes through Crawford County, it passes by two well-known historic landmarks. The Native American settlement of Seccaium was located north of 19, with the amusement resort which bore its name accessible along the traction car line right off of the highway. A bit to the west, the Olentangy Battle Monument commemorates the Battle of Olentangy, which took place on June 6, 1782. We will have more to share on both landmarks in the coming months.
In November, 1933, Ohio Route 19 was part of a bit of a struggle over the proper routing of US 30. That month, the Inquirer shared an editorial called “Galion’s Highway Position.” It read in part: “Galion deserves and should have the cooperation of our two neighboring cities (Mansfield and Bucyrus). We want 30 to pass through Galion over the present 30 south, and to extend to Bucyrus over the present route 19.”
It was the start of a tug-of-war which was not fully resolved until 2005 and the opening of the realigned, four lane highway that runs south of Crestline and north of Galion.