Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4



The Water-Shed of Richland County, Ohio.



The far-famed barn, from the eaves of which the rain-falls

flow from one side into Lake Erie and from the other to the

Ohio river is situate near "Five Corners" in Springfield township,

seven miles west of Mansfield, Richland County, on the West

Fourth street, or Leesville road.

That this barn is not a myth but an actual reality can be veri-

fied by a visit to the locality. The farm upon which the building

stands is owned by C. Craig, a cousin of Dr. J. H. Craig, of


While this barn is not on the highest point of land in the

state, it is upon the actual "divide," and has an elevation of 832

feet above the lake, 965 feet above the Ohio river, and 1,265 feet

above the sea. A mile east of the Craig barn is the Ralston knob,

which reaches a higher elevation, but is not a "divide," for the

surface waters from its several sides all find their way into the


Contrary to the general opinion, the roof of this barn does not

face north and south, but to the east and west, being situate upon

a spur extending a short distance to the north from the dividing

ridge proper, which traverses Ohio from the northeast to the

southwest. From the east line of Ohio in Ashtabula county, the

crest of the water-shed extends in a tortuous course through

Trumbull, Geauga, Portage, Summit, Medina, Wayne, Ashland,

Richland, Crawford, Marion and Hardin counties and from the

latter it throws off a lofty spur into Logan county, but the main

line continues from Hardin southwest between Auglaize and

Shelby, through the corner of Mercer and the northern part of

Darke to the Indiana line, at elevations ranging from 400 to 900

feet. The gravel knobs - like the one at Ralston's, are frequently

found along the divide, and are interesting subjects in the study

of surface geology.