Places to See in the Granville Area

Granville has many interesting places to see. Here are 12 things to see while you are visiting us:

In Granville Village and Township

Alligator Mound

The "Alligator" mound is located at the end of Bryn Du Drive in Granville. It is located on top of a bluff overlooking the Raccoon Creek valley. It is one of two great animal effigy mounds built by Ohio's prehistoric people.

Alligator mound is a giant earthen sculpture of a four-footed animal with a round head and a long, curving tail. Although it has the name "Alligator" Mound, archaeologists believe that the animal depicted by the effigy is perhaps an opossum or a panther. The earthwork is approximately 250 feet long, 76 feet wide, and about four feet high.

Scholars do not know who built Alligator Mound, but it may have been the work of the Hopewell people who also built the great Newark Earthworks located just three miles to the east. The Newark Earthworks were built between 100 B.C. and A.D. 400. Recent studies suggest, however, that it more likely may have been built by the later Fort Ancient culture.

Alligator Mound is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned by the Licking County Historical Society. Learn more about the Alligator Mound.

Bryn Du Mansion

675646fc002afc304068068488f3868f.jpg

For more than 100 years, the historic Bryn Du Mansion, located at 537 Jones Road, has dominated the landscape of a 52-acre estate on the east side of Granville.  Its colorful history, and the history of the families that lived there, add to its rich environment and unique facilities.  Only recently available for public use, the Bryn Du Mansion and estate have quickly become a popular location for business meetings, weddings, banquets, tradeshows, and sporting events.

There are a total of seven buildings on the grounds: the field house, carriage house, pump house, gardener's cottage, laundry cottage, and horse barn.  With 52 gated-acres, 32 acres of level front lawn, and a 7,200 square foot Field House, the entire Bryn Du estate is utilized for community activities, special events, private events, and sport and athletic competitions.

On Sunday afternoons during the summer months, polo is played on the Great Lawn at Bryn Du. 

The property is managed by the Bryn Du Commission, which was established by the Village of Granville and charged with the responsibility of preserving the property and managing the programs and event facilities for the benefit of the community. 

For more information about this community asset or to inquire about scheduled events or available facilities, please visit the Bryn Du website.

Buxton Inn

In 1812, Orrin Granger, a pioneer from Granville, Massachusetts, built "The Tavern" on land that was purchased on 1806. It had a ballroom, a stagecoach court, a dining room . . . all the fixings demanded by society in 1812. 

That tavern, now known as "The Buxton Inn", has been operated continuously since that date in 1812. It is Ohio's oldest continuously-operated inn in its original building. The Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Inn operated as Granville's first post office and as a stagecoach stop on the line between Columbus and Newark. The coach drivers were housed in the original cellar with its hewn beams, stone fireplace, and stone walls. The cellar today still carries the feeling of those early years when the drivers cooked their meals in the great open fireplace and slept there on beds of straw.

The inn has been expanded into a carefully and lovingly restored complex of four buildings that offer 25 lodging rooms filled with antiques. The inn also offers seven dining areas, elegant gardens, and cascading fountains.

For more information about this historic inn, please visit the Buxton Inn website.

Denison Museum

The Denison Museum in Burke Hall houses the collections and exhibition spaces of Denison University. The collections comprise nearly 8,000 objects from Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and Central America. The display spaces are not only used to showcase the permanent collection, but are also devoted to the presentation of a wide variety of exhibitions. The work of senior art majors is presented at the end of each season.

The Denison Museum is dedicated to providing students, faculty, and staff of the University, as well as the wider community, with a first-hand cultural experience. An on-going program of lectures, symposia, visiting artists, gallery tours, and other events is available to the Denison audience and the general public.

Please visit the Denison Museum homepage for more information. 

DENISON University

Founded in 1831, Denison University is an independent residential college of liberal arts and sciences. Denison’s campus is beautiful and exceptionally well suited for its academic mission.  With historic and contemporary buildings and state-of-the-art facilities—all within walking distance of each other—the campus spans 900 acres, including a 560 acre biological reserve.

Learn more about visiting Denison University at their website.

Granville Historical Society

The Granville Historical Society was created on March 9, 1885, by Charles Webster Bryant, Crayton Black, and Francis Shepardson. Its formation was in part a response to the realization, after the 75th anniversary of the founding of the town, that firsthand memories of the early days of Granville were vanishing. One of the Society’s first major acts, then, was to begin preserving and documenting the history of the community: Bryant produced invaluable genealogical records (including an inventory of the gravestones in the Old Colony Burying Ground, many of which have since eroded beyond recognition), and Bushnell wrote The History of Granville, Licking County, Ohio, in 1889. Some of the drawings produced for Bushnell’s book are still among the most reliable images we have of early Granville and have been used in subsequent histories of the town.

The Society’s Museum, housed in the 1816 building that had been the Bank of the Alexandrian Society, is open seasonally; it houses and displays important artifacts from the history of the area, from a mastodon tooth, to a bassoon that saw action in the War of 1812, to a wide array of clothing and household objects. In addition, the Society maintains the historically important Old Academy Building at the corner of Elm Street and Main Street. Beginning in 2011, the GHS launched a major expansion including an addition to the Museum building that houses the Hubert and Oese Robinson Research Center. In this state-of-the-art archive, anyone may come and conduct research using our extensive genealogical and other records.

