Moving to Chillicothe, OH? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

This Historic Neighborhood is the Perfect Blend of Quiet Town and Exciting City

Downtown Chillicothe


Alexandra Ross


Jan 21, 2021

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So we hear you’re moving (or considering moving) to the great first capital of Ohio. You’ve made a great choice — the city of Chillicothe is a historic, vibrant community that has so much to offer.

Chillicothe, Ohio is the perfect blend between small-town calm and big-city excitement. You can enjoy the various shops, restaurants, and stores downtown while also enjoying the relatively quiet and slow pace of your neighborhood. 

Here’s what you should know about moving to Chillicothe:

  • History of Chillicothe
  • Facts and figures about Chillicothe
  • Local favorite things to do in Chillicothe
  • And more!

History of Chillicothe

Before Moving to Chillicothe, Get to Know the History of Your New Home

For thousands of years before the Pilgrims ever landed on Plymouth Rock, the land now known as Chillicothe was home to the Shawnee people’s settlement. In fact, Chillicothe’s name comes from the Shawnee Cha-la-gaw-tha, the chief settlement of the tribe. 

Way back in 200 BC, the ancient Hopewell tradition flourished. Trade routes extended all across the country,  from the Ohio River valleys to the Rocky Mountains. A unique Amerindian culture thrived due to these trade routes.

In 1795, the Treaty of Greenville forced the Native Americans to leave most of Ohio. Europeans and American colonists soon came to the state to establish their own settlements. One of these colonists, General Nathaniel Massie of Virginia, led a party in 1796 to settle land on a grant. 

The land that Massie settled is now Chillicothe. Modern-day Chillicothe is central to the history of Ohio itself — in fact, this city was named the first and third capital of the state! It served as the Ohio state capital from 1803 until 1810, and again from 1812 to 1816. 

The construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal in 1831 created the opportunity for Chillicothe to connect with other parts of the state and region. It began to thrive as a port town, with mills and storage houses popping up along the banks of the canal.

Since Ohio was a free state, many early migrants to Chillicothe were free black men and women who wanted to live in a place with more freedom and acceptance for themselves. The free black community and other abolitionists of the city maintained stations and aided refugees on the Underground Railroad — Chillicothe’s location on the Scioto River helped them to assist many people.

The Mead Paper Company purchased a facility in Chillicothe in 1890. This quickly established the city’s importance as a producer of paper. The Mead Paper Company mill, which is now owned by Pixelle, is still one of the most notable employers in the region. It has been in operation for over a century. 

Chillicothe by the Numbers

Learn About Chillicothe’s Economy, Demographics, and What It’s Really Like to Live Here

Before you move in, it’s important to get a sense for the heart and soul of your new town. Check out these quick facts and figures about Chillicothe:

Your New Neighbors

Chillicothe, Ohio is a town of about 21,598 people with a population density of 2,072 people per square mile. While it has a much smaller and less dense population than Ohio’s major cities, Chillicothe is not quite as slow-paced and quiet as other small towns. It is a vibrant and exciting community where things are always changing and happening. 

The median age of Chillicothe residents is 43.4. Many households — almost one third of the 9,420 households in the town — are home to children under the age of 18, who attend the Chillicothe City School District. These children get a great education — ranked Chillicothe High School #16 in their list of Standout High Schools in Ohio

Approximately 2,000 of your neighbors will be college students, attending Ohio University at their Chillicothe campus. This is both the state’s and the University’s oldest regional campus, established in 1946.

The student body is a unique mix of “traditional” 18-22 year old college students and older students who are seeking a degree later in life. If you’ve ever thought about going back to school, this could be your chance!

Economy and Jobs

The cost of living in Chillicothe is below the national average, especially with regards to housing and transportation. For example, the median home cost in Chillicothe is just $124,700. Home appreciation in the last 10 years has been 13.2% and the home appreciation in the area is up 4.6%, which suggests that buying a home in Chillicothe could be a smart investment. 

The unemployment rate in Chillicothe is 4.1%, much lower than the national average of 6.0%. Job growth in the next ten years is expected to be 29.2%. Many Chillicothe residents work at the local Pixelle paper mill, which was previously owned by Mead Paper and then Glatfelter. 

In addition to manufacturing, popular occupations include retail trade and construction. The average one-way commute time is 19 minutes and most take their own car. Some commute to nearby Columbus for work.

Weather and Climate

In Chillicothe, you won’t miss any of the four seasons. The July high is around 85 degrees and the January low is about 21 degrees. Overall, BestPlaces granted Chillicothe a 7.3 out of 10 on its Comfort Index, calling it one of the most pleasant places in Ohio.

There are about 176 sunny days each year in Chillicothe, and 109 days of precipitation. On average, Chillicothe gets 40 inches of rain and 13 inches of snow per year. Humidity is low for most of the year.

Chillicothe is a designated Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation, demonstrating the city’s dedication to maintaining a green landscape and preserving its surrounding nature.

