Timeline of Actual Events and Crimes that Powerfully Support The Legend of Sullivant's Hill
Don't Miss the Crazy Years 1867-1870!
(Unless noted, all of this timeline is verifiable)
On Apr 15, the Civil War began.
In June, the Union (Northern) Army opened Camp Chase on a highly secluded hill called Sullivant's Hill (Today's Hilltop), about six miles west of Columbus. Sullivant's Hill remained highly secluded because Franklinton, the tiny settlement separating it from Columbus, would become a temporary lake after severe storms and rapid snow thaws. This issue kept Columbus from expanding westward.
Camp Chase was primarily a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp. This base was also home to Union Army security battalions. Enough security to secure the 12-square-mile hill. The Legend of Sullivant's Hill claims this much security was needed to protect numerous top-secret projects.
Union General James A. Garfield (future President) left the army to become Ohio's 19th District Congressman, including Columbus and Sullivant's Hill.
On Apr 9, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.
Five days later, on Apr 14, Republican President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated while attending a play.
The next day, Lincoln's Vice President, Southern Democrat Andrew Johnson, was sworn in as the country's 17th president. Within weeks he began closing down most of the Union army, including Camp Chase, and everything operating on Sullivant's Hill, much to the dismay of the highest-ranking Union generals and Congressman Garfield, who claimed that the country had many enemies.
On Jul 5, President Johnson opened the US Secret Service to help protect US Presidents. This agency certainly kept secrets, but it was public, not covert (undercover).
I have no direct evidence for this 1866 information. However, the 1879 line explains how, when, and where government insiders intentionally destroyed this information:
One of my Hilltop customers told me, "The first houses on the Hilltop were large mansions."
He explained that right after the Civil War, some businessmen built a row of luxury homes along the eastern ridge of the Hilltop (Sullivant's Hill) for the panoramic view of Columbus, which was unhindered back then.
He claimed that most of these homes were never occupied (finished) because the state government used eminent domain to remove these homes for two enormous projects soon after generals Hayes and Grant won their 1968 elections (the total erasure of these homes is highly supported under the year 1879).
I was not writing down this legend story back then, but I think he said these mansions were on "Lucas Ridge Road," but I might have imagined that name. In 1798, Lucas Sullivant became the original (American) owner of Sullivant's Hill. He founded Franklinton in 1797, and his descendants still owned some of both areas at this time.
1867 - 1870 The Crazy Years!
This image shows Dr. Awl's proposed asylum on the same East Columbus site of the city's first lunatic asylum.
This asylum's architecture was a spooky style called Kirkbridge. From above, a Kirkbridge building looked like a bat spreading its wings. However, this monstrosity took this concept a step further; its architectural details were inspired by hideous vampire bat features; see the Legend page for more images.
In contrast, the original asylum that Dr. Cure Awl also opened in east Columbus in 1838 was one of the most attractive buildings in Central Ohio. It used the Neoclassical architecture of the Whitehouse.
Ohio's first Superintendent of lunatic and imbecile asylums, a surgeon named Dr. William Awl (he called himself Dr. Cure Awl), proposed a new lunatic asylum to replace the state's 30-year-old one located in East Columbus, where today I-71 passes under East Broad Street.
It would be one of the first buildings with elevators. Otis's new Safety Elevators allowed it six easily accessible levels above the ground and at least three beneath it. Underground levels suddenly became practical due to Thomas Edison's light bulbs and Skyler Wheeler's (electrified) ventilation fans.
On Mar 2, Congress successfully impeached President Johnson for breaching the Tenure of Office Act by removing Edwin Stanton, the US Secretary of War. Stanton was Lincoln's military hawk who argued (against Johnson) that the country needed to keep its robust military intact after the Civil War.
On Mar 4, Congress's attempt to remove Johnson from office failed by one vote (of the required two-thirds majority).
On November 3td, Ohio-born General Ulysses S Grant defeated Horatio Seymour to become the country's 18th president.
General Rutherford B. Hayes defeated the incumbent Democrat William Allen to become Ohio's governor.
