Street signs honoring history of Berlin Crossroads going up

By | April 29, 2012
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MILTON TWP.— The Milton Township Trustees and historians Ron Salmons and Steve Leedy are working very hard to put Berlin Crossroads back on the map.

It is because of it’s historical significance that these people hope to keep that history of Berlin Crossroads alive for generations to come.

The rich history includes a Civil War battle with Morgan’s Raiders, connections to President Thomas Jefferson, and it’s importance as part of the underground railroad. Some residents of the area are trying to make some improvements that are long overdue.

Salmons, Jackson County Engineer Melissa Miller, Leedy, and Milton Township Trustee Phillip Thompson, have started a project to place street signs, named after some of the more prominent residents of Berlin Crossroads, in the alleys and streets that had not been marked previously.

It is not only a way to honor those residents, but will enable fire departments to more easily identify where they need to go in case of an emergency.

Salmons stated that at one time Berlin Crossroads was a thriving community with two hotels, rail line connections, stores, 26 streets, a school, and was actually established before the City of Wellston was. “Berlin also had the third post office in the county,” Salmons said.

According to Salmons, Thomas Jefferson purchased land in the Berlin Crossroads area at one time, and that some of his descendants remained there for years after.

In the Battle of Berlin Heights, Salmons said that 2,500 union soldiers and residents of the area, defended their town from Morgan’s Raiders after Morgan fired a cannon from a nearby knoll toward the town. When Morgan realized the people didn’t have a cannon to return fire, he thought it would be an easy takeover of the town, but he was mistaken.

When the smoke cleared, Salmons said that 10 to 12 confederate soldiers had been killed compared to three to four union soldiers. All of the soldiers killed in that battle, rest in nearby cemeteries.

Some of the people who resided in the Berlin area have been previously honored with buildings named after them, such as the Sylvester family for whom the Sylvester Memorial Public Library in Wellston was named.

Salmons indicated he has been working on trying to get one of the historic bronze plaques that can be seen in other cities or villages, for quite some time. He hopes to be able to receive the plaque very soon so the trustees can get it installed.

“I want to put Berlin Crossroads back on the map,” Salmons stated as he showed off his baseball cap with a Berlin X Roads insignia.

For those residents who are not familiar with the area, Salmons said there is a very good book in the local libraries called, “Down from the Mountain” which provides some insight on the way things used to be in the area.

Salmons also wanted to remind everyone that the Berlin Reunion will be held on Saturday, May 19, at Sts. Peter and Paul. The social hour will begin at 5 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. The program will begin after dinner.

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