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While driving from Washington Court House to Xenia, Ohio, this past summer on U.S. 35, a mostly two-lane, very rural highway running between Michigan City, Ind., and Charleston, W.Va., I was reminded of the many momentous events that had occurred over the years along this largely unknown route. There had been tornadoes in Indiana and Xenia, some of the worst in United States history. Floods had ravished the roadway along the Wabash, Miami, and Kanawha Rivers.

The Dayton brothers invented aircraft along it before the road was paved, and a Dayton newspaper editor ran for president. Shawnee chiefs, Tecumseh, Blue Jacket, and Cornstock, all learned their warfare skills in those rolling hills. General Andrew Lewis fought the combined American tribes in 1774 at the Battle of Point Pleasant at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, a location that had been surveyed by George Washington. In modern days, an inn just north of Point Pleasant at Rio Grande is famous as the farm of restaurateur Bob Evans.

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