The City of Delaware is the seat of Ohio's Delaware County and has a population of approximately 26,500. Originally home to the Mound Builders, and later to Delaware and other Indian tribes, Delaware's earliest American settlement dates from 1808.
During the War of 1812, Delaware served as the headquarters of General William Henry Harrison. Settlers poured into the area after 1814; they included the parents of future President Rutherford B. Hayes, who was born in Delaware and met his future wife Lucy Webb at local Ohio Wesleyan University.
Recently, the City of Delaware partnered with local businesses and invested approximately $5 million in streetscape improvements in its historic downtown—the largest major investment of city money, planning, and project development in the downtown district in half a century.
To ensure that the private reinvestment and rehabilitation effort that followed would retain the historic character of the community, the city established a formal historic preservation review process in 1998. MainStreet Delaware, Inc., has awarded its first Downtown Revitalization Awards to 10 individuals and organizations for important projects, including the recent rehabilitation and restoration of the city's Carnegie Library.
The community's growing preservation expertise and commitment led to its designation as a Certified Local Government by the National Park Service in 2003.
Designated a Preserve America Community in November 2004.