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Ashland County in Ohio has a rich and varied history, with a number of interesting and noteworthy facts that are well worth exploring. Whether you're a local resident or simply a curious history buff, here are seven fascinating tidbits about this unique county that you might not have known before.

1. Home of the First Woman Elected to Congress: That's right - Ashland County is the birthplace of the first woman ever elected to the United States Congress. In 1916, Republican candidate Jeanette Rankin won the at-large seat in Montana's House of Representatives, paving the way for women's political representation for decades to come.

2. A Base for the Underground Railroad: Ashland County played a key role in the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves to escape to freedom in the northern states and Canada. John F. Siebert, a local farmer, was known to have provided shelter and assistance to runaway slaves in the mid-1800s.

3. President James A. Garfield's Alma Mater: James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States, attended Hiram College in Ashland County for a time before transferring to Williams College. Garfield was a well-known scholar, teacher, and military leader before entering politics.

4. The Infamous KKK Rally: In 1978, Ashland County hosted a Ku Klux Klan rally that drew national attention and a substantial counter-protest. The event, which took place in Loudonville, was highly controversial and has remained a source of debate for decades.

5. Home to the "World's Only" Flamingos: Yes, that's right - Ashland County is home to a unique attraction called "The World's Only True Pair of Handcrafted Pink Flamingos." These two statues, created by local artist Gene Kiko, have become a beloved local landmark and symbol of the county's quirkiness.

6. An Abundance of Covered Bridges: The countryside of Ashland County is dotted with a number of picturesque covered bridges, adding to the county's charm and historic appeal. The county's covered bridges include the Mohican Covered Bridge, the Blackfork Covered Bridge, and the Middle Rowsburg Covered Bridge.

7. The Ashland County Fair: For over 160 years, the Ashland County Fair has been a highlight of the region's social calendar. Held annually in September, the fair features a multitude of events and activities, including live music, carnival rides, livestock exhibitions, and much more.

These are just a few of the many interesting and compelling facts about Ashland County in Ohio history. Whether you're interested in politics, culture, or nature, there's something for everyone to discover and appreciate in this dynamic and vibrant county.

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