Life In The Late 1800's...

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Hoeing Strawberries in Alpha, Ohio Hoeing Strawberries in Alpha, Ohio Billie Overholser-Stewart

Life throughout Beavercreek Township during the latter nineteenth century was very agrarian, even in an urban metropolis like Alpha!  While many families were very self-sufficient, growing their own crops and raising their own livestock, this was a transitional period for American capitalism.  There was no 'free lunch', even amongst friends and family!  From Daniel Overholser's writings, we've learned how different interpersonal relationships were:

  • When invited to a friend's home for dinner, guests left a proportionate share of the cost of the meal for their hosts - typically $.75 to $1.50 per couple.
  • If borrowing a neighbor's wagon to haul a load of fence rails from the sawmill, a rental fee was paid.
  • Trading and bartering was commonplace, but written notes were exchanged upon incurring the debt, and destroyed upon satisfying it.

Familes certainly looked out for their own, but the church and community received a great deal of attention as well:

  • During the Civil War, communities were able to raise 'subsciptions', which were essentially early war bonds.  When reaching their township quota, families within were exempt from sending their youth to support the war effort.  Often the entire town would show up at the Alpha or Xenia train stations to greet returning soldiers.
  • Church wasn't a Sunday only activity.  It was common to attend Bible study at the member's church, as well as to travel to local kindred churches.  There was certainly more than a fair share of rivalry amongst churches 150 years ago as well!
  • More recently, fire struck the Beaver Grill - many from the community gathered lumber and converged on the site to begin the rebuilding of the local icon.

One of Beavercreek's greatest attributes even today is our sense of community!  When one of our residents suffers a loss or tragedy, we rise up to support them.

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Brett Williford

Re-introducing you to the Beavercreek you love... from 1803 to today!


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