How Hanging Rock Ohio got its name!
Hanging Rock Ohio, a small village tucked away in the southern part of the Buckeye State, has a rare and unique history. One of the most fascinating aspects of hanging rock, is how it got its name in the first place.
One story told by all timers in the early 1800s involved Shawnee Native Americans who would come down a hunting trail to a formation of rocks that overlooked the Ohio River. According to the folklore, the native Americans would hang out over an extended rock to survey the pioneers and explorers that piloted flat boats down the beautiful river. Signals sent by the native scouts perched on the high rock down to the waiting Warriors below near the banks of the river often initiated attacks from the shore line and often kept the pioneers leery of putting over near that spot. The old-timers insisted that the name for the place was coined by the fearful river travelers as they warned others to beware of the "hanging rock."
Another store that is often told about the name for the village of hanging rock comes from the actual geographical structure of the area. If you travel and visit our small town, you will note that the entire Area is filled with cliffs and rock formations that hang out over the river valley below. I'll region is famous for coal mines, strip mines, and of course the old iron furnaces. The vast resources of coal and iron or made this region famous throughout the world. A small village of hanging rock once had a large precipice that actually hung out over all the valley below. Some contend that the name of the town was given because of the rock that hung out over the river valley. When US 52 came through and cut through the town, the actual hanging rock was dynamited away in the name of progress. The name of the town remained however. Today, if you visit our village, you can look up to see several similar 'hanging rocks' that remain.
A third explanation about the naming of hanging rock revolves around the naturally sloped landing at the edge of our village that the early pioneers called Union Landing. In these early days, before the construction of the dams in the Ohio River, a large rock obstructed the river directly across from Union Landing in the curve of the river's course. As flatboats made their way down the Ohio River, the floating supply boat often would get hung up on that big rock and often could not be moved for hours and even sometimes days. As frustrating that this might have been to the pioneers, what made the airplane even worse was that it made them susceptible to Native American attacks from canoes in the shore. Many horrendous stories are told about the native Americans and their warfare techniques that are probably far too graphic for us to include in this simple tale of the naming of hanging rock.
We welcome our visitors and the curious to pick the story that best suits your fancy. Most of us hold to the idea of the rock in the middle of the river because it would hang up those old flat boats. Yet, a few others embrace the idea of the rock that hangs over from the cliff. Why, today, if you come to hanging rock, you can look up and see a beautiful American flag that flies from the cliff above overlooking our village below. We are all very patriotic! No matter your fancy, let your imagination lead, and come visit us here in hanging rock. You can make your own discoveries and determining your own heart and mind which story you think rings most true.