- Amish Country
Located on the high ground just east of Killbuck Creek, Millersburg is a beautiful community that celebrates its original heritage of early pioneers as well as the somewhat newer influx of the religious group commonly called the Amish.
In Millersburg, visitors will often see Amish horse and buggies tied up around town, especially at the courthouse. It is just a lovely reminder for visitors that Millersburg is a step back in time when it was common for everyone to be riding in horse and buggies.
When Millersburg was originally formed, the Amish had not yet arrived in large numbers to Holmes County. Today, Holmes County, with Millersburg being the county seat, is home to the largest contingent of Amish in the country.
The Mennonites began arriving in the Ohio Country at the beginning of the 18th Century, along with other American settlers and for the same reason. But around the time of the War of 1812, there began a new wave of Amish and Mennonites coming to the United States from Europe. Instead of settling in areas that already had a large population of Amish. While the Mennonite communities began to decline over the next 100 years, the Amish communities continued to grow.
Visitors to modern day Millersburg might be surprised to find there is no Main Street or High Street in Millersburg designating the typical center of town which divides the street designators of north and south and east and west. In Millersburg those divisions are created at the intersection of Jackson Street and Clay Street. (The county courthouse is located on the southeast corner of this intersection.) The reason for this is that Millersburg was a combination of two different towns: Old Town and New Town. Old Town did have the typical Main and High Streets we're all so familiar with. But when it became apparent that the titles for the original Old town had not been properly filed, then New Town was laid out. Rather than make things any more confusing than they were already, it was decided not to rename the streets. In time, those first streets were re-platted and the original names disappeared from the city maps.
The historic downtown area of Millersburg has been going through a continuing revitalization program that has brought new life to many of the older buildings. The area offers a variety of unique shopping dining opportunities. Second Saturdays in the 'Burg is a new program through the warmer months that features different points of interest to celebrate as a community in the downtown area. The events, held on the second Saturday of each month, begin at 5:00 PM.
The first weekend (Saturday and Sunday) of October is traditionally the date for wildly successful Holmes County Antique Festival that features a Grand Parade on Sunday.
The early history of Millersburg is a little confusing. There were actually 2 different towns created close to each other, and both were laid out by Charles Miller.
The first town was laid out in 1815 by Charles Miller and Adam Johnson. A few buildings including a tavern and a school were built here. However, there may have been some problems with the title to the land.
Nine years after the first town was laid out, Charles Miller and Andrew Johnston laid out a new town just south and east of the original. The first platted piece of land became known as Old Town and the second town became known as New Town. These names remained in common use for several years. In 1824 when Holmes County came into being by an act of the General Assembly, the name Millersburg was used for both towns. In 1835 the village was incorporated.
The first town was laid out in 1815 by Adam Johnson and Charles Miller. Eventually this platted town. There may have been some problems with layout as none of the plats were registered with the state. Nine years later Charles Miller and Andrew Johnstone laid out a new town which was south east of the first town then called Old Town.
In 1824, Charles Miller and Andrew Johnston filed a plat for a New Town that was south east of the original (Old Town). This new village would become Millersburg
Just about the same time the War of 1812 was coming to an end, Charles Miller and Adam Johnson, were laying out 194 lots in what would later become the county seat of Holmes County in 1824. Originally, the new village was called "New Town."
Early on the first building in the newly laid out village was a log cabin that became a tavern. Later William Painter built the first frame building that became a hotel, and was used as the Holmes County Courthouse. The next building built would become the new town's school house.
In the early 1800s Millersburg became the county seat for Holmes County. Most of the businesses that flourished in the town were businesses that provided support for the farmers that surrounded the county seat. That is still true today, but with a twist.
Millersburg is also home to numerous antique shops that attract tourists from all over the state.
The county was officially formed on January 20, 1824. It was made up from portions of Coshocton, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties. It was named after Major Andrew Hunter Holmes, an officer in the War of 1812 and who was killed August 4, 1814 in an attack on the Mackinac Island at Fort Mackinac.