Clintonville is an unincorporated neighborhood in north-central Columbus Ohio, with around 30,000 residents. Clintonville is an informal neighborhood. The southern border is loosely defined as Arcadia Avenue or the Glen Echo Ravine. To the east, either Interstate 71 or the adjacent railroad tracks are commonly accepted. The western boundary is assumed to be the Olentangy River. The northern border of Clintonville is the most ambiguous, with definitions anywhere in the 3 mi (4.8 km) stretch from Cooke Road to the southern border of Worthington. The Clintonville Area Commission boundaries, as established by Columbus City Code, are “bounded on the south by the centerline of the Glen Echo Ravine; on the east by the centerline of the railroad right-of-way immediately east of Indianola Avenue; on the north by the Worthington city limits and on the west by the Olentangy River; each line extended as necessary so as to intersect with adjacent boundaries”.
As the cachet of the Clintonville neighborhood grew towards the turn of the 21st century, real estate agents began to label homes north of Cooke Road as being in Clintonville, leading to the apparent absorption of Beechwold and nearby neighborhoods south of Worthington. It was not uncommon in the booming real estate market circa 2000 to even find homes outside of the distinct east and west borders being sold as “Clintonville” homes. Because Clintonville and Beechwold have no official existence, however, the boundaries are a matter of opinion. The area also contains the former unincorporated community of Evanston, a name that was used by the Big Four Railroad as a station along its line and U.S. Postal service until the 1920s. Clintonville includes parts of ZIP codes 43202 and 43214. The United States Post Offices at the center of each ZIP code are known as Clintonville Station and Beechwold Station, respectively.
The community of Clintonville developed as the center of Clinton Township (named for the U.S. Vice President George Clinton), part of the land grants given to Continental Army soldiers in lieu of pensions in what used to be Wyandotte Indian territory. For years, the steep hillsides discouraged development, until farmland was purchased by the Bull family and then used for religious services. Clinton Chapel (now a funeral home) was constructed in 1838 and served as a stop on the Underground Railroad over the next two decades.
In an attempt to draw others to the area and lessen the isolation of their farm, the Bulls built businesses in the center of Clinton Township, along the plank toll road that later became High Street, the main north-south thoroughfare connecting Columbus to Worthington, Ohio to the north. They offered to give these buildings away to any skilled laborers who would stay. A post office designated “Clintonville” opened in the center of this district on September 13, 1847, and this date is marked by present-day Clintonville residents as the neighborhood’s “birthday”.
By the early 1900s, downtown Columbus residents and professors from The Ohio State University had built summer homes in Clintonville, and the surrounding farmland was developed into housing developments shortly after the extension of the streetcar lines northward from Columbus. A business district developed in Beechwold, separated by nearly a mile of residences from the Clintonville district to the south. Both communities were entirely part of Columbus by the 1950s, after it annexed most of Clinton Township.