History

Why is this site important?

The National Road was early America’s busiest land artery to the West. The National Road stretched from Cumberland, Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois. Begun in 1806, the “Main Street of America” was the only significant land link between the east coast and the western frontier in the early 19th century. It was the dream of Washington and Jefferson, and was needed to move crops and goods between the East and West and help immigration. 

Zane Grey is the Father of the Adult Western. Born in Zanesville in 1872, Grey wrote more than 80 books. His study is re-created in the museum and includes many manuscripts and other personal memorabilia. Many years later, when all the posthumous works were finally published, it was discovered he penned about 60 are Westerns, 9 concerning fishing, 3 tracing the fate of the Ohio Zanes, and the rest being short story collections, a biography of the young George Washington, juvenile fiction and baseball stories. His novels are still popular today. 

The ceramic heritage of the area is featured in the central area of the museum, and exhibits commercial art pottery and decorative tile produced by the district’s most significant potteries, including Weller, Owens, Cambridge and Roseville. Although a number of American firms upheld the tenets of the arts and crafts movement, from which art pottery grew during the late 19th century, the Zanesville area potteries sometimes modified aesthetic qualities with commercial production techniques. The quality and popularity of these products made Zanesville the undisputed national center of art pottery during the early 20th century.