Life in Historic Chillicothe Ohio

For those who are interested in outdoor activities and history, Chillicothe is the perfect city for a weekend getaway, but it’s also a great place to live!

a street in the town of chillicothe ohio


Katherine Bauer


Jan 21, 2021

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View homes for sale in Chillicothe, OH

A Brief History of the Town

The name “Chillicothe” comes from the Shawnee language; it was the name of a specific clan of Shawnee that were the leaders of the Shawnee people.  When a member of this clan became leader, their home village then became the “Chillicothe,” which then referred to the village’s status as the capital of sorts.  When a leader died, the home village of their replacement became the new Chillicothe, and as such, there were many sites throughout the area that is now Ohio that were known as Chillicothe.  Ironically, the modern-day town of Chillicothe was never the site of a Shawnee Chillicothe, but rather the first capital of the state of Ohio.

 the Chillicothe courthouse; one of the oldest buildings in Ohio
Credit Cape Girardeau History and Photos

The town was founded in 1796 by Nathaniel Massie on the banks of the Scioto River and would become the first capital of the state in 1803.  In 1810, the capital moved to another city, only to return to Chillicothe in 1812, but in 1816 it was moved permanently to Columbus.  After the state’s capital was no longer seated in the town, Chillicothe became an economic center with a firm grounding in agriculture.  Later, other industries, such as papermaking, would come to the town as well.  

Kenworth Truck Company workers working on an engine
Credit Today's Trucking

In more recent times, the Kenworth Truck Company moved to the area and remains one of the major employers.  Many residents still work in the area, while others commute roughly an hour each way to and from Columbus.  Realtors agree that the town is known for its surrounding scenery and historic downtown district, making it a desirable place for many to live.


Like most towns, Chillicothe has a variety of chain and fast food restaurants, but it also has a plentitude of unique local eateries!  Whether you want a full meal or just need a break for coffee, tea, and a pastry, you’re sure to find something you’ll like.  Here are a few highlights, but a complete list can be found on the Chillicothe Visitors Bureau website.

7 Miles Smokehouse

large beef brisket sandwich on a plate
Credit 7 Miles Smokehouse Facebook

Address: 285 E 7th St

Chillicothe, Ohio

Do you like meat and a lot of it?  Do you like your meat smoked low and slow in house?  Then this is the restaurant for you.  From ribs to steaks, they have it all, serving BBQ done with both dry and wet rub, and finished off with cherry BBQ sauce.  Did we mention they cater?

The restaurant is family-owned and upholds the motto “serve competition-worthy barbeque, every day.” They’re open Monday-Saturday every week.

Casa del Taco

tacos and enchiladas on a plate

Address: 1055 N Bridge St

Chillicothe, Ohio

This family-owned, fast-service restaurant has been serving Mexican food to Chillicothe for over 30 years!  They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and have carry-out and catering services too.  Dishes include tacos, chimichangas, enchiladas, and more at a price that can’t be beat ($5.15 for the soft taco combo meal)!

Dairy Shed Too & Ramrod’s Pizza

Dairy Shed Too & Ramrod’s Pizza blue and white storefront
Credit Restaurant Guru

Address:  21 N Main St

Kingston, Ohio

This ice cream and pizza shop is a local favorite, serving pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, and more.  It’s the perfect gathering spot for families and friends!  They’re open 11:00AM-9:00PM most days.


As with most small towns in this area, Chillicothe has a treasure trove of antique stores in addition to 30-plus other merchants right in the downtown area!  Many of the shops are housed in historic buildings that are sometimes as interesting to see as the contents of the shops themselves.

American Vintage Warehouse and American Vintage Annex

six pictures of vintage wooden furniture

Address: 213 and 201 East Water Street,Chillicv othe Ohio

The American Vintage Warehouse is an antique mall with multiple booths and dealers selling a wide variety of antiques ranging from furniture to nick-nacks and everything in between.  The annex is simply another building a bit down the street containing even more items and vendors.

Squidbait and Maggie’s

vintage doll sitting on a piano
‍Unusual, right?

Address: 72 N. Walnut Street ~ Suite A

Chillicothe, Ohio

An antique and curiosity shop as notable for its contents as its name!  The shop specializes in smaller items and furniture pieces, with an eye for the unusual. They’re open Tuesday-Fridays, 10am-5pm.

Tecumseh Trading Co.

Tecumseh Trading Co storefront windows
Credit Tecumseh Drama

Address:  13 E. Second St.

Chillicothe, Ohio

The Tecumseh Trading Co. is a store that sells both merchandise for the Tecumseh! theatrical experience, as well as Native American arts (including crafts, weaponry, art and more) and literature.  The non-profit store is open Monday-Friday, and the proceeds from the purchases made there go to the Scioto Society to fund their programs including the Tecumseh! show and other park events.

Nellie Dog Pottery and Paints

cute small pottery sea animals: a shark, a whale, a seal, and a dolphin
‍You too could paint these!

Address:  14 W. Water Street

Chillicothe, OH

Do you enjoy getting crafty yourself rather than just looking at the crafts of others?  Well, take a break from perusing the handcrafts to make some of your own at this locally-owned paint-your-own pottery studio.  With over 200 pottery pieces (or canvasses!) to choose from, there’s something for everyone, and the studio offers classes for both kids and adults.  You can also book parties and special events there!

Seasonal Events

The Sleepy Hollow Experience

Sleepy Hollow theater performance in dark red setting

Address:  5968 Marietta Rd. Chillicothe, OH 45601  (during the rest of the year, the Tecumseh! theatrical experience is performed here)

Calling fans of all things spooky and Halloween!  The Sleepy Hollow Experience will take place Thursday-Sunday, October 4th-31st 2018.  This outdoor, immersive theatrical experience will be sure to make heads roll with a performance in the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheater, as well as an escape room, and a haunted trail/laser tag maze.  The haunted festivities start at 7pm and the last tickets for the evening are sold at 11pm.  If you can’t make it to the actual town of Sleepy Hollow during the month of October, this may be the next best thing.

What are You Waiting For?

View homes for sale in Chillicothe, OH

Whether you’re looking to move to a small, historic town or want a location with plenty of family-owned businesses and beautiful scenery, Chillicothe may be the place for you!  Look up a realtor in Chillicothe today.

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