The Known Story of Hanover
Greetings! My name is Chester Flowers, and at age 92, I serve on the village council for the Village of Hanover and have done so for over forty years. I moved here in 1935, and some say I am the oldest in the village and some say I have a real good memory. However, one thing is true: I deeply care about writing memories of the past and leaving this area with a brighter future.
We believe Hanover is over 200 years old, and I have seen many events. One of the biggest changes to our village was due to the effects of the 1959 flood. During construction of the Dillon Dam, there was not a plan of action put in place in case a natural disaster occurred, and in January of 1959, combined melting snow and accumulation of six or more inches of rain caused Licking River to begin running steady and high. So much so that it backed up into the Rocky Fork Creek and caused water to rise over 7 feet in the lower Hanover area. The resulting flood ruined 200 homes, businesses, and our local school.
The government was not prepared to assist the village with their loss and many people were displaced and had to restart their lives in other towns.
During this time, I had purchased 25 acres of farmland and a home just north of the old Hanover Village, known as the Arthur Farmhouse today located on W. High Street and sits within the Flowers Addition.
Since so many people had left to find new homes old Hanover Village lost its village charter. I received a notification from Bill Giffen, who was running for State Representative at the time, that since Hanover lost their charter and they no longer had a post office if they could prove that development was coming I could save the village’s charter.
John Watkins was the Licking County engineer at the time and in March of 1960, he and I laid out Flowers Addition and the first road to be built on that 25 acres was Darla Drive. Today it is the oldest street in the Village of Hanover.
Many people began calling for lots. One of the first calls that came in was from Carl Wills. He was hoping to purchase land for a grocery store, the first post-flood business. His business, established on the corner of Darla Drive and W. High Street, spurred the building of new homes, and the development didn’t stop there.
As time passed Bill Giffen developed Sunset Drive. Dick Staggers developed the Staggers Addition. The Rocky Fork Development Incorporated made up of Dean Edie, Roy Wilson, Jim Hamby, and myself developed the Echo Valley Addition, which sat on 160 acres. A friend and neighbor Dean Edie owned the nearby Bowerston Shale Company and furnished most of the brick you will see in the homes within the Village.
Flowers Hall was also constructed at the end of Darla Drive and was the home of bluegrass shows, square dances, weddings, and many school concerts.
Today it is known as the Event Center and it continues to be a gathering place for community events. Through the rebuilding stages, I had the privilege of donating land for the New Home Lodge, the fire station/village hall, the dry dam, and the American Legion Hall in which they gifted me a lifetime membership for the donation.
Many people contributed to the success and growth of the Village of Hanover since the 1959 flood. Harold Gallagher, Bill Giffen, Dick Staggers, Roy Wilson served as Mayor. Along with Jim Fullen, who had the leadership role for 28 years.
In 2000, Duane Flowers assumed the position of mayor. Then the Mayor title was passed on to Jonah Hersey, then Chad Waters, and now our current Mayor Jeff Collins.
One day I hope to have a big village clock put in front of the 1959 Flood Memorial across from the new million-dollar Legacy Park. And, by the way, Legacy Park was built by a collaboration of community individuals in honor of Wyatt Adkins who lost his life too early but left an impression forever. And his parents Shane and Beth Adkins need to be mentioned as the trailblazers of this community blessing.
Today we are a growing town. We have had over 30 business places and have grown from 25 houses to over 400 at the present time. In 2009-2013 Hanover was the fastest-growing community in the state of Ohio. Much of this was due to the developer Carl Hains and his development of the Hainsview Estates.
Since that time, lots have been hard to find in our village but Mr. Hains is currently expanding his addition by adding an additional 70+ lots. His subdivision is north of Echo Valley and East of the Licking Valley High School. Someday Hanover will be a city. We have over 1000 acres to the north, south, and east of us and we have our school, restaurants, gas station, and our very own historical museum, the Licking Valley Heritage Society.
We believe we have a wonderful village nestled in a beautiful valley and the very best school district around and we are proud of it. Furthermore, Hanover has been and will always be a great place to live and raise a family. Come and visit us.
-2019 Councilman Chester Flowers