Bethel, Ohio - a small town with a big history

The village of Bethel is a small and tidy community situated in Clermont County, Ohio. It was founded by Obed Denham in 1798 and has a population of around 2,500.

It is an interesting point to note that the village has been dry since the repeal of Prohibition, but with the recent introduction of single precinct voting alcohol can be sold, but not served, in precincts A and C.

It was home to the first movie theater ever opened in Ohio, going all the way back to 1908, and today it boasts one of the last remaining drive-in movie theaters in the country. The closure of the Midway Cinema after more than 40 years of history has made the Starlite Drive-In an increasingly popular venue for its sense of real home town authentic Americana.

Bethel is a village where everyone knows everybody else and no one minds that a bit because everyone is welcome, and even if the casual visitor just passes through for something to eat there is a sense of homely goodness to the social atmosphere as well as the cooking!

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The village is proud of its history and heritage, and the Bethel Historical Museum is open to the public in the Grant Memorial Building at 100 South Main Street. The name 'Grant' takes prominent place in Bethel as amongst its residents there once lived Ulysses S. Grant - President of the United States and Commanding General of the United States Army during the Civil War - as well as his son, the entrepreneur Ulysses S. (Buck) Grant Jr.

Famous names from having organised Clermont County Underground Railroad are buried in the pretty Tate Township Cemetary on South East Street; and the first man to walk around the world, Steven M. Newman, calls the village home, as does Dick Scott the Cincinnati Reds pitcher.

Bethel is a quite visibly green place, and central to that vista is Burke Park which sits virtually in the heart of the village. It is a beautiful open space hosting a huge theater and a collection of wonderful pioneer cabins that are of great historical significance. Burke Park also enjoys walking and cycling trails, playgrounds, tennis courts, a skate park and picnic areas.

Above all, Bethel is a village that holds to traditional values, embraces its past and looks onward to the future.

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