LaMarcus A. Thompson Birthplace

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 8:24 PM
I noticed on the home page today the blurb:

"3/8/1848 - Birth of LaMarcus A. Thompson (1848-1919), the first to actually patent and build a roller-coaster, the Switchback Railway, in 1884. Thompson was born in Jersey, Ohio, about fifteen miles Northeast of Columbus."

I was wondering if you can visit his birthplace or house if it's on the national register or anything like that. Anyone ever been or tried to find it? Is there any kind of marker or memorial in Thompson's hometown?

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 9:00 PM
I doubt that it is marked, and I wonder how you'd go about finding the spot. I've thought about going to the Licking County offices in Newark to see if I could learn anything, but I've never made that trip. I wonder how you would get a property map from 1848, and furthermore, I wonder how prevalent the name "Thompson" was at the time...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 9:43 PM
I hate to say it this way, but is it really that important? He's not Thomas Jefferson or anything!
Wednesday, March 8, 2006 10:34 PM
If it really means that much to you, you could try to do deed research at the county courthouse. But if you wanted to find his birthplace, you'd need to know his father's name, since he'd be the owner of the house... if they owned the house. They could have rented, or lived with the wife's relatives or something.

If it really really means that much to you, you could try reseraching the 1840 and 1850 censuses. I know people doing census research, but nothing near that far back, so I don't know what the records back then would be like.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 10:52 PM
I tried looking for Jersey, Ohio on Google Local and MapQuest earlier, and they had absolutely nothing. Does this place even still exist?
Wednesday, March 8, 2006 11:46 PM
No roLLocOASt he's not Jefferson...but why not commemorate the man who is arguably the most important figure (along with WED) in the history of the amusement world? Ehh I guess some people just don't get it.

By the way, Jersey, OH is on Mapquest. I just live way too far away to go digging around there in my free time.

*** Edited 3/9/2006 4:48:17 AM UTC by thrillerman1***

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 11:54 PM
Because then you'd have to go and place the birthplace of anyone who ever invented something important on the national register. You're forgetting that there's a world outside of roller coasters, and for most people, roller coasters are *not* that big of a deal!
Thursday, March 9, 2006 8:18 AM
Let's see, Ohio has a celebrity eyeglass museum, a dental museum, a monument to the first concrete pavement un the U.S., an entire tourist industry built around a "Y"-shaped bridge, and many many other weird little historical and human interest sites that probably only a handful of people care about. Other states are the same. Recognizing the inventor of the roller coaster isn't any more or less weird or obscure than anything else.
Thursday, March 9, 2006 12:46 PM
Don: Jersey does exist, but it is more of a township than an actual village. It's kind of between Columbus and New Albany, and seems to be centered along Morse Rd. Several businesses along Morse Rd. and Dublin-Granville Rd. in that area indicate that they are the "Jersey"...whatever. It's essentially Southwest Licking County.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Thursday, March 9, 2006 1:19 PM
SO, in other words, any remnants from the Thompson days are probably oversized and overpriced McMansions right now. ;)
Thursday, March 9, 2006 2:06 PM
What the hell is the Y-shaped bridge?
Thursday, March 9, 2006 2:14 PM
I too want to know more about the Y-shaped bridge!
Thursday, March 9, 2006 2:22 PM
I'm just trying to imagine the discussion going on right now over at

Probably an argument over which is better, wire or plastic frames.

Thanks for the tip, millrace! :)

Thursday, March 9, 2006 2:46 PM
(It's most exciting when the street preacher is there, standing in the middle of the intersection, waving a bible and yelling at passing cars)

Dental Museum:

First Concrete Pavement:

I can't find a link to the Celebrity Eyeglass Museum, but it used to be (as of a couple years ago) housed at the Ohio State Department of Optometry. *** Edited 3/9/2006 7:50:05 PM UTC by millrace***

Thursday, March 9, 2006 2:53 PM
Man, I can't wait until my boy is old enough to take on a cross country trip ala Vacation. The only difference is that we'd be driving FROM California. And yes, I'd drag him to the Y bridge (after we saw the world's largest ball of twine of course.)
Thursday, March 9, 2006 3:17 PM
I've been to the largest ball of twine - the Minnesota version immortalized by Weird Al. I've heard that the competing twine ball in Kansas is larger now.

Don't forget to stop at Rugby, North Dakota to see the geographical center of North America. It's tucked between a Dairy Queen and gas station.

Thursday, March 9, 2006 5:00 PM
Don't forget to visit "The Thing" in New Mexico (or is it Arizona?). There are billboards for miles and miles along the interstate. Pretty creepy place.

Edit for finding a link to The Thing.

*** Edited 3/10/2006 3:56:39 AM UTC by thrillerman1***

Friday, March 10, 2006 7:39 AM
The nice thing about the Y bridge is being able to tell someone, "Drive out to the middle of the bridge and take a right."
Friday, March 10, 2006 10:30 AM
Wow, that bridge is pretty cool. I might have to head over to Google Earth now to see if I can find it from the air!
Saturday, March 11, 2006 12:21 AM
Well, here is the Y-bridge on Unfortunately, Google's watermark is right on top of the bridge.

The bridge is where US-40 crosses the Muskingum and Licking rivers in Zanesville.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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