General James A. Garfield was reelected into Congress by Ohio's 19th District (including Sullivant's Hill). These three Ohioans would become the next three US Presidents.
After his inauguration, Ohio General William Tecumseh Sherman was appointed General-in-Chief of the US Military by President Grant.
Also, during this election, wealthy real estate developer and attorney George W. Meeker spent a fortune to replace Columbus's incumbent mayor, James G. Bull. We'll get back to Mayor Meeker in a moment.
Those mighty Ohioans who also tried to convince President Johnson to maintain a robust military suddenly had control of every level of government (city, county, state, military, and federal) governing Sullivant's Hill.
Ohio did not have nearly enough funding to build a city-sized asylum. So these powerful men had to ensure the state had the budget to create the most intimidating asylum in world history. Somehow the cash turned up in Ohio's Treasury, and Sullivant's Hill soon became "The place where no one wants to be."
There is a highly plausible explanation of how Ohio's treasury was reimbursed for this already deemed unnecessary and unwanted asylum on the Legend Page.
Before World War I, Washington claimed the US was neutral and uninvolved in world events. President Grant, Governor Hayes, Congressman Garfield, and Chief General Sherman needed a secret security force that would not seem connected to the federal government in any way.
Dr. Awl's first asylum on Columbus's eastside needed 15-25 guards for 350 inmates, not nearly enough to monitor and secure a 12-square-mile hill. The largest lunatic asylum ever built could employ 500 security guards without anyone suspecting they were hiding top-secret federal programs.
Suddenly, on Nov 18, 15 days after Ohio's generals were elected, Dr. Awl's first lunatic asylum burned down.
Luckily for 339 of its 346 inmates, the fire broke out in the rear of the building while they were in the Assembly Hall upfront, celebrating Social Time. Social Time came once a week for two hours, so all these inmates survived unscathed. However, the asylum's seven female inmates preferred to remain locked in their ward (rear of the building) over being raped and molested by hundreds of penis-packing lunatics during Social Time; all died from smoke inhalation.
While the fire was still smoldering, officials claimed that the fire was caused by a faulty fireplace flue in the lady's ward. The following morning the Ohio State Journal (The Columbus Dispatch did not yet exist) casually mentioned, "That house was heated by steam."
Even though this was the most deadly fire in the city's 45-year history, I could not find a follow-up article about it. The city and state officials evidently maintained the accident story. Drawings of that asylum (no photographs of it exist) show several chimneys above the administrative offices in front, as most of the building appears to have "T" pipes protruding instead.
Steam heat was also logical, as lunatics and fire would not make a safe mix inside any wood-framed structure (which this was).
Englishmen William Cook invented steam heating in 1745, nearly a century before this wooden asylum was built in 1838.
The state began clearing the site to rebuild that original asylum just days after the fire. Then as soon as the area was cleared, the rebuilding was put on hold. However, the evidence proving that the wards were steam heated was gone.
Now things get even stranger.
January: Two months after all those Ohio generals were elected, a new site was announced for this lunatic asylum, but it was not that attractive asylum that Ohio had already started rebuilding; it was that frightening monstrosity that Dr. Awl had proposed two years earlier, now relocated to the eastern ridge of Sullivant's Hill, overlooking Columbus.
February: Mayor Meeker's first move was to close Columbus's Police Department and fire every constable and marshal. I found no official reason for this.
Meeker then hired his best childhood mate, Charles Engelke, who had zero experience in law or enforcement, to open a new Columbus Police Department.
Obvious Suspicion? Suppose the asylum fire two months earlier was not an accident (as it appears). Because no reason was given, it seems the police were unwilling to play along with the official accident. Keeping that department would have eventually undermined that excuse.
In March, General Hayes was sworn in as Ohio's new governor. However, Grant was not inaugurated until June, six months after he was elected.
Governor Hayes held the groundbreaking ceremony for the Lunatic Asylum. Several weeks later, ground broke for the imbecile asylum directly across the street (West Broad).
Days later, Mayor Meeker annexed Franklinton and the eastern ridge of Sullivant's Hill (just where the asylums were going in).
