Sargents Station Historic District
Sargents Station is the locality between Piketon and Wakefield, along the Scioto Trail, in Pike County. It was named after the three Sargent brothers who migrated from Maryland in the 1790s, intending to establish stations for liberated slaves in Ohio. The network of "stations" thus established, named after stations of the Cross, led to later use of the term Underground Railroad.
Periods of Significance covered by the District now being organized span the periods from the earliest human habitation in Ohio to the Atomic Age. Evidence of paleolithic settlement has been found, along with a heavy concentration of birdstones from the Archaic and Woodlands periods. The most elaborate ancient earthworks of Pike County were located in Sargents, and the early white pioneers built their home on and overlooking the Indian works. American's first and only bomb-grade uranium enrichment plant was built in Sargents, which itself has been deemed a historic site.
The Historic District will be organized around the theme of architectural succession and coexistence, as the integrated sites exhibit the interplay of Native, European and African American histories. The prehistoric and historic sites of Sargents Station include:
The Barnes Works: One of earliest and most important of the geometric earthworks built by the Scioto Civilization, datable to the fourth century BC. The Barnes Works uniquely included four separate structures that were aligned precisely to North, South, East and West. The Great Circle at Sargents enclosed 20 acres, while the Great Square enclosed 17 acres.
The Barnes Home: Originally built in 1803 by John Barnes, Jr., who served the area for many terms as state representative and judge, and founded the Whig Party of Henry Clay in Pike County. Aligned with the same part faction, Abraham Lincoln stayed at the house in 1848, while serving in Congress, to see the earthworks visible in panorama from the bedroom where he slept. The house was rebuilt around 1870, faithful to the original home, probably to preserve it as a shrine to Lincoln. The last passenger pigeon ever seen in the wild was mounted and displayed in shrine to Lincoln. The last passenger pigeon ever seen in the wild was mounted and displayed in the house between 1900 and 1915.
The Alembic: A uniquely shaped ancient earthwork, about the size of a football field, relocated in 2006 alongside Rt. 23. The structure served as a central marker along the Great Scioto Trail.
The Sargents Home: Built around 1799 by Snowden Sargent at a site overlooking the Alembic. It served as the first meeting place of the local Methodist Episcopal congregation, and is the only verified Underground Railroad station in Pike County. The house was expanded around 1870 in conjunction with the Barnes Home, at a time when two Barnes brothers were married to two Sargent sisters. Around 1900, Harriet Sargent founded an orphanage in the house, and in 1952 it became a rooming house for A-Plant construction workers.
Other sites include the Sargents Railway Station; the Hughes Home and Mound; the Rittenour Home, the Sargents Methodist Episcopal Church; Bailey Chapel (in Wakefield); the Vulgamore, Barnes, Van Meter, and Wakefield Mounds; the Barnes Graveyard; and the Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
Information Oct 2007 from the
Sargents Historical Preservation Project
P O Box 161, Piketon, Ohio 45661
Copyright © 2007
Pike Co. Genealogy & Historicaal Society
P. O. Box 224, Waverly, Ohio 45690
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