Note: This story appears in the Tuesday, May 14 newspaper on Page A1.
CANAANVILLE — Residents of Canaan Twp. and a few honored guests from around Athens County gathered Saturday afternoon for a special birthday celebration.
The township itself was recognized for 200 years of history in the county.
Canaan Twp. was organized in April of 1819 from parts of Athens Twp., according to the online website Ohio Genealogy and History.
It is said that the name of Canaan was suggested by Judge Walker, who was then an Athens County Commissioner.
The township has no incorporated villages, but is highlighted by the town of Canaanville — located on both sides of Route 50 in the center of the township.
According to Ohio Genealogy and History, the population of the township in 1820 was 356. In 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau reported the population as having grown to 1,696.
Strouds Run State Park is also located within Canaan Twp., as is the Athens County Engineer’s Office and the county’s State Highway Patrol Post. The Hocking River winds through the township near the highway, and an expansion project of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is bringing the path eastward through it as well.
The township’s trustees — Randy Wolfe, Russell Halbrit and Charles Kincade — were all in attendance at the celebration, held at the township maintenance garage in Canaanville. Athens county governmental officials were also in attendance, including Auditor Jill Thompson, Engineer Jeff Maiden, Sheriff Rodney Smith, County Commissioner Charlie Adkins and Judge George McCarthy.
State Rep. Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) presented the trustees with a proclamation marking 200 years of Canaan Twp. history.