You are here

Historical Ada

First ONU college building

David Devier, Ph.D., attended ONU, taught there for 15 years, and lived in and around Ada for 45 years. In the following column he provides an item of "town and gown" history that fits with the theme of Founders Day, celebrated this year on April 6.

By David Devier

This is a plate from the 1902 publication "Ada and the O.N.U. The New and the Old" photo book. This plate shows H. S. Lehr standing in front of the house at 122 West Monford St, which still stands (see photo attached), that served as his first college building.

ONU memorabilia display moves to Hill Building

A military-style sword, a medal from the celebrated 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and a recreational pipe that belonged to a KISS band member, are just a few of the curious artifacts from ONU’s past that were unearthed this fall by students taking a special sesquicentennial history course.

Senior history major Jordan Clagg says she was excited to take the course. “This class hasn’t been offered in the past and won’t be offered again” she explained.

Co-taught by Russ Crawford, Ph.D., professor of history, and David Strittmatter, Ph.D., assistant professor of history, ONU History was funded through a grant obtained from the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Do you wish you had a sleigh?

On a day like today, do you wish you had a sleigh? This 1869 view of a snowy Lincoln Ave. is from the Ada Historical Society website.

Ada postcard display-ONU student project

The Ada Public Library has a display of local postcards created in late December 2021 by students of history professor Dr. David Strittmatter at Ohio Northern University.

The Icon connected with Aliya Mitchell, a civil engineering major, for details on the exhibit.

Were these cards selected from a larger collection?

We selected the display from over 250 postcards and photos in the Ada Public Library. There were so many interesting ones from class pictures, streetscapes, and people milling about. It was very difficult attempting to narrow the selection down to fit the space provided.

Take a tour of Ada in person or online

For Ada hosts and guests who need to stretch their legs this Thanksgiving weekend: check out the Walking Tour of Ada, Ohio on A Google map provides a route; the entries provide history, photographs and source material. So if you’re not in Ada or anywhere nearby, the tour can be enjoyed online.

The thirteen entries were compiled by students of David Strittmatter, Ph.D., ONU Assistant Professor of History. If you were asked to put together a baker’s dozen of key locations in the village, what would they be?

Take a closer look at this 1905 view of ONU

Take a close look a this 1905 view of ONU's campus from Main St. A curious element is at the lower left: Pharmacy students hold a sign with a skull and crossbones. Pirates? No. Poisons? Yes. The Icon assumes it's a reminder that "The dose makes the poison."