There were several features of the land which drew Peter and Benjamin Sell to the site which became known as Dublin. Among these were the Scioto River which provided transportation to Franklinton (later Columbus) and further south to the Ohio River and much further downstream to the port of New Orleans. Other features were vast forests, land well-drained by the Scioto’s tributaries, we call Indian Run, Hayden Run, Deer Run, and others. The Sells brothers knew this would be good for agriculture once the land was cleared. Large quantities of stone, clay, sand and gravel were available as building materials.
The point where the Sells brothers stopped and made their settlement is just a dozen or so yards south of the west end of the Scioto River Bridge, the stone bridge taking Routes 161/33 over the river. This is the highest point above the river all along the Scioto River’s run from La Rue to Portsmouth, so the chances of flooding were minimal. This would be another benefit to locating here. (We can only speculate today that the Sells brothers learned this from the surveyors, they themselves would not have traversed the length of the Scioto River north of Dublin, but the surveyors certainly did.) The Dublin Spring is just below this point, almost at the river’s edge. When the Sells brothers set up camp, they would have to walk downhill just a few feet to get fresh water. The spring is a natural flow of fresh water which once was potable (drinkable) but is not safe today. There was a flow and a pool there from which travelers could draw drinking water.
One can imagine the Indians also taking water from this same spring as they walked the trail from one hunting ground or trading site to another as the river was a major route for them, too. Dublin Road and Riverside Drive were walking paths in their first stages of evolution in transportation.
In 1991 the Dublin Kiwanis built the steps and walkway and upgraded the area underneath the Scioto River Bridge, designating this a park for the public to enjoy. We encourage you to visit the Dublin Spring. This also is a wonderful spot from which to view the beauty of the stone bridge.
Read about the Dublin Spring, at the north end of South Riverview Street, and how we believe it’s location played a part in the decision to make this place on the Scioto River the site of the original Sells settlement which later became the village of Dublin.