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Top 10 Stories from Columbus Neighborhoods Season 1

The Watkins family runs Tiger Mushroom Farms in Blacklick together.


When WOSU Public Media first launched Columbus Neighborhoods back in 2010, we set out to create a series of documentaries, each highlighting a different neighborhood and its history, in celebration of Columbus’ bicentennial. Over the next six years, we created 12 hours’ worth of stories about our city. Then when the documentary series evolved into a weekly WOSU TV show that first aired in October 2016, we produced 13 hours of stories in seven months.

Needless to say, we’re a bit tired. But the overwhelming support and positive feedback we’ve received from the community fueled our commitment to keep bringing you compelling and educational stories through the season. We can’t wait to share even more when we return with season 2 starting at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5 on WOSU TV, and you can catch repeat episodes during our weekly air time (8:30 p.m. Thursdays and noon Sundays on WOSU TV) through the summer.

In the meantime, we decided to highlight the top 10 stories from our first season as a weekly show. We counted up all the views in each place you can find our segments online — Facebook, YouTube and wosu.org — to see which you watched most. From stories of personal triumph and exploring different cultures to local history and nostalgia, here are the most-viewed segments of season 1.

Emily Thompson

1. Tiger Mushroom Farms
When Te’Lario Watkins was 7 years old, he founded Tiger Mushroom Farms, selling his homegrown mushrooms at local markets. The business quickly grew, and now his entire family is involved.

2. History of Buckeye Lake
Learn about the history of Buckeye Lake, located east of Columbus, and how it became known as the Playground of Ohio.

3. Olentangy Park
Olentangy Park, located in Clintonville from 1880 to 1939, was once the largest amusement park in the United States. Historians recount its history and role in the city’s early entertainment.

4. Signs of a New Immigrant Neighborhood
Join us for a trip to the West Side of Columbus to discover how local Latino Americans are transforming and revitalizing homes and businesses that were once empty.

5. Italians in Columbus
Learn the history of how Italians migrated to Columbus and how they’ve influenced our culture.

6. Discovering a Historic Photo Collection
A huge collection of 1950s to 1970s local realtor photos has found a new home at Carriage Trade Realty in Olde Towne East. Historian Doreen Uhas Sauer interviews realtor Alex Macke about the backstory of these photos and what we can learn from them.

7. The History of Big Bear Stores
Former Big Bear Co. president Stephen Breech and historian Doreen Uhas Sauer reminisce about the Columbus company, its growth to 65 grocery stores and numerous department stores across multiple states, the sale of the company and its eventual demise.

8. Driving with Darbee: Ohio School for the Deaf
Local historian Jeff Darbee visits the original site of the Ohio School for the Deaf to tour the last existing building, which has been renovated and repurposed for Cristo Rey High School.

9. Columbus’ Link to the Tuskegee Airmen
We visit Motts Military Museum in Groveport to talk about the Tuskegee Airmen and their role in World War II, as well as their contribution to Columbus’ aviation history.

10. Franklin Park and AmeriFlora
Residents reflect on Franklin Park and the conservatory‘s importance to the East Side and how AmeriFlora ’92 impacted the area.

Related Video

Active History

On the season 1 finale of Columbus Neighborhoods, we take a look at how Columbus keeps history alive and relevant. Go behind the scenes at Ohio Village, learn what it takes to be a historical re-enactor, see the city’s architecture through historic photos and more.