The community of Clintonville developed as the center of Clinton Township, which was named for the U.S. Vice President George Clinton, as part of the land grants given to Continental Army soldiers in lieu of pensions in what used to be Wyandotte Indian territory.
The area served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.
By the early 1900s, downtown Columbus residents and professors from near-by Ohio State University had built summer homes in Clintonville, and the surrounding farmland was converted into housing developments shortly after the extension of the streetcar lines northward from Columbus.
A business district developed in Beechwold, separated by nearly a mile of residences from the Clintonville district to the south. Both communities were entirely part of Columbus by the 1950s, after it annexed most of Clinton Township.
Clintonville was once home to the Columbus’ first zoo which opened and closed in 1905 as well as the Olentangy Park amusement park.
The amusement park, which operated from 1880 to 1939, featured four roller coasters, including a rare looping coaster, a zoo, a dance pavilion, water slide, canoe rental for the Olentangy River. It was also home to the largest theatre in the country, as well as the largest swimming pool in the world at the time. One fixture of Olentangy Park that still lives on today is its carousel that is currently housed at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
The area also boosts Whetstone Park, which includes the popular Park of Roses, and three ravine parks located north of Ohio State’s campus.