Little Cities of Black Diamonds
Perry County’s rolling hills turned rugged and forested to the south. Spared from the flattening effects of the glaciers of past centuries, the
mineral rich communities of southern Perry County and their neighboring counties are tagged as “Little Cities of Black Diamonds”. The Little
Cities communities offer rich history, Ohio’s only national forest, plus hiking, horseback and ATV trails!
Shawnee’s Main Street offers the best example of a boom mining town in the Eastern United States, complete with iconic 2nd story “overhanging
porches” and two opera houses; the Tecumseh Theater and the Knights of Labor Opera House. Little Cities of Black Diamonds Archive and state
office for the Buckeye Trail are open daily. Little Cities of Black Diamonds Day is held annually on the 3rd Sunday of October.
New Straitsville features the Robinson’s Cave historic site, commemorating the role that the miners of the Little Cities played in the nation’s
labor union movement. Underground mine fires set during a Coal Strike left some mines abandoned. These mines provided a great hiding place
for secret stills setup to make moonshine during Prohibition. This development led to the town becoming known as the Moonshine Capital
of the World, celebrated each Memorial Day weekend at the Moonshine Festival.
The tiny community of Rendville is rich in African American history. It holds a historic Baptist church which is now re-purposed as a working art
gallery known as the Rendville Art Works. It is open weekdays and hosts seasonal open houses.
Corning is the northern gateway to Burr Oak State Park which hosts a recently revitalized lodge and conference center. Outstanding fishing
leisure boating, and kayaking are available through rentals at the Burr Oak Marina.
The Wayne National Forest also offers excellent hiking on the Wildcat Hollow Hiking Trail near Corning. The Stone Church Hollow Horseback
Trail and Burr Oak State Park offer horse trails to the visitor.
As time passes, the history-ride of the “Little Cities of Black Diamonds” is also becoming known as “Little Cities of the Forest” combining
this areas rich assets of nature and history.