|Birdseye view of Bellaire, Ohio|
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A stately early Wellge map of Bellaire, Ohio [gmap] showing his hallmark uniformly-spaced-trees and too-busy waterways. Still, it's very nice; Wellge's cites sometimes look wound-too-tight, but they always look dignified.
Bellaire's population was around 8,000 at the time this map was made; peaked in the 1920s at 15,000, and has since fallen to just under 5,000 [Est. 2009]. Its early success owed to its industry; Bellaire was known as the ”Glass City” after its principal product. A confluence of nearby coal, silica, and transportation in the form of the Ohio River and the National Road placed it in a unique position to, well, make a lot of glass. Which they did. In the second column of the listings at the bottom of this map you'll see perhaps a dozen “glassworks” or “bottleworks” or “glass-and-bottle works”. Those were Bellaire's salad days. Must've been quite a sight.
But then some big-wig Senator's kid probably dropped a glass bottle of shampoo in the shower and cut his foot open or something, and we got all soft, talking about “but this glass bottle is so heavy” because we've got this wicked entitlement thing going on, and we sunk the whole city. Thanks, guys.
For more maps and images from this period in the region's history, visit the Ohio Historical Society.