For more information about the Granville Historical Society and its museum, visit their website.

Granville Inn

In 1923, John Sutphin Jones, a coal and railroad magnate and owner of the Bryn Du Mansion and the Granville Golf Course at the time, commissioned the construction of The Granville Inn in the Jacobethan Revival style on the former site of the Granville Female College, which had closed its doors in 1898. The stone and half-timber structure was designed by Frank L. Packard, a prominent Columbus architect. All of the sandstone was quarried at Bryn Du.

According to the newspapers of the time, the Inn's opening on June 26, 1924 was attended by as many as 5000 people.

The Inn, located in the heart of Granville, offers a full-service restaurant and pub, 27 traditional guest rooms and three suites, along with banquet, meeting, and catering services.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the inn’s old-world charm, hand cut oak paneling, native sandstone and rural hospitality make it a place for great escapes.

Please visit the Granville Inn website for additional information.

Robbins Hunter Museum at The Avery Downer House

The Avery-Downer House and Robbins Hunter Museum is a historic house museum furnished with 18th and 19th century decorative arts acquired by the original owners, as well as collectors tied to the house over its long history. It was completed in 1842, with additions in 1875, 1930, and finally during Robbins Hunter's occupancy from 1956 to 1979. The house has 27 rooms, sixteen of which are open to the public.

A private residence until 1903, the house was owned successively by the Avery, Spelman, and Downer families. From 1903 to 1930, the house was home to Denison University's Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, and from 1930 until 1956 it was home to the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

From 1956 until 1979, Robbins Hunter, Jr. made his home here. He had long harbored a dream of preserving the Avery-Downer House as a museum, and during his 23 years of ownership, he painstakingly collected antiques worthy of furnishing the interior. Opened as a museum in August of 1981 under the provisions of his will, the building has undergone extensive restoration and rehabilitation, revealing the beauty of this important Grecian landmark.

Learn more at the Robbins Hunter Museum website.

Nearby GRanville

For more things to do in Licking County, visit the Licking County Convention and Visitors Bureau website.

DAWES ARBORETUM

Founded in 1929 by Beman and Bertie Dawes, The Arboretum now covers nearly 1,800 acres and includes eight miles of hiking trails and a four-mile Auto Tour. An open-air wagon is available for groups up to 60 people. This is a guided tour that takes you by some of the prime collection and garden areas. It is a great opener to a more in-depth walk of the grounds.

There are more than 15,000 living plants on The Arboretum's grounds, and most are hardy in central Ohio. Of these plants, 4,500 are unique names (taxa). Records kept for each plant include specific location, scientific and common names, origin, and age. The Arboretum's native plant conservation efforts include conserving plants in their native habitats, inventorying native plant communities, and restoring and recreating Ohio native ecosystems.

Some of the featured collections and attractions include the "All Seasons Garden", "Azalea Glen", the Ohio Buckeye Collection, "Conifer Glen", the "Cypress Swamp", the "Dutch Fork Wetlands", and the "Japanese Garden". Climb the Observation Tower for an amazing view. Visit the Daweswood House Museum to see antiques and collectibles of the founding family.

Please visit the website of the Dawes Arboretum for more information.

Midland Theatre

After opening its doors on December 20, 1928, the Midland Theatre served the community of Newark, Ohio, for 50 years primarily as a movie theater, until it closed in 1978. In need of repairs, it was purchased by Dave Longaberger and The Longaberger Company in 1992, and after an 8-year, $8.5 million renovation, the Midland opened again in 2000. Longaberger entrusted the property to The Newark Midland Theatre Association, a local volunteer, non-profit organization.[3] It is also supported by the Ohio Arts Council.[4]

Today, various musical performances by nationally known performers are held at the theater. Learn more about the Midland Theatre at their website.

NEWARK EARTHWORKS

The Newark Earthworks are the largest set of geometric earthen enclosures in the world. In The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World (1999), Cambridge University archeologist, Chris Scarre named the Newark Earthworks as one of only three North American sites that qualified as an ancient wonder. (The others are Chaco Canyon in New Mexico and Cahokia in Illinois.) Compared with other ancient wonders, the Newark earthworks are colossal. 

Learn more about the Newark Earthworks by visiting the Great Circle Museum. Visitors are invited to watch an interactive video explaining the significance of the site and tour a 1,000-square-foot exhibit that includes a timeline of Ohio's ancient cultures and an explanation of why American Indians regard the Newark Earthworks as a sacred site. The exhibit also details how the earthworks align with the rising and setting of the moon. Following the museum tour, visitors can take self-guided tours of the grounds during daylight hours.

Learn more about the Newark Earthworks at their website.

THE WORKS

The vision for The Works began in the early 1990's when Howard LeFevre assembled a group of local citizens interested in preserving Licking County's industrial past. Local educators, artists, engineers and community leaders became partners in the creation of an instituion where history was the foundation for educational programs linking the past, present and future. The best and brightest professionals were engaged to shape programs that would refurbish and transform historic structures in order to provide interactive programming experience for all ages. After several additions and periods of growth, today The Works complex links together an entire city block with a pleasant park-like setting where people of all ages come to enjoy educational and artistic experiences and exciting community events.

Learn more about The Works and its programming at their website.