These two enormous asylums were issued every inch of that ridge (about 1.5 miles long, by about one mile deep) that overlooked Columbus. Because of its view, this was by far the most valuable land on Sullivant's Hill.
There were likely thousands of former Civil War soldiers, officers, and Ohio State Penitentiary convicts (who allegedly dug the underground fort) that would be reminded of Civil War secrets every time they heard the name "Sullivant's Hill." The hill was now going to display the nation's largest building; it would be mentioned.
How timely, Mayor Meeker suddenly annexed the eastern ridge of Sullivant's Hill, just far enough to pull both new asylums inside Columbus. He officially and apparently only called Sullivant's Hill, The Hilltop."
Marshall Charles Engelke had a new Columbus Police Department running about a year after the election. Meeker suddenly quit his four-year mayoral term with nearly three years left to reopen his real estate/law office and practice. Previous Mayor James G. Bull, whom Meeker defeated, was reinstalled to complete the final three years of Meeker's four-year term.
Meeker would hold a state office a decade later. His son would develop land east of the asylum that burned down weeks after the election. Would removing a lunatic asylum significantly increase nearby property values?
Interestingly, when I-71 construction excavated that east side asylum site in the 1960s, hundreds of bodies were uncovered. Dr. Awl was known for medical experimentation, the dream job for an insane doctor running Ohio's lunatic and imbecile asylums.
In today's dollars, billions were spent scaring everything and everybody (unrelated) away from Sullivant's Hill. The Hilltop became America's Land of Lunatics. That image continues impeding West Columbus's economy 153 years later.
The Columbus Dispatch, a privately owned newspaper not affiliated with politicians, opened in Columbus.
The Daily Statesman newspaper closed.
On March 3td, Ohio Governor Rutherford B. Hayes became the 19th US President replacing his friend Ulysses S. Grant, who had completed both of his allowed terms. Today there are many Central Ohio roads, buildings, and organizations named after these two Ohioans.
Hayes only served one term because he preached that Presidents should only be allowed one term. He felt that their decisions could be influenced by re-election donors, thus comprising average citizens. After his single term, he successfully campaigned for his Ohio buddy General James A. Garfield, to replace him.
The horrifying Ohio State Lunatic Asylum was finally completed. It would remain our country's largest building (by square footage) for 65 years (when the Pentagon opened in 1942).
Enormous buildings were scarce before the 1900s because they were incredibly labor and material intensive. Around the turn of the century, steel framing slashed the cost of building huge structures to pennies on the dollar. Only this asylum's roof and floors were (wood) framed; the rest was concrete, mortar, stone, and bricks. It took a crew of 1500 seven years to build. It took another large team seven years (possibly a world record) to demolish it in the 1990s.
Being so enormous, plus sitting on top of that ridge, this asylum dominated the western horizon from Columbus. It frightened citizens from miles away. It also maintained a substantial state-run security department large enough to scare everyone away from Sullivant's Hill without a visible soldier or federal agent.
Note: The federal government claims that its first secret spy agency, MI-8, opened in 1917. The Legend of Sullivant's Hill claims that its first secret agency was called "ORPHAN," It opened along with the lunatic asylum.
Officially there was nothing else on Sullivant's Hill besides these two new asylums, the homes of their doctors and administrators, the abandoned remains of Camp Chase, several small farms, and a large forest.
These two monstrosities completed Sullivant's Hill's new, stay the XXXX away image; as the Land of Lunatics.
On Saturday, February 1st, at 1:00 AM, barely a year after the Hilltop Lunatic Asylum opened, arsonists entered the Franklin County Courthouse's vault. Inside, they soaked all records of Sullivant's Hill (including these mansions) in coal oil, then incinerated them. The arsonists were thoughtful enough to relock the vault and courthouse building on their way out, implying these were insiders with keys.
Here is the Columbus Dispatch article from that day. It explained that not all records were destroyed but did not specify which files. I searched the web and found records for almost all of Franklin County besides Sullivant's Hill. Several times, I called the county to ask if they had records of Sullivant's Hill, but they seemed clueless.
