Ohio Historical Sites: Alexander Livingston House in Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Are you a tomato lover? The average American eats roughly 24 pounds of tomatoes per year! We found a little bit of history related to tomatoes right in a Central Ohio suburb. I was always a bit of a history nerd. Living with a stepfather who was even more of a history buff meant it was pretty standard for my family vacations to include a week-long, road trip tour of random, historically significant locations along a carefully mapped route. We took some time to explore the grounds and history of Alexander Livingston and The Livingston House in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. To many, the house is just a historical home and city park--but the history of the man who essentially gave us the basis for the modern tomato is a pretty unique claim to fame as well! 




The Birthplace of the Tomato


Franklin County Historical Society Marker for Reynoldsbur-Birthplce of the Tomato
One of two historical site markers on the Livingston House Park grounds. 

The city of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, calls itself the Birthplace of the Tomato. Tomatoes adorn the Columbus' suburb's welcome signs, and the town hosts an annual Tomato Festival. It seems that the city was home to Alexander Livingston. Livingston, a farmer, and owner of the A.W. Livingston Buckeye Seed Co., was a man with a keen knack with seeds and farming. While the tomato existed before Livingston began experimenting with the fruit, he developed the Paragon Tomato--a much better tasting version than the original tomato. Livingston's Paragon tomato, introduced in 1870, and his Acme tomato, introduced in 1875, have parented most of the tomato varieties developed over the following 25 years. Livingston's work gave rise to a change in the tomato crop that led to the development of over 17 different types of the tomato plant. 


The Alexander Livingston House 



The historical site marker for The Livingston House

Livingston House was painted a deep, farmhouse red color for many years. I actually drove past it before noticing the sign by the road. Having read that the home was built in the mid 1860's--I was surprised that the workmanship looks pretty smooth and modern. Livingston is reported to have paid extra for boards that were free of knots and blemishes. The unblemished wood gives the house a very smooth, finished look. 



Front Angled View of the Alexander Livingston House in Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Close up views show a little more signs that the home is aging--but, not many!


Unfortunately, we hadn't planned ahead well enough to phone and schedule a tour of the home's interior.    The house is supposed to be lighter and brighter than those typically built during the period.  


National Register of Historic Places Plaque on The Livingston House in Reynoldsburg, Ohio
I love exploring historic homes and sites

The city has incorporated the home into a community park; however, so the girls did take the time to play a bit on the playground--just like they did when they were little!


Rustic playground at Livingston House Park in Reynoldsburg, Ohio
The rustic playground is in keeping with the historical nature of the Livingston House


We finished our visit with a little walk down the path by the Little Jordan Run, a small stream that runs along the property edge.

The Little Jordan Run stream near the Livingston House in Reynoldsburg, Ohio
A view of the little stream and wildflowers along the edge of The Livingston House Park paved walking path.


Front View of the Alexander Livingston Historical Home and Park with Sign

If you Visit the Alexander Livingston House...

Address and Directions.  

1792 Graham Road

Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068


The address is easily accessible with GPS or a basic map.  The entrances lie on Graham Road near the Livingston Avenue Intersection.



The site has a small parking lot near the home entrance for tour visitors.  There is a rather spacious parking lot at the opposite end of the property near the playground.  Additionally, there is on-street parking near the house along Palmer Road SW.

Livingston House Tours and Special Events.

Interior tours of the home are available by appointment.  Signs at the site noted that appointments may be scheduled through the City of Reynoldsburg Parks


An event calendar existed pre-Covid with frequent ice cream socials and jazz music concerts held on the Livingston House lawn. During events, expect on-street parking or overflow parking in a couple of nearby churches.


Dining in the Area

In addition to fast food and casual sit-down restaurant, the main street area of Reynoldsburg is home to a handful of long-time, local restaurant favorites, like Vick's Gourmet Pizzeria and Scali Ristorante

as well as newcomers to the downtown--Tempe Taco and Prost Beer & Wine Cafe.


Other Local Attractions 

Reynoldsburg Mural near the corner of Main Street and Lancaster Avenue

Reynoldsburg-Truro Historical Society 

Blacklick Woods MetroPark & Nature Center

Pine Quarry Park

Otherworld (This is not a historical site or natural area--but, is a really cool art attraction that the whole family loved!)



We are sharing this post today as part of the Blogging From A to Z Challenge.

A is for Alexander Livingston House! 



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  1. This was so interesting! I love historical things and places, and now I know more about tomatoes than I ever thought I would ;-)

  2. What a beautiful place that it is. So very nice.


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