The Meeker Homestead Museum
the Delaware County Historical Society
announces the opening of a new exhibit
Stratford a Mill Town

A fascinating exhibit of how Stratford, Ohio was formed and grew from 1804 through 1902. All from water-powered milling of grain, wool, and manufacturing of paper.

Stratford a Mill Town - Meeker Homestead Museum - Delaware County Historical Society - Delaware Ohio
Keystone Poster

The years from 1804 through 1902, the water flow of the Whetstone (Olentangy) River provided the power.

  • From the first pioneers who built the mills for grinding grain,
  • To cutting of lumber to build homes and barns, and the processing of wool to support the new community,
  • To the visionary businessmen who brought paper manufacturing to what would be Stratford.

The exhibit’s focus is primarily about how the present-day village of Stratford came to be called Stratford and how the town was developed based on papermaking. 

This exhibit encompasses the mill-related resources along the Olentangy River within Liberty and Delaware Townships in Delaware County, Ohio from 1804-1896. This geographical area was the site of the first white settlement and the first pioneer mill in Delaware County. 

The exhibit follows the history

  • Water Power period (1804-1840), when water-powered mills operated by farmers, provided the means to cut lumber for houses and barns, process grains for food, many things necessary to begin an early settlement.
  • Steam Power period (1840 -1896), steam power was an early technological development that allowed for larger mills and larger outputs of lumber and grains. Steam power also enabled textile manufacturing and paper mills.

The Steam Power period saw the formation of mill “villages”, which consisted of housing, a church, and a general store built and operated by the mill owners for the benefit of the mill workers.

By 1896, the milling industry ended in Liberty and Delaware Townships due to a combination of financial losses through speculation and economic trends.

“Stratford a Mill Town” features

Stratford Historic Marker

Stratford “on the Whetstone” is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places for the historic preservation of a milling community.

Stratford a Mill Town - Archeology - Meeker Homestead Museum

Within the exhibit, there is a special display showing the results of a recent Archaeology dig of an area of prehistoric interest within the original Meeker property.

Meeker Homestead Museum

Meeker House Museum - 1820s Historic Home - Delaware County Historical Society - Delaware Ohio

In Forrest Meeker’s 1820s House
2690 Stratford Road
Delaware, OH 43015
About The Museum Map

Museum and Exhibit open Sundays only from 2pm – 5pm

Exhibit now open thru Dec 15th

Volunteer Docent - Meeker Homestead Museum - Delaware County Historical Society - Delaware Ohio

Volunteer Docents are available during open hours to guide and assist visitors, as well as answer questions.

This exhibit opened as a complement to the Society’s August program Tours of Stratford Homes and Buildings.

The Stratford Exhibit was created by

Benny Shoults - Meeker Homestead Museum -  Foyer - Straford a Mill Town Exhibit

Benny Shoults, curator of the Meeker Homestead Museum

With the help of Jean Ball and the Olentangy River Valley Association, Emily Kleinhenz – guest researcher, and Cinthia Smith – graphic designer.

Be sure to visit these other new exhibits:

Delaware Chair Company - Meeker Homestead Museum - Delaware County Historical Society

The Delaware Chair Company was nationally known for its designs and workmanship. It was know for school seating.

Antiques Spinning - Meeker Homestead Museum - Delaware County Historical Society - Delaware Ohio

Early Spinning making thread on antique devices. Thread is woven to make fabric. Thread sews fabric pieces together making garments.

The Museum and Exhibit are free and open to the public. There will be an opportunity to make a donation, which will help defray the expenses.

For more information, please call the society at 740-369-3831, ext. 3., or email .

About The Delaware County Historical Society

The Delaware County Historical Society is a nonprofit institution. Our mission is to promote and sustain interest in the history of Delaware County, Ohio through historical preservation and education.

History Library - Delaware County Historical Society - Delaware Ohio


157 East William Street, Delaware


2690 Stratford Road, Delaware