Belle Center, Ohio

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Belle Center is a village in Logan County, Ohio, United States. The population was 807 at the 2000 census. It is a Tree City USA, one of the smallest in the state.[4]

Contents

Name

Historically, the community's name has also been spelled Belle Centre, Bellecenter, and even Bellecente. The Board on Geographic Names officially decided in favor of the current spelling in 1891.[5]

History

Historically, some areas in what is now northern Richland Township were covered by swampland. During the 1840s, however, settlers moved in, and a town was platted around 1846, by which time a small town named Richland had become well established in the southern part of what is now Richland Township. In this year, the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad began to plan for a railroad line through the area. A competition developed between the two towns for the location of a water stop for the railroad (essentially requiring the basics of a station), which eventually was won by the upstart town. Five years later, the village of Belle Center was officially incorporated by the Ohio General Assembly. The presence of the railroad led to growth for Belle Center but decline for Richland (since renamed New Richland). This railroad origin is responsible for Belle Center's "diagonal" street layout.

For many years, many businesses existed in Belle Center, including hotels, blacksmith's shops, restaurants, markets, and even an "Opera House". Today, most older stores are gone, but some establishments still remain. Some of these include three restaurants, a grocery store with gas station, a bank, a hardware store, a garage, an ice cream stand, a bar, and a doctor's office.

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