In Crawford County, Ohio
The apple orchard discovered by the Norton family when they arrived to the area in 1819 had been planted by Johnny Appleseed several years earlier. The area is known today as Finley Hill. Finley Hill is located on North Sandusky Avenue, where Arby’s now stands.
In addition to the Norton family, other Ohio pioneers and public figures verified Johnny Appleseed’s orchards, nurseries, and intermittent physical presence in Bucyrus and the Crawford County area. The general timeframe was from 1819-1832.
William Stanbery, an Ohio State Senator and later a U.S. Representative, knew Johnny well and gained knowledge of the Swedenborgian Christian faith from him.
William Stanbery was recorded (by reknown Ohio industrialist, John H. James), as seeing Johnny Appleseed in the rural Bucyrus area in the early 1830s on several occasions.*
*Verified by Miami University’s Walter Havighurst Special Collections & Archives, sourced from John H. James Correspondence (of Urbana, Ohio) dated January 23, 1857.
Another political figure, Mordecai Bartley, who was also an Ohio Senator and U.S. Congressman (and later Ohio’s 18th governor), visited and spent the night at one of Johnny’s nurseries located in Sandusky Township (Crawford County). Bartley and his traveling companions purchased some of Johnny’s apple saplings, and then took them home on horseback the next morning.
While Johnny owned plots of land all across Ohio, he did not own a house. Sometimes, he would create makeshift shelters or sleep in a hollowed-out log in the wilderness.
In other instances, Johnny would spend the night at various farmsteads, reportedly sleeping on the floor.
During his overnight stays, Johnny would often share his religious views and sometimes plant apple tree(s) in exchange for his hosts’ hospitality.
In one instance, Johnny planted a tree on what was once known as the McMichael Farm. While the tree no longer exists, that particular farm property is located in Liberty Township, off Beechgrove road in Bucyrus.
Johnny was also reported as staying at another farmstead in the Bucyrus area as well. According to the 1883 Eby-Smith family records, Matilda Guisinger spent her girlhood on a farm:
NOTE: Matilda Guisinger’s last name changed to Eby upon marrying Peter Eby in 1842.