Newcomerstown Historical Society is a group of volunteers who care about this
little town located along the Tuscarawas River in Ohio. It is our mission to keep alive the history
of Newcomerstown, Ohio. Thank you for
visiting our site, and be sure to come see our museums – can you believe such a
little town has two museums? The
society meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 6:00 in The Olde Main
Street Museum. You are invited to join
History of Newcomerstown
The village began as a small settlement of English colonists east of modern-day Coshocton, as reported by Christopher Gist in 1756.
The colonists were surrounded by Delaware Indians and the French and English trappers involved in the fur trade. No later than 1750, the Delawares, who called themselves Leni Lenape, settled a village. They called the village Gekelemukpechunk, but the white settlers called it Newcomerstown, after the Delaware chieftain, Chief Newcomer. By 1776 more than seven hundred Delawares and a handful of colonists called the village home.
According to other sources, the village got its name from a scandalous incident which happened in the local Delaware village. Chief Eagle Feather grew tired of his wife, Mary Harris, so when his tribe brought home captives, he chose one to be his new, younger wife. Enraged, Mary Harris killed the chief and the newcomer, and ran off. The warriors then hunted her down and killed her. They then named the village Newcomerstown in honor of the newcomer.
Newcomerstown became an official village in 1814, when Nicholas Neighbor and a small group of settlers came to live here after the Delawares moved their settlement west to Coshocton. Newcomerstown was a very busy village during the days of the Ohio and Erie Canal, when it was located at locks twenty and twenty-one.