This arson looks more like the tip of an iceberg to me. Not only are all land transactions missing, but there are also no feature maps of Sullivant's Hill from 1851-1883, yet they appear to exist for every other area in the county. Almost nothing exists with the name Sullivant's Hill. This suggests that this courthouse fire was far from the only illegal action taken to erase the secrets of Sullivant's Hill from history.
There is not a single map (from the 1800s) that even shows Camp Chase's location. There are three layout maps of just Camp Chase, which are all quite different.
I have found three maps from 1884 - 1914 with the name Camp Chase printed on them. However, all three have Camp Chase west of the railroad tracks. Remnants of its wall and graveyard prove that Camp Chase was right behind today's West High School, about a half mile east of those railroad tracks.
ORPHAN's underground base (from the satellite imagery) is also located west of those tracks. As I previously pointed out, I suspect that Camp Chase actually covered about 10 square miles, far more than just 136 walled acres.
Because Meeker annexed the asylums right after their grounds broke, all of their property transaction records (including the legendary mansion homes (see Legend) would have been incinerated inside the Franklin County courthouse vault by the arsonists. The fact that the land transaction records for these asylums are also missing is just more legend verification.
For the next half-century, that underground facility and several underground levels of that Lunatic Asylum were presumably home to the nation's secret programs, covert agencies, and human mind experiments. Inmates without followers would have made ideal ginny pigs (test subjects) because no one would miss them.
The City of Columbus was still growing so rapidly that Sullivant's Hill was no longer avoidable, so several more miles beyond the asylum community were annexed.
The state began removing or covering the frightening architectural features of the lunatic asylum. This included discarding its structure's 14 eerie tower spires. Ohio also planted a forest directly before the building's half-mile-long facade.
Columbus was expanding so rapidly that Sullivant's Hill was no longer scaring development away. Millions of cheap cars (model T Fords) that could reach the Hilltop in only minutes from downtown Columbus had also invaded the nation, further reducing the hill's seclusion.
Columbus annexed several more miles of Sullivant's Hill west of the asylum community.
MI-8, the first secret spy agency Washington admits to operating, opened. It was described as an enemy code-breaking operation but had a broader role.
Aircraft began replacing trains as the fastest mode of cross-country transportation. The army opened the Wilbur Wright Field (today's Wright-Patterson AF Base) in Dayton, about 60 miles west of Sullivant's Hill.
Army and federal airports (like airmail facilities) were becoming game-changers. These federal installations provided Washington with extensive secured lands for an obvious purpose. Federal airfields were far more practical for concealing secret projects than hiding them behind a spooky asylum.
Simultaneously, airplanes began operating from a field directly across the street (Sullivant's Avenue) from the underground fortress. The Legend (plus circumstantial and physical evidence) claims this hidden complex was originally a secret munitions factory built during the Civil War.
Large residential neighborhoods were being planned for the Hilltop. The Legend (history and science) claims that Washington had begun abandoning trains for aircraft and trucks. All of the advantages Sullivant's Hill once had were rapidly evaporating.
The US post office (federal gov) opened its central US Air Mail hub on that grass field directly across Sullivant Avenue from the underground facility shown in this satellite imagery.
They named that field Port Columbus. It would remain the central US Airmail hub for another decade.
A new Port Columbus Airport opened on Columbus's far east side. The first Port Columbus remained open, housing only the US Airmail hub, several private hangers, and a "Trick" flying school, just what you might think spies would want. Its name was changed to the Sullivant Avenue Airfield.
Columbus West High School opened. Much of this school's land was once part of Camp Chase. I was often told there are blocked-off levels (floors) beneath this magnificent High School that connect to a series of tunnels under Sullivant's Hill. I was told nearly identical information about the Lunatic Asylum. I do look forward to investigating what lies beneath this school.
According to the Legend Lady, Washington turned the underground complex into a junkyard of the country's antiquated secrets.
(According to the Legend) President Roosevelt ordered the secret underground junkyard closed and sealed. He made a deal with GM that they could not refuse. They were to rapidly build a massive (covering over 34 acres) factory. The secret junk was still sealed below, but Washington could abandon it by entombing it deep beneath the factory.