Get to Know Chillicothe Like a Local

Where People Shop, Dine, and Hang Out in Chillicothe

Chillicothe has so many great shops, restaurants, and stores around that it may be difficult to decide where to go first. Whether you’re looking for a bite to eat or the perfect decorations for your new home, here are some of the best places Chillicothe has to offer:

  • Old Canal Smoke House
  • Bridge Street Craft Mall & More
  • Fire and Stone Pizzeria
  • Rustic Gals Boutique

Old Canal Smoke House 

Mouth-Watering Hickory Smoke BBQ

94 E Water St | Chillicothe |

Old Canal Smoke House, located in the heart of historic downtown Chillicothe, specializes in unique and traditional BBQ dishes centered around smoked meats — but that isn’t all they serve. Non-smoked meats, sandwiches, soups, and salads are also popular items on their menu. 

This restaurant is perfect for any craft beer lover. With over 16 different beers on tap, in cans, and in bottles, there is something for everyone. Wine and mixed spirits are also available, in addition to non-alcoholic beverages.

Old Canal Smoke House is open between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. every day. They also offer catering for parties from 10 to 100 people, and can host private parties. 

“Easily the best smoke house/BBQ around Ohio. I have been all across the country and it compares to some great Texas spots. I will drive an hour away to eat here again any day. The food quality and presentation showed that the cooks care and take pride in their job.” — Yelp Review

Bridge Street Craft Mall & More

Handmade, Vintage, Upcycled, and Antique Treasures

1525 N Bridge St | Chillicothe |

Bridge Street Craft Mall & More is home to over 70 vendors, most of them local to the area, who sell their own handmade crafts, vintage upcycled items, antiques, collectibles, and more. With so many distinct artists and creators, you’re bound to find something special here. 

The craft mall features an “Old West” back room, where vendors display their merchandise in a classic Wild West saloon, barbershop, church, stable, and more. In addition, a beautiful and scenic outdoor space called “Peddler’s Village” was recently added, perfect for shopping on warm summer afternoons.

This is the perfect place to shop when first moving into the Chillicothe area. There are so many wonderful decorations, furniture pieces, artworks, and more to make your new home special!

“I absolutely love this place. I could just buy everything in there. I went for the first time about a month ago and I completely fell in love with the entire place. There was so much to look at and choose from and the owners had the place so beautifully decorated.” — Google Review

Fire & Stone Pizzeria 

Crispy, Saucy, Cheesy, Delicious Stone-Fired Pizza

98 N Paint St | Chillicothe |

This restaurant is ranked on Tripadvisor as the #1 pizzeria in all of Chillicothe for a reason. Their pizza is simply the best in town, perfect for a date night, dinner with friends, or family outing. 

Fire & Stone Pizzeria’s pizza has a thinner crust, which is slightly burnt to crispy perfection when the pizza is baked in a brick oven. This crust, in addition to the delicious sauce and high-quality toppings, is what makes Fire & Stone special.

In addition to pizza, this restaurant also serves delicious soups, salads, calzones, and sandwiches. You can even order a combo, which comes with both a personal pizza and a side salad. 

The environment of Fire & Stone is lively and the staff is known to be very warm, welcoming and helpful for their customers. All around, this pizzeria is a smart and delicious choice the next time you’re eating out in Chillicothe.

“Had a fabulous meal here tonight. First time customer. The crust on their pizza is the greatest!  Great flavored pizza, as well. And wonderful salads and great service, too! We'll be back!” — Yelp Review

Rustic Gals Boutique

“Why Fit In When You Were Born to Stand Out?”

70 N Paint St | Chillicothe |

When in Rome, do as the Romans do — and when in Chillicothe, shop as the Chillicothe residents shop! Rustic Gals Boutique is a very popular boutique for all things fashion. They have a great mix of trendy and timeless clothes — your neighbors will definitely be impressed with your sense of fashion after you shop here!

This boutique truly sells everything, from shoes to jeans to bags to tops to dresses to skirts and more. Whether you are looking for girly, sporty, or professional wear, there is something for you here. There’s even a selection of men’s everyday wear!

Rustic Gals was first opened in Chillicothe in 2015. The cute and trendy clothes sold at this boutique became so popular that the following year, owner Kelly Bigelow was able to open her second location in Lancaster, Ohio. 

You can catch a sneak peek at Rustic Gals’ newest arrivals and view Live Sale items on their website.

“From the time I walked in, to the time I left, I experienced great customer service… The people working helped me pick outfits that flattered my body style and made me feel good about myself. They had a wide variety of clothes and sizes all at great prices! I can’t wait to shop there again!!” -- Google Review

As you can see, Ohio’s first capital is a great place to live. Chillicothe is a perfect mix between small town and exciting city; it has both a significant history and a bright future; it has a strong education system; and there is so much to do and see.

Moving to Chillicothe is a great decision for you and your family. So what are you waiting for? Contact HER Realtors’ Chillicothe office today for more information about moving to this amazing town!

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