Thorn Township History
Thorn Township is one of the fourteen townships of Perry County, Ohio. The 2000 census found 3,765 people in the township, 3,034 of whom lived in the unincorporated portions of the township. Thorn Township can be accessed by St. Routes 13, 188, 204 and 256.
Today, Thorn Township is known as a bedroom community with most residents traveling outside of the township for employment. With quick access to interstate 70, Thorn Township is less than thirty minutes to Columbus, Zanesville, Newark and Lancaster.
Thorn Township was formed in 1804 named after the thorn trees that lined the shores of Buffalo Swamp. Thorn Township was originally part of Fairfield and Muskingum Counties. In 1817, Perry County was formed and named after Admiral Oliver Hazard Perry. Thorn Township is in the Northwest corner of Perry County and is situated on the south shore of Buckeye Lake. The first settlers were German speaking farmers and were attracted to Thorn Township because of the fertile soil. In the 1830’s, the Ohio Canal system was formed and the first large water reservoir in the United States was built by draining and dredging Buffalo Swamp and was renamed Buckeye Lake. The canal was accessed in the town of Thornport, allowing residents and farmers to sell their products internationally. The town of Thornville was established in 1820 and is the only incorporated village in the township. The Newark, Somerset and New Straitsville (B+O) railroad was built through the township in 1871 and the Columbus and Eastern railroad (NY Central) followed in 1884.
Village of Thornville
Thornville is located just four miles south of I-70 on State Route 13. The Village of Thornville , originally called Lebanon, was first platted as a town in 1810 when Joseph McMullen and John Fidler purchased twenty-one acres of land from Andrew Foster. In 1877, the Village was incorporated under the name of Thornville. Thanks to the Ohio and Erie Canals, as well as the railways (both of which ran just north of the village), Thornville became a very active center of trade. While the canals are now dry and the railroads no longer run, the Village of Thornville still remains the largest incorporated community within Thorn Township.
Thornville’s quaint, tree lined streets are pleasant and inviting. Buildings and homes in the area, which date from the 1800’s to the newly constructed, offer a variety of opportunities. This, coupled with a small-town charm, make Thornville an ideal place for families and businesses alike.