GM's massive Hilltop factory opened after barely one year of construction. Because it was a steel-framed structure, it was erected (and later dismantled) in just several months.
Sullivant Avenue Airport closed. Its site was then redeveloped into the Holly Hills subdivision.
I learned most of the Legend of Sullivant's Hill from an original employee of the GM factory. I was unconvinced then; I often had historical discussions with my customers. However, over the following years, I naively noticed supporting evidence all over West Columbus. I used my imagination to connect these details, which also caused me to imagine a series of wild ORPHAN spy stories.
GM suspended all fabrication at their Hilltop factory. The building was used for storage for the next few years, and its parking lots held unsold inventory.
I learned that Google Earth Pro (their free PC version) had started posting historical satellite imagery, so I looked. In most cases, images are five to ten years apart. However, I got lucky; four images of Sullivant's Hill were posted from 2009 through 2011. The third one, taken in December of 2010 (just four months before the casino broke ground), shows the 1150 X 50-foot "F" shaped underground fortress being filled with soil. (I later determined how it was most likely built during the Civil War). See the image and my research here.
After weeks of eliminating anything else it could be, I realized that this Legend could give West Columbus an exciting and inspiring national reputation to help it override its horrible local one. West Columbus is still perceived as the Land of Lunatics and Imbeciles, which keeps its economy perpetually hindered.
This fantastic history, exposed as a news story, will not be enough to turn Sullivant's Hill into a national tourist attraction.
However, presenting it as multiple forms of modern entertainment will eventually turn West Columbus into a far more enjoyable place to live, play, visit, and conduct business. Unlike a news brief, fun entertainment has an enduring shelf life.
Note: In my Sullivant's Hill fictionalized novels, ex-president Hayes runs the secret ORPHAN espionage program. President Garfield creates NORA (railroad-based National Orphan Relief Agency) to provide him with an innocent-sounding cover, then selects Hayes as its director. By the mid-1880s, NORA operates a small fleet of Orphan Ambulance locomotives called "ORPHS" out of a large barn above ORPHAN's secret underground headquarters, beneath Sullivant's Hill.
To hide ORPHS in plain sight, these secret weapon-packed rail rockets are painted white with big red crosses and flashing red lights. The excuse used for their insane speed is that they race around the nation's rails, rescuing seriously injured orphan children.
FACT: Over the four decades after the Civil War, European countries dumped 1.7 million orphans into America's open arms. Most of them were fostered by farm families spread around the country.
Since I had imagined action-packed stories about ORPHAN agents since the 1990s, I outlined five novels and began writing.
Because people have so many entertainment choices today, I do not believe that novels alone will rapidly improve West Columbus's constantly struggling economy. So I imagined each chapter as a serial episode from a comic book series, which should have a more significant impact faster.
Printed versions of these comic books should be available by visiting a local business and contain advertising. More importantly, slightly animated versions of these monthly comics, with voices and sound effects, must be created for the world to see on YouTube.
These video comic books will also be storyboards for an ORPHAN agent television series.
ORPHAN stories are also musical. Colin Mclaughlin, ORPHAN's James Bond, leads a three-man band called "The Irish Orphans," as his cover. He is the hottest act on Columbus's Irish Broadway. In the late 1800s, the Irish Broadway existed just south of the Union Train Station.
The Irish Orphans promote NORA (National Orphan Relief Agency - orphan children welfare) while touring certain towns to destroy their criminal and enemy networks. This musical cover allows NORA to provide McLaughlin's group with one of their hidden weapon-packed ORPHS to use the nation's rails like tour buses use modern highways.
Colin's massive partner, Lemont Freeman, plays the band's manager when touring.
Also, McLaughlin's favorite girl, Sara Kilbourne, is the leader of the Buckeye Beauties. These six gorgeous dancing singers put on the shows at Columbus's Municipal Opera House. This large theatre sat at 127 N. High Street from 1861 until a fire destroyed it in 1892.
What can you add to this timeline?
Let me know at Craig@uppercolumbus.com.