The Quaker legacy is part of why Ohioans are free thinkers. The first wave of Quaker settlers arrived from the Carolinas and by 1810, with the creation of Clinton County, the Quaker population was so great that its county seat was named Wilmington in honor of Wilmington, North Carolina. Their meetinghouses stretched across Clinton and Warren counties, creating interconnected communities between Wilmington and Waynesville. The Quakers’ legacy — including the founding of Wilmington College — continues to shape southwestern Ohio. Organizations in Harveysburg, Waynesville, and Wilmington all have exhibits and active programs to tell the story of the Quaker diaspora to Ohio.
The Quaker Heritage Scenic Byway (QHSB) travels in a scenic loop for 54 miles across Clinton and Warren Counties so you can see this legacy, too. Explore Wilmington or Waynesville first in the morning, travel to the other by lunchtime, and end back toward your starting point in the late afternoon. You will encounter Quaker historical societies, the Quaker Heritage Center at Wilmington College, the Clinton County Historical Society, the Museum at the Friends Home, current and historical Quaker meetinghouses, and historical points of interest — such as the first school for free African Americans in Harveysburg, Ohio.