Founded as a utopia in 1825, the small village of Yellow Springs, in southwestern Ohio, gets its names from the waters of a nearby spring that were rich in iron and produced a yellow coloring on the rocks, which was thought to be curative. The history of the town starts with communitarian efforts, that were dissolved due to internal conflicts, to a center for civil rights and anti-war movements during the late 1960's and early 70's. In 1979, Yellow Springs was the smallest municipality to pass an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. With a population of just 3,529 (2014 census), its historic district encompasses most of the town due to its place in the area's history, and its historic architecture.
Located midway between Columbus and Cincinnati, and considered a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, Yellow Springs is home to John Bryan State Park, Glen Helen Nature Preserve, and is part of Little Miami Scenic Trail, a 70 mile bike and walking trail that goes through five southwestern counties. The village is also home to Anticoch College which partners with the community through art and education venues, and has an interesting history of its own. The median age in Yellow Springs is 48 years, and MarketWatch called it an affordable retirement haven, and reported that many retirees volunteer in over 100 non-profit organizations that focus on the environment, historic preservation, and the arts.
Photos of downtown Yellow Springs courtesy of Michael Brady.