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Covington Meadows




Location

Covington Meadows, located in Genoa Township (Delaware County, Ohio) between Tussic Road and Old 3-C Highway and just north of the Freeman Road intersection, features 47 acres of meadow land. The southeastern corner of the subdivision along Tussic Rd. marks the center point of the Township. Covington Meadows lies in Sub-area I of the Genoa Township Comprehensive Land Use Plan 2008.


  

Covington Meadows subdivision boundaries superimposed over a 1988 aerial photo (left)
and a summer 2007 Virtual Earth aerial photo (right).


History

The following lineage of landowners of the property that became Covington Meadows is only a set of snapshots obtained from notes on township maps. Other persons owned various parcels throughout the years, falling between the occasions of updating the maps.

In 1830, the Covington Meadows property was a small piece of more than 1,600 contiguous acres of land owned by Stephen B. Minor, who erected a barn there in 1823. In 1849, L. Badger owned the northern half of the property, and Daniel Smith owned the southern half.

By 1866, R. Moore owned the northern section of the property, and James Mossman farmed the center section. J. Carver’s heirs owned the western side of the southern section of the Covington Meadows property, and J.S. Copeland, a farmer and stock raiser, possessed the eastern side. Besides farming, John S. Copeland was a carpenter; he built his own barn and contracted out his services to other farmers. Copeland’s father, William S. Copeland, had farmed land directly east across Tussic Road, where he also manufactured wagons and buggies. After William’s death, John inherited and farmed that land as well.

In 1875, James Martin owned the northern section of the Covington Meadows property, and James Mossman still tended the center section on both sides of the Galena & Westerville Road (GWR). Mrs. Carver and J.S. Copeland continued to work the southern section of the property. In 1890, Ernest Fritsche had purchased the northern third, Mossman remained on the center third and Copeland still farmed most of the southern third. William A. Glass had purchased 96 acres of land along Freeman Road between the railroad (now State Route 3) and GWR and a small part of Copeland’s land on the east of GWR (now the southern entrance to the subdivision onto Old 3-C).

Just after the turn of the century, in 1908, Gavin Williams was working the western part of the southern section, while Carl Shavely was working the eastern part. Ernest Fritsche was tending the center and northern sections, on both sides of the GWR. Eight years later, the 55-acre southern section of the property had come into the Clay Rammelsberg family, while the Fritsche family was still working the northern sections. At this time, the Rammelsberg name had become common among property owners in the area, as had the Freeman name, for which Freeman Road was later named.

Ownership on the Covington Meadows property hadn’t changed as of 1921, but by 1941, H.C. Lawrence had taken over the 40 acres of the northern third of the property and Garfield Fritsche was working the middle third, while Clay Rammelsberg remained to the south. By 1955, E.J. and G.S. Driscoll had purchased the northern section, Garfield Fritsche farmed the center section (with a two-acre lot on Old 3-C partitioned for Carl Fritsche and a three-acre lot next to it for C.H. and B.R. Fritsche), and Clay Rammelsberg tended the southern section. Fritsche had moved to the area in 1871 from his native Germany.

In the early 1960s, neighbors Carl Fritsche and Beulah Rammelsberg married and took over farming much of the Covington Meadows property, using the white barn (painted red at some previous point) that still stands at the southwest corner of the property. They tended a small herd of milking cows, raised chickens and sowed corn, soybeans, wheat and oats, using horse-drawn, single-blade plows in the early years on the farm. Fritsche also sold turkeys to the local A&P supermarket through the 1970s, and later gave it up to build homes in the area.

 

A barn at the southwestern corner of the Covington Meadows subdivision
served the former dairy farms of the Rammelsberg and Fritsche families
and still stands as a testament to Genoa Township’s agricultural heritage.

 

In 1980, E.J. and G.S. Driscoll still farmed the 40-acre northern section, while Carl and Beulah Fritsche were still tending the balance, 22 acres of the former Fritsche farm and 49 acres of the former Rammelsberg farm. In 1987, a chicken hatchery, turkey farm and a countertop business were located on the Fritsche place, and by 1992 Brice S. Driscoll was farming the north fields. In 1999, the Fritsche family sold the 99-acre Covington Meadows properties to M/I Schottenstein Homes, Inc., which then designed and marketed the development as a “conservation subdivision,” featuring 50 percent green space throughout the parcel.


Habitat

Covington Meadows features 47 acres of preserved meadow land on rehabilitated farmland. The public walking paths wind through lush meadow lands filled with a wide variety of wildflowers, prairie grasses, birds and small animals. The subsoil at Covington Meadows is largely yellow-clay, yielding numerous pink and gray granite boulders, at least one nearly the size of a small automobile.

The upper reaches of Spring Run flow east out of Covington Meadows, past the two subdivision retention ponds along Tussic Road and into the Medallion Estates subdivision. That 600-acre tract had included vibrant breeding grounds for the Great Blue Heron within more than 85 acres of wetlands, much of which has been integrated into a golf course, with provisions for curtailing activities during the breeding season. The waters draining from there turn south and eventually flow into Alum Creek just north of Dublin-Granville Road, between Westerville Road and I-270. While the east-flowing run-off from Covington Meadows seemingly defies emptying into nearby Hoover Reservoir and eventually flows into the Alum Creek watershed, the close proximity of the lake has a definite impact on the wildlife in the area.

 

Wildlife from Hoover Reservoir often makes its way through the
Covington Meadows subdivision, lying less than a mile to the west.

 

Hoover Reservoir, with watercraft limited to low-horsepower fishing and pontoon boats, sailboats, crew boats, canoes and kayaks, offers fishermen large-mouth bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, and saugeye. More than 30 of Ohio’s 47 native shorebirds have been sighted at Hoover. Migrating ducks, geese, swans and other common water birds stop at the lake, which also is great habitat for unusual species, such as common loon, hooded merganser, ruddy ducks, and many others. Additionally, heron, red-shouldered hawks and bald eagles have been spotted in areas adjacent to the reservoir. White-tailed deer frequent the neighborhood, traveling west from the reservoir to Spring Run and through an open causeway left for them through the middle of the housing complex.


Mud Hen Marsh, just one mile east of Covington Meadows,
shelters a variety of wetlands wildlife.

 

Heron, Canadian Geese and other waterfowl from the nearby Mud Hen Marsh and Hoover Nature Preserve often visit the neighborhood. Mud Hen Marsh, one mile east of Covington Meadows at the intersection of Big Walnut and Sunbury Roads, is an area of protected wetlands, controlled succession forest, and swamp forest where you can find ducks, herons, shorebirds and warblers, among other bird species.

Three miles to the north, near Galena, the water levels of Hoover Reservoir drop seasonally, creating vast mud flats within the preserve. The exposed lake bed supplies prime feeding grounds for passing sandpipers, plovers and other shorebirds, as well as osprey lured there by the nesting stands built there.

The open spaces between the still-evident hedgerows at Covington Meadows have been seeded and allowed to return to natural prairie land, providing a home to wildflowers, prairie grasses, ground hogs, foxes, rabbits, songbirds and many small animals. A red-tailed hawk makes its home in the highest of the hedgerow trees, soaring overhead and scanning the meadows for rodents. Barn swallows from the Rammelsberg barn and two remaining Fritsche barns across Old 3-C Highway hunt insects throughout the meadows.